Proud to be a Farmer’s Claire Inkson asks farming identities five quick questions about what agriculture means to them.
Here is what Hurunui District Mayor and Proud Farmer Winton Dalley had to say:
How long have you been farming?
I am a fourth generation traditional North Canterbury Family Farmer having actively farmed for a living for nearly fifty years.
All my childhood years were spent on farm, and a period of my life post school was spent in the on-farm service sector as a diesel engineer servicing farm machinery and rural transport.
What sort of farming were/are you involved in?
We have been mainly involved with sheep and beef farming, concentrating on producing quality mid micron wool for niche markets and sought after store lambs from high fertility sheep.
Stud breeding was an added activity and was instrumental in breeding the successful commercial flock.
What makes you proud to be a Farmer?
I am proud of the place that farmers hold, and the role we played in the development history of this great country.
I am proud of the contribution that agriculture has made to the prosperity that all New Zealanders have the opportunity to enjoy.
I am proud of farmers’ contribution to building and maintaining our strong rural communities and our social infrastructure.
I am currently very proud of farmers’ determination to work toward correcting any unintended environmental damage that occurred over the last century and a half while farming was developing to provide this new nation its lifeblood, and while we are successfully achieving that, proud that we continue to earn a large share of our countries prosperity.
What do you love about your job as a farmer?
I enjoy farming for the opportunity to work with my wife and family, working with nature and the changing seasons.
I enjoy being a decision maker, and living and learning from my own successes and failures.
I enjoy the success, and being proud of producing high quality produce, of working for incremental productivity and quality gains through stock breeding improvements, and continual pasture species trials, evaluation, and management.
What advice would you give to the next generation of farmers?
There have been people in every generation who have declared that farming is no longer possible to get into, just as we hear that said today.
I do not believe that is true. Farm ownership in the traditional sense is difficult, I agree, but there are great opportunities to enjoy the benefits of a farming career and to be proud of the contribution you make, to agriculture, to your community and to your country, a contribution no less important than previous generations.
Be innovative, forward thinking, willing to change, strive for quality, do not be distracted by negative people and be proud of your contribution to the production of the necessities of life, food and fibre.