I was able to congratulate some of New Zealand’s true custodians on Saturday night as the guest of honour at the Century Farm Awards, held in Lawrence, Central Otago.
Thirty-two faming families were celebrating the milestone of farming their properties for more than 100 years and some for more than 150 years.
These families represent the great things about New Zealand farmers - past and present – that is, resilience, adaptability, gritty determination and a love of the land.
The families honoured have farmed through two world wars, the Great Depression, Britain’s entry to the European Economic Community, the oil shocks of the 1970s and the elimination of government subsidies in the 1980s.
On top of that, they are now farming through the current global recession.
As a first generation farmer I truly appreciate what an achievement this is.