‘Shift Happens!’ NI leg of ‘The Resilient Farmer’ tour to begin next week

With just a few days to go until the Northern Ireland leg of ‘Shift Happens! – An Audience with The Resilient Farmer’ tour kicks off, Rural Support is urging farmers and members of the farm family to attend one of the tour dates.

Jovially dubbed ‘The Resilient Farmer’, New Zealand farmer Doug Avery has been praised around the world for his unique approach to farming, the environment and mental health.

After years of spiralling debts, drought and depression, Avery managed to turn his 5,900ac farm into one of New Zealand’s most successful farm businesses, picking up several awards on the way.

He documented his experiences in a book, also titled ‘The Resilient Farmer’, which has sold more than 18,000 copies worldwide.

Avery said: “I will be sharing details of my experience and the journey to where I am now with the hope of inspiring members of the farming community to look at their own approach and to challenge and teach processes of building a more resilient mind.

“To embrace shift and view change as an opportunity – to see that it is our valleys that create our next journey to the peak – and learn the tricks of managing the depths of our valleys.”

Jude McCann, Rural Support chief executive, said: “The timing of this tour could not be more appropriate.

Farmers continue to face challenges in relation to finances and debt, poor market prices, rising costs, increasing workloads and the uncertainty of Brexit.

“No doubt these challenges have a toll on the mental and physical wellbeing of our farmers and farm families and indeed impact upon family relationships.

“I would encourage all farmers and their families to book their tickets for one of the upcoming talks, to ensure that you don’t miss out on hearing Doug’s story.’

The tour, titled “Shift Happens! An Audience with the Resilient Farmer”, has been organised by Rural Support and The Farming Community Network (FCN). It will be held at 12 locations across Northern Ireland, England and Wales from September 30 until October 18.

Dates and venues for the Northern Ireland segment of the tour are as follows:

  • Monday, October 7, Glenavon Hotel, Cookstown;
  • Tuesday, October 8, Mourne Country Hotel, Newry;
  • Wednesday, October 9, Killyhevlin Hotel, Enniskillen;
  • Thursday, October 10, Tullyglass Hotel, Ballymena.

All events start with a light supper, served at 7:00pm.

Tickets for the tour cost £10 a person and include a light supper for all attendees. Further information about the tour, including venues and to book tickets, can be found on the Resilient Farmer Tour website.