Peter hasn’t always been farming, after growing up on a farm, he went to university, taught for 13 years, and worked in Auckland, before he had an epiphany and returned to the family farm.
“It took two hours to commute, I said to Debbie, ‘I reckon I could milk the cows and be home for breakfast, before I get through a traffic jam here’. We thought if we are going to go farming we have to give it a decent crack, my thought was that we would be on this farm for two years and then move to Canterbury, but here we are 22 years later.”
Why go to SMASH events?
Peter has been involved with SMASH since it began, helping to run events on the West Coast. “You have got to put back into your community otherwise you don’t get any fulfilment,” he says.
“We went along to a day about drainage at the Volckmans, the day about paulownias was great, but I think one of the best was when we had DairyBase explained, that was really helpful. The recent day at the Hislops’ farm about effluent was good, and well attended from people from all over the coast. That is what I think is good, people are prepared to travel for SMASH events, we have had good numbers come to Karamea. It’s drawn people off farm to Karamea who probably haven’t been here for a long time.
“SMASH events are more relevant for smaller herds farmers, you don’t feel out of place as you are not among the big corporates. It’s good to have small events like SMASH. I would encourage anyone to go to a SMASH event if they get a chance. I enjoy the interaction with the people afterwards as much as the topics.”