For the first time in many years, a thriving young farmers club is operating in the Te Puke area.
President Sean Cuff says 30 people have joined the club, which draws members from the Western Bay of Plenty region and parts of Rotorua.
Matt Jones, of the Te Puke Young Farmers Club, (right) went beyond the call of duty to help raise $3400 for LandSAR at a Young Farmers Fight Night in Hamilton.
“Our members, which include five women, are a mix of farmers and young people involved in the industry, including a rural banker, fencing contractor and myself, as a rural contractor.
“You don’t have to be a farmer to belong and we’d welcome people from the kiwifruit and avocado industries too,” says Sean.
“Our farmer members so far are all dairy farming, but we’d like to have some drystock farmers too.”
Sean says the club is part of NZ Young Farmers and offers many benefits to members.
“Members can enter the Young Farmer of the Year contest, which has major prizes at a regional and national level. There is also the opportunity for training and to take courses at a subsidised rate through the club.”
However, it’s the social side and opportunity to network with others, who have the same interest in the land, agriculture and the outdoors, which is the biggest appeal.
“We meet each month at Mollys in Te Puke for our formal meeting but try to have weekly informal meetings so everyone can catch up and have some fun time out from work.
“It’s great to network, especially if you might be having an issue on the farm, like with a virus among calves, as others might have had the same experience and can help out with advice. It’s also a good way to help find jobs.”
Last month the club took part in a Young Farmers Fight Night at Mystery Creek’s Bledisloe building, with club member Matt Jones entering the boxing ring to help raise $3400 for LandSAR.
“We would also welcome sponsorship from local businesses to assist with club activities,” says Sean.
Te Puke’s young farmers club meets 7pm on the last Tuesday of every month at Molly O’Connors, 110 Jellicoe St, Te Puke.
For details, contact: Sean Cuff on 027 328 9765 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call secretary Jess Siemelink on 027 424 3907 or email: email@example.com
For more information about New Zealand Young Farmers, go to: www.youngfarmers.co.nz