Farmers hit the surf

Southland Surfing School founder and New Zealand surfing champion Jess Terill introduced more than 40 farmers to surfing last week as part of the nation-wide Surfing for Farmers initiative. Photo: Supplied

SOUTHLAND farmers traded the paddock for the ocean following a push to take a break from the demands of the industry.

Agricultural workers were encouraged to get off farm last Thursday and have a go at the Surfing for Farmers initiative of its kind in Southland.

The cool afternoon temperatures did not deter more than 40 Southland farmers to give surfing a go at Monkey Island.

Wreys Bush dairy farmer Debby Egan was one of the first to arrive and last to get out of the sea.

“I’m really pleased I came. I enjoyed getting out there doing something I haven’t done before, we will be back next Thursday,” she said.

An initiative originally launched in Gisborne, Bayleys Gisborne Country salesman and long-time surfer Stephen Thomson came up with the idea to introduce farmers to the joy of the sport.

day to day with farmers who were experiencing the stress and demands that their business brings.

“Seeing the statistics about farmers’ mental health, which are not good, it got me fired up to think there must be something I could do about it.”Authentic Nike SneakersBoots