Town and country meet in support

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Southland Federated Farmers president Geoffrey Young and Southland Chamber of Commerce chief executive Sheree Carey with one of about 150 tractors which were part of The Town & Country Hui event in Invercargill last week.

“WE don’t want to break the law. We don’t want to destroy the environment. We just want to be farmers doing what we do best.”

Those were the words of farming advocate Suzanne Hannigan about the Government’s freshwater legislation.

Federated Farmers and the Southland Chamber of Commerce hosted the Town and Country Hui last week for Southland farmers and “townies” to all learn about the regulations.

Connor (6), Lennox (4) and Nevaeh (2) Smak have a blast with a tractor during the The Town & Country Hui event in Invercargill.

Southland Chamber of Commerce chief executive Sheree Carey said the main idea was bringing town and country people together in support of Southland’s farmers.

“Our economy is cushioned by the rural sector and so we need these guys. The whole region needs them and we should support them.

“They supported us through Covid why our economy hasn’t tanked, so we need to show up today and show them that we are grateful.”

Hannah (7, left) and Charlotte Hunt (11) with their pet calf Willow.

Federated Farmers vice-president Bernadette Hunt said the event was not a protest, but a show of unity and camaraderie in Southland and a chance for everyone to learn how the freshwater legislation would affect them.

“It is often said when a farmer sneezes, the whole economy catches a cold.

“So this is about everybody coming together and recognising that it is important farmers can be successful and do what they need to do – but we also want to protect freshwater as well. [We] have a lot of ways we can do both.”

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