Country Life

Friday 30 January 2015, with Carol Stiles, Susan Murray, Cosmo Kentish-Barnes & Duncan Smith

Rural Curiosities

A DawarfFourth generation sheep and beef farmer and director of Beef and Lamb New Zealand, Andy Fox is breeding dwarf sheep on his North Canterbury property.

They're just the right size to graze under vines and control unwanted vegetation in vineyards.

The unusual sheep have full-sized bodies with legs similar in length to those on corgi dogs. The original dwarf sheep was unexpectedly born on the farm a few years ago and now a breeding programme is aiming to deliver 30 dwarf lambs by early 2016.

Andy has also amassed a huge collection of rural memorabilia on his farm. His great-grandfather settled on the 1400 hectare hill country property, called  Foxdown, in 1877 and the family has been on the land ever since.

The family's farming past and the cultural history of the area are showcased through objects the family have collected over the years and are now proudly displayed in two large farmyard sheds.  

Andy Fox leans on an old petrol pump in the farm museum.

A stumpy
A couple of dwarf sheep.

A pig
Pickle the Kunekune pig.

Ducks Unlimited

A susanDucks Unlimited is a conservation group which aims to increase the number of New Zealand wetlands, as well as developing ecosystems which will support water birds.

The organisation helps  with funding and advice for making wetlands, and members also help raise endangered brown teal and blue duck, for DOC.

Diane Pritt (above) is the new co-patron and farms a 120 hectare sheep and beef farm near Ohakune. Her property, Mitredale, has been in the family since 1948 and now has over 40 wetland areas.

Sir Graeme Harrison

The meat industry veteran, Sir Graeme Harrison is funding a new academic post at Lincoln University - a Professorial Chair in Global Value Chains and Trade.

Regional Wrap

It is dry everywhere, many regions are desperate for rain. The Otago Regional Council is asking the Government to call for a state-of-drought declaration.