17 Jul 2015

Creating support for farmers

3:34 pm on 17 July 2015

A farmer who is helping others transform their businesses back into a financial and environmental success says business cycles can make or break people.

Doug Avery has been touring the country with his Resilient Farmer meetings, talking about how he overcame depression and rescued his farm from collapse.

He said it was about creating support beyond the bank manager turning up.

"But I always like to remind farmers that are going through a difficult period of time that sometimes if your settings are wrong you're better to do whatever is necessary to correct those settings. Sometimes it can be as bad as leaving the industry."

"I like to point out to people that there was time in my life where I thought that I had no hope and no future and then I invited people to come and help me. Then from that broken place we came back to being in 2010 South Island Farmers of the Year. That was because we decided to accept the journey of change."

"I think bankers are like anyone else. They sell money and they will do their best to protect the money that they've sold at any given time. Sounds tough, but it's part of the business and our cycle."

"[Farmers in Canterbury] are suffering from crippling drought and that's a really hell-of-a debilitating type of process.

"But those guys are well aware that there's lots of people are thinking about them and they're getting a lot of support. They've got more things planned and it's really really important for people in that situation to look after their own well-being."

Mr Avery said farmers often coped better with low payouts than they did drought.

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