Young farmers bond over bales

Hind Young Farmer?s Mitchell Keir in action. Photo Toni Williams

Many hands make light work, especially when it’s carting meadow hay bales weighing around 25kg each.

Hinds Young Farmers members spent a couple of hours this week carting bales of the hay for farmer Thomas Bailey from paddocks on Trevors Road, on the outskirts of Ashburton. It was destined for stock food.

It was Mr Bailey’s second season harvesting from the three hectare site, which sits next to Mill Creek Pony Club.

It produced 1000 bales last year but with less rain earlier this season there had been a poorer offering with just 250 bales on site.

The bale carting was a fundraiser for the young farmers members and a physical workout and a social occasion.

Up to 10 members often turned out for any of the carting jobs, which generally took a couple of hours and usually ended up with a catch-up afterwards.

Club chair Kate Maddy said it was a good fundraiser for the club and helped out around the district.

“They are quite small jobs but they help people out,” she said.

Ms Maddy is working on a 900 cow dairy farm in Ealing, south of Ashburton.

She hails from sheep farming and meatwork operations in Wales but has spent the past two years at the Ealing farm. She applied to an online advertisement.

“I love it,” she said, of being in the dairy industry in New Zealand.

Although it’s been a learning curve in the dairy industry, she has had good support.

“It’s been a really good farm to learn on,” she said. “I’ve got a lot out of it.”

And despite travelling to New Zealand on her own, she has made some great friends through the young farmers group. It had provided social connection to others in the district.

Hinds members meet the first Tuesday of each month at the Hinds Wayside Tavern and were always open to new members, Ms Maddy said.

Members did not need to work, or live, in the rural industry but many of the activities were rural based, she said. In the past they had included target shooting, 4WDing, industry speakers and a visit to an Angus and sheep genetics operation in Fairlie. But there was also a picnic at the Winchester polo and touch rugby at Hinds.

-By Toni WilliamsAsics footwearnike lunar janoski black and gold swoosh blue