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While 94 percent of New Zealand welcomes in the festive barbecue season, summer is the ideal time for people to get out into rural New Zealand to discover farming.
“As the saying goes, you make hay while the sun shines and farmers will be hard at it over the festive season,” says Bruce Wills, Federated Farmers President.
“We’ll take some time out to celebrate the true meaning of Christmas with friends and family, but after an exceptional spring for many parts, summer is a big part of the farming year.
“For those with no connection to farming, this summer is the perfect opportunity to visit rural New Zealand and discover farming.
“It’s as easy as visiting one of the many farm parks up and down the country or even better, having an actual farm stay. Simply put ‘farm park’ or ‘farm stay’ into Google along with where you are travelling to and I’m certain you’ll get plenty of options back.
“Who knows, people may be inspired by what they see over summer since many market gardens will be open as well. There’s nothing like seeing and experiencing things for yourself and it’s why Federated Farmers Farm Day is back on 18 March 2012.
“Many farms like my own also run tourism ventures so there’s much to see and do in rural New Zealand this summer.
“We’d only ask for people to be patient and not to speed because our roads aren’t like motorways. Most of the fun is in travelling than arriving so be prepared for the odd one-way bridge and some unsealed roads.
“There’s also a chance some drivers may come across livestock being moved on-road.
“If people do, simply slow down and be prepared to stop if stock are coming towards you. Please don’t toot your horn as that could panic stock and no one likes that. The farmer moving stock will also be pleased to talk things through with you as well.
“Anyway, it’s a special experience to be surrounded by animals and makes for great photography, video and above all, memories. If you come up behind stock being moved, simply slow down and just follow the farmer's directions.
“Federated Farmers is asking Kiwis to enjoy the summer break and to get out into New Zealand’s superb countryside,” Mr Wills concluded.