Farmer Doug Avery in Scotland Speaking On Drought
New Zealander Doug Avery, known as ‘The Resilient Farmer’, recently spoke about having endured the worst drought “in living memory” at a tour jointly organised by The Royal Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland (RHASS) and rural charity RSABI.
It followed a time when Avery’s family farm in the Marlborough area was nearly put out of business during the 1990s when a decade-long drought gripped the area.
Avery has since built up a reputation for helping and advising farmers in his home country facing crisis in their lives, after recovering from depression and a dependence on alcohol.
The results could have been devastating in a country where the suicide rate is high, especially amongst farmers.
He said his turnaround was triggered after reluctantly attending a talk on the drought defying characteristics of properly managed, which revitalised his enthusiasm for farming.
“It gave me the tools to deal with the problem. Too often fear drives people the wrong way,” Avery said. “The key is to have the capacity to change.”
In 2017, he was awarded the New Zealand Order of Merit for his services to agriculture and mental health.
Original article by Olivia Midgley, Farmers Guardian, September 30, 2018.