City gal looks at coun­try life

South Waikato News would like to in­tro­duce our new farm­ing colum­nist Brenna Parthe­more

South Waikato News - - NEWS -

Iwould like to in­tro­duce my­self. I am the Ru­ral Lon­eS­tar, a city girl who was raised in Dal­las Ft Worth Texas. Our pop­u­la­tion in that area is roughly 6.5 mil­lion peo­ple. I grew up in a fif­teenth-floor high rise. My back­yard was a tennis court. The only herd I’ve ever seen is a herd of women rush­ing to shop for clothes. The most ru­ral I get is driv­ing to the air­port. I had never heard of a gum­boot un­til I came to New Zealand and I was ex­cited when I was told it was footwear. NOT what I ex­pected. I will be ex­plor­ing the rich ru­ral land of the Waikato. I am a bit scared of what I may find but most of all I hope I wear the right out­fit.

My makeup is per­fect and I have the hottest pink over­alls, my hair is clipped, my heels have been re­placed with gum­boots and I am ready to roll onto the Wat­son farm in Waotu.

I ar­rive at the Wat­son Farm just north of Toko­roa. I am sur­prised at how green this coun­try re­ally is and it matches this cute cardi­gan I have at home – dang, I should have worn that.

It’s beau­ti­ful, it makes me think back to my birth land Texas and the land­scape there looks more like a burnt out desert, but this place is magic, it looks healthy.

I am so ex­cited to be here, I have never been on a real work­ing farm be­fore.

I am joined by the Wat­son fam­ily who will be giv­ing me a tour of this beau­ti­ful farm.

The Wat­son fam­ily have been sharemilk­ing here for three sea­sons. I asked what share milk­ing is like and from their an­swers it seems to be a seven day a week job! Oh my good­ness, no week­ends. While talk­ing to the man of the farm Wayne Wat­son I learn the ro­tary shed was built in 1975 and holds 22 bales. Wayne brings over the first cow I have ever been near. This cow is huge, maybe huge is the wrong word? Ok it’s gi­gan­tic. Now I know I have never been close to a cow be­fore but I no­tice some­thing that does not seem right even to my un­trained eyes. I no­tice two lit­tle hooves com­ing out the back end of the cow. ‘‘Eeewww’’ some­thing is to­tally wrong, it must be poop­ing an alien or some­thing .

I am told that the mother cow is in labour and the baby calf is breech.

Wayne has me come up and help him with the birth, yes that’s right folks my first day on a New Zealand Farm and I am asked to be a mid­wife to a cow!

Wayne rubs some kind of liq­uid all over his hand and arm. He asks if I would like to put my hand in the cow and help turn the calf. I pass on that, my over­alls are brand new and it would be a shame if they got real dirty but the truth is it seems too early in my farm­ing ca­reer to have my hand up a cow’s butt.

Wayne has a hard time with the calf and has to put ropes on its small feet.

Now I am a big beau­ti­ful girl and Wayne’s not a lit­tle man by any means. He tells me to put all my weight on the rope, I am scared I am go­ing to rip off the baby’s leg. The force that it took was amaz­ing. The baby fi­nally made it out of that hellish birth.

I am in a state of shock. The calf is so big I can­not be­lieve it made it through such a small place. I hear some peo­ple say life is a beau­ti­ful thing and I tend to agree but what an ugly start, so gross.

Un­for­tu­nately the lit­tle baby cow didn’t make it which is a re­al­ity on all farms in New Zealand when a calf is born breech, some make it and some don’t.

I was a lit­tle trau­ma­tised by this, my first day I help life come into this world only to see it go so quickly; what a downer.

To prop up my spir­its I head over to the bobby calf shed. The calves are so cute. I’m sur­prised Wayne let me near them af­ter my tragic at­tempt at be­ing a mid­wife ear­lier, but he is happy to in­tro­duce me to these lit­tle bun­dles of joy that will even­tu­ally pro­vide milk for my morn­ing cup of joe.

I’m in love!! These calves are so gor­geous I get to feed them. They are so strong and re­ally have no prob­lem poop­ing any­where. Please do not poop on my new over­alls is all I can think. I had a great day on the farm. From a city girl per­spec­tive I can re­ally see the ap­peal of the New Zealand farm­ing life. The soli­tude and the close­ness to na­ture is some­thing I felt my self that day. Thank you to the Wat­son Fam­ily and My Fair Farm for my over­alls .

xoxo The Ru­ral Lon­es­tar

Photo: A1 PHOTOGRAPHY Photo: A1 PHOTOGRAPHY

colum­nist Brenna Parthe­more. SUR­PRISE: The Wat­son fam­ily from Waotu were in for a sur­prise when South Waikato News’ Ru­ral Lon­es­tar dropped in.

RU­RAL LON­ES­TAR: South Waikato News

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