Farmers’ dinner one of a kind
Farmers coming into the Tokoroa catchment area will be welcomed with a ‘‘ unique’’ dinner held next month.
The annual event organised by the Tokoroa Federated Farms branch will host up to 200 people at the Southern United Rugby Clubrooms on July 8.
Chair of the branch Mary-Ann Mathis said the dinner was unique in the farming community.
‘‘ Most people that come say they’ve never been to something like this.’’
It’s been a tradition to have a ‘‘ welcome- in social’’ since the 1950s.
‘‘I think it started as a cup of tea in the local town hall.’’
Mathis said events are held across the country usually at the local town, but most weren’t as big as this.
In the last few years, a cultural group from one of the high schools had put on a performance.
However this year Tokoroa business owner and Supersports organiser Larry Sullivan will be a guest speaker with the focus being on sports in the district.
‘‘A lot of people get involved in sport in the South Waikato.’’
It’s part of the district’s identity, she said, and one of the reasons why Tokoroa is so ‘‘special’’.
To put on such an event also helps farmers ease into the community according to Mathis.
‘‘ I don’t think people realise when you shift on June 1, it’s not just shifting house.
‘‘You move your whole business and lives.
‘‘That’s why I think its important for people to just talk.’’
It’s a way to get to know their fellow farmers who have moved into the district like them or those who have made Tokoroa their home.
For Tokoroa farmer Paul Nelson, the move 12 months ago from Cambridge was a big job.
The 50/50 sharemilker packed up his family of four, now five, and his business for a three year contract managing 700 cows.
The only move he had done beforehand was from the United Kingdom, but it certainly wasn’t the same.
‘‘It’s different moving a house than a backpack.’’
He described it as really hard work’’.
Lucky for him and his wife
‘‘crazy and Louise, his friends, family, previous sharemilkers and the farm owner made it easier.
The most difficult part was transporting the stock.
‘‘We came from a smaller farm so we brought a few cows from all over the place.’’
If he could give any advice to those who will move for the first time, it’s to plan and call in as many favours as you can.
Nelson attended the dinner last year and said it was a new experience with an opportunity to meet a lot of the service providers.
Since his move he’s settled into the Tokoroa community, and hoped to stay on for at least six years.
Packing up a business and a family is no easy job, as Tokoroa farmer Paul Nelson can tell you.