Hav­ing a laugh off farm

Stratford Press - - The Country - By BRAD MARKHAM

Acom­edy show de­signed to get Taranaki farm­ers off their farms and laugh­ing has been a roar­ing suc­cess. A crowd of 140 peo­ple packed the Ka­puni War Me­mo­rial Hall ear­lier this month for the Farm­strong com­edy show.

Pop­u­lar co­me­di­ans Paul Ego, Jus­tine Smith, Te­vita Manukia and Dar­ren Jar­dine had the au­di­ence roar­ing with laugh­ter.

“My face hurts from laugh­ing so much. It was a fan­tas­tic night,” said Cen­tral Taranaki Young Farm­ers mem­ber Jessie Waite.

The event at­tracted farm­ers — young and old — and sup­port­ers of the ru­ral com­mu­nity.

It was the first of five Farm­strong com­edy nights be­ing held from Tan­gitero­ria to Win­ton over the next two months.

“It was great to get off the farm and have a laugh with the neigh­bours,” said Tariki con­tract milker Ken­zie Bell­ringer.

“Hav­ing it in a ru­ral com­mu­nity hall in­stead of in town is a lot more ap­peal­ing to farm­ers. It was an awe­some night.”

The show was sup­ported by the Ru­ral Sup­port Trust, along­side Farm­strong and NZ Young Farm­ers.

“We have been mak­ing a big ef­fort to raise aware­ness about the im­por­tance of mem­bers look­ing af­ter their men­tal well­be­ing,” said Matthew Her­bert, who is chair of the dis­trict’s five NZ Young Farm­ers clubs.

The Farm­strong ru­ral well­ness pro­gramme en­cour­ages farm­ers to be ac­tive, con­nect with oth­ers and em­brace new ex­pe­ri­ences.

“What Farm­strong is do­ing is bril­liant. It’s great to see so many of you here tonight. It’s healthy to have a good laugh,” said co­me­dian Paul Ego.

“For us, get­ting out of Auck­land to do these gigs is so much fun, even if it is in the mid­dle of nowhere,” Jus­tine Smith joked.

Taranaki Young Farm­ers mem­bers ran the bar and cooked na­chos as a fundraiser at the event.

Paul Ego, Jessie Waite and Dar­ren Jar­dine.

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