Posted by: rivettingkatetaylor | October 28, 2015

Loving the romance of deer farming

Grant Charteris with his velvet stags

Grant Charteris with his velvet stags

Passion for the deer industry is evident from the moment you turn into Forest Road Farm, the home of Hawke’s Bay deer farmer Grant Charteris, who is fighting hard for his industry.

I paid him a visit (and stole the newborn daughter for a cuddle!)

Read more…

Posted by: rivettingkatetaylor | July 1, 2015

Gorgeous view on a gorgeous day

Who wouldn’t want to be farming on a fresh, clear winter’s day with a fantastic view of the Hawke’s Bay coast?

This is Heughan Gordon – luck was on my side for the visit there earlier this month (weather wise). It’s not often I ask farmers to take a photo of me as well though, so I better include both of them!


Millstone cows4



Click here to read his story on

PS My favourite actor at the moment is Sam Heughan (Outlander’s Jamie Fraser)… Farmer Heughan couldn’t believe I knew how to spell his name!

PPS Here’s another couple of photos I liked that didn’t make it to publication :)

Millstone Heughan Gordon Millstone hills2

Posted by: rivettingkatetaylor | June 23, 2015

Another lovely pair of farmers :)

Several weeks ago I visited Philip Holt and his son Philip, who went through Young Farmers with me (well, I was an old young farmer when he was a young young farmer).

Lovely farm, lovely people, lovely cheese toasties for lunch – thank you!

It was cold up on the hill but the view was still spectacular.  The historic Tara’s Marae is on the right side of the wide shot of the flood flats/estuary (and the caption was also supposed to say the forestry on the far side of the flats didn’t belong to them!)

Holts Philip Jnr and Philip

Living with lifestylers as neighbours

Enjoy your read – Philip Snr and Robyn are inspirational (and lovely) people :)





Posted by: rivettingkatetaylor | June 15, 2015

Making farming viable for the whole family

A few weeks ago I visited the Humphries family (mainly the three boys and Dad) to talk about what they had in place for succession. This interview came about after I did a wee piece with Hamish and David for a Hawke’s Bay Regional Council pest control newsletter (they had an issue with toxoplasmosis… the spring of 2012 saw the start of a new trapping programme with 34 cats and 17 ferrets caught in just three weeks in a range of cage, snare and leg-hold traps). So here’s the story on or you can read about it in this week’s NZ Farmer in your mailbox :)

Photo by Kate Taylor, Fairfax NZ

Photo by Kate Taylor, Fairfax NZ

Don’t forget to visit Kate Taylor – communiKate on Facebook – especially if you want to comment. Thanks!

Posted by: rivettingkatetaylor | February 19, 2015

NZ Farmer profile – Mark Toulmin, CHB

Here is one of the latest offerings from my NZ Farmer pieces. It ran last week, so entries for the Silver Fern Farms Hawke’s Bay Farmer of the Year will have now closed.

Mark Toulmin4

Central Hawke’s Bay farmer Mark Toulmin says winning the Hawke’s Bay Farmer of the Year title opened a lot of doors for his family’s farming operation…. read more

Obviously I have written the story and taken the photo for NZ Farmer so copyright remains with it.

Posted by: rivettingkatetaylor | February 3, 2015

new life on Facebook

If you are a Facebook user, this is the best place to go to get news from the writing world of Kate Taylor – communiKate.

I have been doing some writing for NZ Farmer (loving it!) and will put some links on here as soon as I lift my head to take a breath.


Posted by: rivettingkatetaylor | December 20, 2014


My festive season thoughts have flown out the window as I think of my friend Bruce whose mother remains missing on their Hawke’s Bay farm.  May you find peace in some way in the coming days.  Big hugs.

Thoughts for all those missing loved ones in other ways this Christmas.

Look after each other and stay safe out there.

Until 2015,


Posted by: rivettingkatetaylor | November 1, 2014

Homeopathy vs ebola?


Understatement of the year:

Green MP Steffan Browning says giving his support to a call for the World Health Organisation to deploy homeopathic remedies to combat the Ebola epidemic in West Africa was ‘probably pretty unwise’.

Just a little unwise?

Mr Browning this week signed a petition started by Australian Fran Sheffield which calls on the World Health Organisation (WHO) to “End the suffering of the Ebola crisis. Test and distribute homeopathy as quickly as possible to contain the outbreaks.” . . .

Asked whether he thought homeopathy could cure Ebola, Mr Browning said: “It’s not for me to go down that track at all.

The World Health Organisation, world health authorities are doing that.”

“They will be considering I hope absolutely every possible options to this very concerning disease.”

Asked whether that should include homeopathy, he said “Why not?”

“Internationally homeopathy is considered in some places.. I am…

View original post 31 more words

Posted by: rivettingkatetaylor | November 1, 2014

Prestigious Nuffield Scholars announced

A diverse group of rural New Zealanders has been chosen as the latest crop of Nuffield Scholars.

Nuffield New Zealand and Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy have announced the scholarships at a function in Wellington for West Coast dairy farmer Bede O’Connor; Woodville dairy farmer Ben Allomes; Rotorua-based DairyNZ regional leader Sharon Morrell; Whanganui farmer, entrepreneur and conservationist Dan Steele and Fonterra employee Satwant Singh from Morrinsville.

2015 Nuffield NZ Scholars - from left: Bede O'Connor, Sharon Morrell, Ben Allomes, Satwant Singh and Dan Steele.

2015 Nuffield NZ Scholars – from left: Bede O’Connor, Sharon Morrell, Ben Allomes, Satwant Singh and Dan Steele. Photo credit: Mark Coote.

The five new Scholars join more than 145 others who have been awarded Nuffield Scholarships in the past 60 years, which has been a substantial investment in New Zealand agriculture’s past, current and future leaders, says Nuffield NZ chairman Julian Raine.

“Only a handful are awarded each year so a Nuffield Scholarship is one of rural New Zealand’s most valuable and prestigious awards. To be a Scholar is a life-changing experience.”

The Nuffield NZ Scholarship offers the opportunity for overseas travel, study of the latest developments in a number of leading agricultural countries and provides an introduction to leaders and decision makers not accessible to the ordinary traveller.

One of the current 2014 Scholars is Palmerston North potato grower, agricultural contractor and equity dairy farmer Paul Olsen.

“It has been a brilliant experience for me, seeing other countries and a variety of cultures, mind boggling but also eye opening. New Zealand has a huge opening for the future, in terms of things like food proteins and niche products, it’s there for the taking. It’s a massive opportunity for us to take on the challenge.”

Olsen says the Nuffield name opened many doors.

“I visited some massive operations – people wouldn’t hold back. It was 100 per cent nuts and bolts business information you wouldn’t get any other way.”

He says the contacts made and networks formed will last a lifetime.

“I made some very strong contacts and friendships, especially through the UK, Ireland and Scotland. Many of them are coming to stay here in the next 18 months or so as well, either travelling individually or finishing their own Nuffield Scholarship travels.”

Nuffield Scholars travel internationally for at least four months in their Scholarship year (not necessarily consecutively), participate in a Contemporary Scholars conference with 60 Nuffield Scholars from around the world and attend a six-week Global Focus Programme with an organised itinerary through several countries with other scholars. They also have their own individual study programme with a research report due at the end of their travels.

The 2015 research topics are likely to cover issues such as the internal growth potential of China; recognising and utilising New Zealand’s greatest asset – its people; farming communities’ responses to changes in environmental regulations or other constraints; the potential of “Brand New Zealand” and how having communities involved in conservation will show value in looking after the environment; and farmer understanding of their financial and overall business health focusing around budgeting, risk management, stress levels for farmers, suicide levels and farming pressure.

Posted by: rivettingkatetaylor | October 28, 2014

New face at New Zealand Farmer

Just a note to let you all know why I haven’t been on here recently….. because I have been busy, which is great for the mind and the bank balance, and also because the mighty Magpies won and kept retaining the Ranfurly Shield!! Photos below. But the real news is that I have taken on a fixed-term position (20 hours a week for minimum of six months or up to a year) for the NZ Farmer working under the talented Jon Morgan. Job sharing with Terry Tacon – my chief reporter from Herald Tribune days.  Looking forward to it!

me and the shield


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