Posted by: rivettingkatetaylor | September 29, 2016

Spring in Eketahuna

A trip back from Wellington a few weeks ago was a great chance to do a story in Wairarapa… so a call to some old Young Farmers colleagues was in order.

Ian and Janet Woodhouse farm near Eketahuna and I did a wee piece on one of their QEII blocks for the Dominion Post a few years ago so knew they would be up for a good farm profile in NZ Farmer.

Ian was an older young farmer when I was a younger young farmer (he was being serious with the Young Farmer of the Year while we were still going away on long weekends with no responsibility!) His older brother Rob and wife Lynne were the regional executive team for the East Coast before I took over from them in the late 1990s.

So anyway…. fortunately I heeded storm warnings and traveled to a friend’s house in Carterton after dropping my sister at the airport (Hi Maree!) I woke up to find the Rimutakas were closed due to snow so good decision!

Snow flurries crossed my path all the way to Woodhouses and continued while I sat drinking coffee and eating muffins in their warm kitchen (oh, and doing an interview...)

Fortunately, the sun shone (kind of) for our photos (trying to organise pet ewes…d’oh… did I not hear the one about not working with children or animals…)



The weather wasn’t so kind when we popped down to the other farm to get some photos of the crops and flats. We did get some photos…. but we got hypothermia on the way back to the ute. Here are some more photos from their farm (including getting caught in a very very very very (where’s that thesaurus) icy squall. At least Janet and I were in the ute… guess where poor Ian was?


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Please read more on the Woodhouse farming operation by clicking right…  here.






Posted by: rivettingkatetaylor | September 19, 2016

Another week ahead


Hi – this is me, trying to rejuvenate my personal writing on because after all, I pay for domain.  The legs aren’t mine, they belong to Tania Kerr, who I wrote about in NZ Farmer this week. No, she’s not kicking the lambs – she’s trying to walk without kicking the lambs! Tania can spend time feeding orphan lambs this month while hundreds of other council wannabes are out campaigning because she’s been re-elected unopposed for the second time.


The logo and business details for communiKate have recently been updated. This is my serious journalistic side so I tend to concentrate on LinkedIn and Facebook for Business for promoting my work. But this blog has been sadly neglected in recent months.

Instead of saving my NZ Farmer and other client stories across to here (I will do some but you can see them regularly on @communiKateTaylor  on Facebook) this is for the musings of rivettingkatetaylor. All the views will be my own and no correspondence shall be entered into. If you don’t like my views, don’t tell me, just go somewhere else. Opinions are just that. They’re not right or wrong, they’re opinions.  The foundation behind them might be flawed… but they’re still not wrong.

And by the way, I’m never wrong. HAHA.

So. Happy Monday.




Posted by: rivettingkatetaylor | August 14, 2016

Changing seasons at Patoka Station

The seasons are changing at Patoka Station and less reliable rainfall is affecting the way it’s farmed.

Crosse Ben and Suzie with steers

It looks green but the grass is much shorter than normal for late winter. That picture is about to change, though owners Ben and Suzie Crosse are unaware of it as they discuss their upcoming lambing, starting from August 31. A storm is approaching the central North Island and will dump 190mm of freezing-cold rain on the 1200ha farm.

Read more…

Posted by: rivettingkatetaylor | July 7, 2016

Five generations at the top of NZ Herefords

This week’s drive took me south about an hour and a half to the farming district between Akitio and Weber, south east of Dannevirke. This is the view south from a high point on the farm (gorgeous day for it, although the wind was a tad fresh!)

There are many people who have taken jobs or positions previously held by one of their parents or grandparents, but this history is way cooler… Philip Barnett has followed in the footsteps of his father, grandfather, great grandfather AND great, great grandfather!

Click here to read more about the new President of NZ Herefords.

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Posted by: rivettingkatetaylor | June 16, 2016

New face for Gisborne/Wairoa Feds

Reynolds puppy

Charlie Reynolds is the new president of Gisborne-Wairoa Federated Farmers (pictured with heading dog pup Sprite).

“Roads are my big concern but also farmers have lots of other things to worry about at the same time… things like health and safety and water plans. Many of those types of issues are looked at by our head office staff and elected people but we need to keep up with it all to make sure Gisborne and Wairoa don’t get left behind. We’re trying to avoid that “one size fits all” plan that just isn’t applicable on Gisborne hill country out the back of Tolaga or Motu.”

Read more about his farm and what drives him to take on politics…



Posted by: rivettingkatetaylor | June 16, 2016

Communication winner

Tim Mackle
The 2016 Landcorp Agricultural Communicator of the Year is DairyNZ chief executive Dr Tim Mackle.
This is the 30th year the Landcorp Agricultural Communicator of the Year title has been awarded. It is administered by the New Zealand Guild of Agricultural Journalists and Communicators and recognises excellence in communicating agricultural issues, events or information.
From the press release:
 In his time as DairyNZ CEO, Tim’s excellence as a communicator has enabled him to provide an extraordinary level of leadership for the dairy sector. This has been particularly evident over the past 12 months when the industry has faced a difficult period in the media with low milk prices, issues with animal welfare and environmental standards. He has spoken out, challenged opinions and most importantly, used his position to educate and change views of the sector. His has been a prevailing voice for his industry and he has regularly featured on television news and in daily regional and national publications.
His reach has extended beyond rural publications to mainstream media, the general public and decision makers. Hailing from farming roots, Tim is able to build rapport with farmers and relate to their communities. His communications are regular and he is a visible face for the industry, giving him mana and prestige as a communicator.
His career has taken him through various roles and he continues to look to the next generation, working with DairyNZ to increase the number of graduates entering the dairy industry.
Tim is generously gifting his $2500 prize money to the Rural Support Trust…. a charitable organisation to work with people and families in the rural community when times are tough on the farm.
Posted by: rivettingkatetaylor | June 13, 2016

Seven generations tread the soil at Tolaga

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A heavy shower of rain is passing through and the temperature is plummeting outside, but the fire’s roaring in the Mokairau Station homestead and a lot of good-natured banter is being traded across the kitchen table.

It’s a welcome respite from Mokairau’s shearing shed for three of the four Reeves boys and their brother-in-law who have been doing a quick belly crutch of the farm’s ewe flock. (We dragged them outside during the afternoon run for this photo while it was dry!)

Peter and Christine Reeves and their family farm 20,000 stock units (cattle, sheep and deer) on more than 2000ha at Whangara, north of Gisborne.  This business is as much about family as it is farming.

Read more…

Posted by: rivettingkatetaylor | May 27, 2016

Farm helps fund tertiary students

Most of the time, the farm profiles I do for the NZ Farmer just are not work.

I had fun doing this story. Max often has to call my better half for business reasons so we’ve had brief but friendly conversations for a few years now… it was nice to finally meet you Max!

Young farm managers, there’s a job going here next year when Max hits the road! Thirty years is a great milestone.

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Here’s the story… about how a farm east of Dannevirke has helped hundreds of young people with their tertiary studies.

It’s actually two farms now… owned by the Harwood Farm Trust set up by Myra Annie Zita Arnaboldi in 1981 as a way of combining the two great interests in her life, teaching and farming. She was a Waipawa primary school principal who inherited the Weber farm from her parents.


Posted by: rivettingkatetaylor | May 26, 2016

Why we need careers days at schools…


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A high school careers expo led Gisborne’s Emma Pollitt into an agricultural career and a love of working with cattle. The 23-year-old was named the Allflex Senior Beef Ambassador at the Future Beef event held during the 2016 Beef Expo in Feilding.             Read more…



Young stock handlers in action – thanks to Future Beef and Maria Robbie for the photos.

Posted by: rivettingkatetaylor | May 5, 2016

55 years of breeding at Dandaloo Angus

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With a twinkle in his eye aimed at wife and daughter-in-law sitting at the table with him, David Thomson says “women rule the world” in his business… the cattle business.

“If I was buying a bull, I tried to make sure it had a good dam line behind it,” he says.

David and Barbara Thomson began Dandaloo Angus Stud on a hill country property at Pirinoa on the South Wairarapa coast in 1961. It is now run by their son and daughter-in-law, Angus and Trish Thomson, on a 492-hectare farm at Admiral Hill near Gladstone.

Read more…

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