Drought Shout brings community together

Tasman farmers Tarsh Newport and Lisa Anglesey organised a get together for local farmers affected by a recent drought, they had no idea what lay in store for them that evening – rain. Tarsh tells us how it came about.

We were in a drought situation and hadn’t had any rain since before Christmas, so there were a lot of pretty stressed out farmers out there. We’d also had the bush fires, which were pretty scary. So my friend Lisa and I decided to organise an event to bring the community together to support each other.

We came up with the idea of a ‘Drought Shout’, which we held on 14 March at the Tapawera Rugby Football Club. The evening event was free for local farmers and included a barbeque, drinks and spot prizes.

Rain, sweet rain

Funnily enough it actually rained on the night of the ‘Drought Shout’. Lots of people were joking that we should have had it earlier so that the rain would have come earlier.   Since then they’ve had some decent rainfall so things are looking up. Rain always puts a smile on your face.  About 200 people turned up the Drought Shout.  It was way more than we expected, which was great. Everybody had a good time. Families came for the first part and then the adults stayed on. Thanks to everyone who turned up and made it such a fun night.  It really brought the community together during a time of need.

Some people got to meet neighbours they didn’t know they had or didn’t know very well. It was good for everybody to talk and share what they were going through. People were just enjoying the company of other farming folk.

Thanks to local businesses

The Drought Shout was made possible because of the local businesses that donated food, drink, spot prizes and paid for the venue. We were blown away by their support and they came along too and enjoyed themselves. It was just incredible. It shows what a great community we have.

It’s good to remind people they have neighbours who may understand their situation and to also check on your neighbours to make sure they are OK.

I’m really passionate about helping out the local community, we may hold another ‘Drought Shout or get together soon.  We’ll wait and see what the need is. We could do a winter thing or wait until next year if there’s another drought.

Thanks Tarsh for sharing with us how you brought the community together for a fun night out.  Having strong, resilient communities is essential as it improves the wellbeing of individuals, family/whanau and the wider community.   If you have a rural community event planned that you would like to share with us please contact Farmstrong at info@farmstrong.co.nz.

For more great tips on wellbeing and how you can look after yourself, have a further look around Farmstrong. Make sure you take the wellbeing checklist to find out where your wellbeing is at.

Sign up for the Farmstrong newsletter