Life-threatening brain injury + 15 surgeries no match for resilient Queenstown farmer
Health and Wellbeing
Health and Wellbeing

Life-threatening brain injury + 15 surgeries no match for resilient Queenstown farmer

Jack Cocks is a Queenstown farmer who suffered a life-threatening brain injury, had 15 surgeries and had to learn to talk and walk again following the procedures.

He is now back on the farm as an ambassador for FarmStrong who has also researched and written about resilience as part of his Kellogg research project.

Cocks shares his extraordinary story of learning to talk and walk again, his return to farming, and his involvement with FarmStrong. He also discusses his Kellogg research project on farmer resilience, revealing key findings from interviews with fellow farmers who have weathered significant adversities. 

Cocks emphasises the critical roles of purpose, connection, and well-being in overcoming tough times. 

"They all had a strong purpose...they're all very good at keeping in touch with other people, keeping connected with who could help them," he explains.

The conversation further explores the stories of five farmers, each confronting their own unique adversities ranging from health issues to financial struggles and the impact of climate change. The narrative is enriched by a South African couple's tale, Kevin and Jody, who faced financial hardship in the dairy industry after immigrating to New Zealand. 

A poignant moment occurs when a stranger's act of kindness rekindles their hope, illustrating the profound effect of optimism and support during dark times. 

"Just overcoming an incredible amount of adversity, you know what this couple and this family were able to do. It's, it's amazing," Cocks remarks, showcasing the couple's courage. 

The conversation doesn't just share individual stories; it provides insights into the concept of resilience as a learnable skill, offering hope to those who might not see themselves as naturally resilient. 

This idea is further backed by Cocks's research and literature review, which concludes that resilience can indeed be developed through specific strategies and behaviours. 

Cocks's journey, combined with his research and the moving stories of other farmers, makes for an educational and heartening episode that ultimately serves as a testament to the unbreakable spirit of those who work the land.

Listen to the full chat between Jack Cocks and Dominic George above.

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