Rural resilience + rugby: Navigating NZ's drought + sporting spirit

Rural resilience + rugby: Navigating NZ's drought + sporting spirit

Richard Loe, a prominent figure in Canterbury's agricultural scene and Carter's Tyres Brand Ambassador joins Dom George to delve into the stark realities facing South Island farmers amidst a severe drought, locally known as the 'big dry.' 

Loe provides firsthand insight into the difficulties of weaning and pregnancy testing during this arduous period, indicating the extent to which farmers must adapt to the harsh environment, including sending livestock away to find sufficient grazing. 

"We to the east of them and it's bare," Loe states, painting a stark image of the parched lands. 

He also discusses the financial strain on farmers, as well as their resistance to proposed fee hikes at the Beef + Lamb NZ AGM.

"99% farmers are not facts against all, but it's bloody tough out there." 

Amid these challenges, Loe offers a silver lining with Fonterra's positive financial performance, suggesting a beacon of hope for those enduring the tough agricultural conditions. 

"Isn't that a nice shiny light for the agricultural sector for once?"

The conversation then shifts focus to the rugby world, where a coach's controversial post-game comments have sparked debates on player safety and the role of referees in ensuring fair play. Loe expresses disappointment in the coach's defence of dangerous play, highlighting the need for responsibility and acknowledgment of mistakes. 

"Sorry, if a coach is going to say that sort of thing about that sort of incident, he could have turned around and said you know, I probably shouldn't have done that."

Additionally, they touch on the waning enthusiasm for rugby attendance, reminiscing about the days of full stadiums and pondering the factors contributing to current Loer turnouts. 

With a mix of scepticism and hope, Loe discusses the upcoming high-stakes match between the Blues and the Crusaders, as well as the Warriors' pursuit of their first win, juxtaposing the fervour for sports against the agricultural backdrop. 

"Eden Park should be full this weekend," Loe speculates, though doubting a sell-out crowd despite the significance of the game. 

Listen to the full chat between Richard Loe and Dominic George above.

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