Publisher’s note

Passing the baton to the next generation.

In Editor’s Note3 Minutes
Cleardale Station, Rakaia Gorge with Ben Todhunter. For Country-Wide Image by Sarah Ivey Photographer 12 - 15 July 2023 ~ ~

As you receive your fresh, new copy of Country-Wide, we will be close to going to the polling booths where the outcome is set to mark a significant time for New Zealand farming’s future.

Regardless of the outcome at the polls, it is a monumental time for our industry as the batons are being passed to the next generation. A notion further highlighted to me at a recent political debate I was involved in with Future Farmers at Lincoln University.

This generational shift sees my farming friends moving further into their family businesses, and our industry leadership looking younger and more diverse. There is no denying it is on the shoulders of giants that we are standing today; giants who in their own late 30s leaned into the challenge.

For my family, it was the creation of a stone fruit industry that my great-uncle helped build after the war in the 1950s; a deer industry in the 1970s in which my step-father was flying; a Merino industry in the 1980s in which my uncle was building value chains.

It was also the age that Tony Leggett and Dean Williamson took over the custodianship of Country-Wide.

It is the rich stories where, like me, a high-country kid, journalist Sarah Horrocks (nee Ivey) jumps on a horse and does a cattle muster at Cleardale that makes the reading experience of Country-Wide so incredibly tantalising, and that you cannot get anywhere else.

It is the stories of our farmers, who are the backbone of our industry – past, present and future – alongside the tangible, practical solutions-led journalism of everything from India to endophytes that I just love and look forward to continuing under the talented eye of our Group Editor, Jackie Harrigan and new Deputy Editor, Rebecca Greaves.

Over the last 22 years, Editor Terry Brosnahan has transformed Country-Wide and is a respected figure in the history of the magazine.

I wish to thank him for his contribution as he steps down.

As the rural media industry’s kindest man, Tony Leggett, signs off, he is effectively handing on the baton, entrusting my business partner Lucinda (Diack) and me as the new generation at Country-Wide, with an oath of commitment to your farming journey. We, as those before us have done, will be alongside you with trusted ideas and inspiration so we can continue to farm together into the headwinds.