Episode 14 – Resilience put into perspective by farmer, Rosie Dowling

March 29, 2024In Podcasts5 Minutes

If anyone is going to put life, farming and resilience into perspective, Rosie Dowling is one of the best with her incredible story. 

On the first day of Covid lockdown she was in Starship hospital when police arrived to share the news of Gav Dowling’s tragic on farm death. With three young children and debt in their first farm, Rosie wasn’t going anywhere and was determined to carry on farming despite a steep learning curve.  

 “I had lost Gavin and I didn’t want to lose the life that I was living with him.”

Now four years on she’s proud of what she’s achieved in the harsh Marlborough climate with a ‘keep it simple’ mindset and how the plan is always to put her family first.

Guests include:

  1. Rosie Dowling, Marlborough sheep & beef farmer
  2. Gerard Vaughan, Farmstrong
  3. Jack Jensen, Fuel Your Stoke Tour


  1. Rebecca Greaves, Editor, Country-Wide
  2. Sarah Perriam-Lampp, Managing Director, CountryWide Media

The episode kicks off with Rosie Dowling sharing her inspiring story of how they were 4 years into their first farm with young children when Gav tragically died in a farming accident and we learn how she has continued farming for her family.

Read Rosie’s story “Farming for Family” in the Country-Wide Autumn 2024 or click here to read online

What are the attributes of resilient farmers? Gerard Vaughan, project director at Farmstrong shares his learnings over the past 10 years of the programme of how important connection with people & community as well as a healthy mindset towards things outside your control is what gets farmers through hardship.  

To wrap the episode, Rebecca catches up with one of her favourite people, Jack Jensen, a farm-boy/extreme sports athlete behind the #sparkthatchat movement and the character who pulled together the Fuel Your Stoke Tour on the East Coast for farmers and their families following Cyclone Gabrielle.


Get the Farmstrong resources on how to Live Well and Farm Well

Check out the video of Fuel Your Stoke Tour event at Tutira 


EVENT SPOTLIGHT: Mates of Mates for Mates – Tarawhiti – Gisborne A&P Showgrounds – 19th April 2024: 

#MATESofMATESforMATES was born in Lockdown 2020, thanks to a great bunch of mates who shared their stories. Now it’s time to give #MOM4M some wings and help our rural mates and raise some funds for the Rural Support Trust Hawke’s Bay.

Now #MOM4M is heading to Tairawhiti on the 19th April, with an event at the Woolshed in the Gisborne A&P Society Showgrounds.

An event like this is seriously needed in a region like Tairawhiti, that has been continually bombarded with weather events going well beyond five years ago. The region is in a state of total disruption across roading, infrastructure and general well-being. People’s resilience is being tested far greater than before, to give them something to look forward to I believe will be good for their wellbeing.

The event is going to be free and starts at 3pm with an hours workshop on well being and some tools that people can take home with them, followed by some complementary hospitality courtesy of Silver Fern Farms and will finish at 5.00pm – gates closing at 5.30pm. There will be two complimentary drinks per person as well as non-alcoholic beverages, so everyone can enjoy the social side of the afternoon chatting with friends and the guest speakers. It’s often in these relaxed social occasions that people will open up to a friend or work cohort – that is priceless, we just need people to feel it’s ok to not be ok, a problem shared is a problem halved.

Matt Chisholm, Ian Kirkpatrick, Cam McLeay, Wanda Douglas and Matt Holden have been confirmed as speakers. This line up will inspire, educate and entertain the audience, along with sharing some personal struggles that might help people in the audience realise that they are not the only one feeling down.

Subscribe to Country-Wide magazine for $59/four magazines plus postage annually: https://country-wide.co.nz/shop/