Spreading the legs

Sister act: Amy Hoogenboom clears up some column confusion.

In Home Block5 Minutes

Sister act: Amy Hoogenboom clears up some column confusion.

DON’T BELIEVE EVERYTHING YOU read…as if you do, some of you may have been left to believe I have been leading a double life for many years. However, while Canterbury’s winter may have seemed as wet as Southland’s this season, there is no person I would trust less for Agri-nutrient advice for a farm than myself and the only ‘significant’ man in my life has four legs along with an uncanny ability for eating money and turning it to shit.

Thank you to all those that alerted me to the fact that my identity had been stolen. Well done to you clever cookies who worked out there was a minor misprint in the September County-Wide and that the column was written by my sister, Rachael Hoogenboom.

So just in case there is still any confusion Rachael is living in Gore (actually Lumsden since three weeks ago), works for Ballance Agri-nutrients and dates ‘southern lad’, Cameron. Amy is living in North Canterbury, works for Zoetis Genetics, yet to find a southern lad.Now, what have I actually been up to? Well, not as much as I would have liked to have been this time of year, but lockdown has given me very little option to work anywhere else but from the home office.

It has been a great chance to tidy away a few bits of paperwork before the new DNA testing season begins but has presented some challenges in discussing results with clients in which I would most often have an onfarm meeting.

Luckily, the farming folk of New Zealand are now just as accustomed to a chat over a Zoom call as they are to one over a cuppa tea at the table, which has enabled many of my onfarm visits to be shifted to online without too many hiccups.

Lockdown hasn’t been all bad though, on the days where it has been fine, sunny, and the old nor’west wind is not swirling clouds of dust down the farm track and tossing the trees about violently I have been enjoying the opportunity to get out ‘spread my legs’ as per the Hon Chris Hipkins’ advice by taking the horse for a hack around the farm.

The reduction in alert levels to Level 3 in early September also saw the expansion of my bubble to include two rather glamorous yet gluttonous and often clumsy ‘locals’. I have had two kereru take up residence in the trees outside my office where each morning they enjoy gorging themselves on the new tree shoots, after which they spend the afternoon snoozing in the sun before flying home in the evening.

Pre-lockdown I had an awesome couple of days chauffeuring our new South Island Sheep Area Manager, also called Amy, and our North Island/Sheep technical lead, Dayanne, around the North Canterbury region.

By golly, what an amazing team I’ve got to work with! I hope our clients enjoy us visiting and the conversations and ideas as much as we do! While each of our farming clients are using DNA technologies to achieve different goals on their farms, they all very much share the same passion for understanding how we can help them reach these goals.

Looks like the old nor’west wind has dropped away for the afternoon, so I’m off to climb up some hills from the comfort of a saddle.

And remember, as William Shakespeare once said, “Don’t believe everything you read in the newspapers or on the internet”. Now read that last sentence again…

  • Apologies, Amy. Hope we haven’t fuelled any strained relations. You’d love Southland. – Editor.