The Rural Reader. May book review.

Farm – The making of a climate activist. By Nicola Harvey (2022).

After a phone call from her dairy farming dad, Nicola and her partner return to New Zealand having spent 17 years of city life in Melbourne and Sydney to start a farming life near her family farm. She has strong ideals about farming beef, reducing GHG generation and improving animal welfare.

Early in the book, the reader has an inkling that this is not going to go well “How do you catch a calf?” Nicola quickly upsets her father with her views on how beef could be farmed better. This is a story of a strong person pushing boundaries that stretch the couple financially and that come between Nicola and her father.

It is also a story about tenacity, courage, community and hope in the face of a worthy challenge. For me, this (true) story, in different ways, reflects what many in New Zealand agriculture are dealing with at present.

Patrick Aldwell
May, 2023

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