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Beef + Lamb NZ Challenges Farmers to Get Fit for Farming

30 SEPTEMBER 2015

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Beef + Lamb New Zealand Challenges Farmers to Get Fit for Farming

Beef + Lamb New Zealand is calling on sheep and beef farmers to rise to the Farmstrong Cycle Challenge and get some kilometres under their belts. It’s all in aid of taking care of a farm’s most important asset – the farmer.

The industry-good organisation is encouraging sheep and beef farmers to either get on their bicycles or don their walking or running shoes to benefit both their mental and physical health and to help the Farmstrong Cycle Challenge achieve its four million kilometre target by the end of May 2016.

Supported by the Mental Health Foundation, Farmstrong is an initiative designed to give farmers the skills and resources to live well, farm well and get the most out of life.

Beef + Lamb New Zealand chief executive, Dr Scott Champion says B+LNZ is pleased to be able to support the campaign.

“Mental and physical health are really important issues for our farmers and rural communities and for their resilience in tough times.

“These initiatives will help raise the profile, open up the lines of discussion and give us all practical steps we can take to improve our health and wellbeing.”

The cycle challenge is striving to get Kiwi farmers to commit to collectively covering four million kilometres. This equates to every farmer and grower biking, running or walking a total of 70km at any time before the May 2016 deadline.

Farmers can pledge to the challenge on the Farmstrong website (farmstrong.co.nz) and log their activity. So far 385,974 kms have been pledged with 52,310 kms travelled.

In March 2016 the inaugural Farmstrong Fit4Farming cycle tour will travel the length of the country to raise awareness about the importance of keeping fit on the farm. Farmers will be encouraged to join events being held en-route.

Organiser of the Fit4Farming cycle tour, Ian Handcock says farming is stressful and while farmers can’t change the stressors, they can change the way they deal with stress.

“Sport is a great way of doing that. It’s about planning ahead and understanding that you will have good days and bad days.”

In organising the cycle tour, Handcock says he has been very grateful for the support of organisations such as Farmstrong and Beef + Lamb New Zealand.


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