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Living and farming well in the Marlborough region

7 July 2017

Living and farming well in the Marlborough region

Farming well and thinking healthy go together like sheep and shearing.

So, take a breather from the farm on Wednesday 19 July – Farmstrong and the Rural Support Trust have two free events on how healthy thinking can help you live well and farm well.

If you’re a farmer, grower or work in the farming community (including as a rural professional providing support services to farming), you can hear medical doctor and author Dr Tom Mullholland speak in Blenheim first thing over breakfast or over dinner in Ward.

Dr Tom will share his simple and practical Healthy Thinking tips on how to manage the ups and downs that come with daily farming life.

Living well is the key to performing well in any business, particularly in the tough environment of farming. After all, the most important asset are the people who work in it.

“The earthquake event has really affected our local formers, adding to the existing stress of floods, winds and market conditions. This stretches the coping abilities within families as a result,” says Marlborough Rural Support Trust coordinator Chris Faulls.

Chris has spent the last seven months coordinating the rural recovery for Ministry of Primary Industries and the Rural Support Trust. He’s noticed both the fragility and resilience of rural businesses during that time.

“Our goal is to help farmers move forward, knowing they are supported and how they can access relief packages,” Chris says. “The support from central and local Government, NGO's and farming support organisations has been significant – but we know it’s difficult to reach everyone and get past the stoic self-reliance that’s prevalent in the farming community.”

Farmstrong launched in June 2015, and has since travelled throughout New Zealand sharing tools and resources, and supporting events promoting rural wellbeing.

“We began because many farmers told us they were good at looking after their equipment, land and stock, but like other NZers, they can neglect their own wellbeing,” Farmstrong spokesperson Gerard Vaughan says. “We feel privileged to be invited to Marlborough to share Dr Tom’s Healthy Thinking tools to people in this area.”

“The Farmstrong message is vital,” says farmer Eliot Cooper. “It gets people talking and thinking. You need that strong commitment to keeping yourself well because the farming environment can be bloody challenging.”

Farmstrong Healthy Thinking Breakfast

When – Wednesday 19 July

Where – Scenic Hotel Marlborough, 65 Alfred St, Blenheim.

Time – Breakfast - 7.30am. Event starts at 8am until 10.30am.

RSVP - Let us know if you can come before Saturday 15 July. Please email

Farmstrong Healthy Thinking Dinner

When – Wednesday 19 July

Where – Ward Community Hall, Ward.

Time – Woodfired pizza – 5.30pm. Event starts at 6.30pm until 8.30pm.

RSVP - Let us know if you can come before Saturday 15 July. Please email

About Farmstrong

Farmstrong is a rural wellbeing programme which takes a different approach to rural wellness, it focuses on strategies to live well and farm well – rather than on illness and depression.

It promotes healthy thinking which provides farmers and growers with tools to help manage the ups and downs of farming by promoting the need for farmers to see themselves as the most important asset on the farm.

Farmstrong is a non-commercial give back initiative founded and funded by rural insurer FMG, the Mental Health Foundation and in partnership with the Rural Support Trust

Visit for more information


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