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There has no doubt been many a conversation at tables within bubbles at present of the challenges a pandemic can bring.

We worry about our loved one's health, our own health and overall how we will get through.

While Covid-19 has taken the lives of our fellow kiwis and caused much unease and financial difficulty for others it has also brought with it some positive change.

Yes, while this may be an odd view, Covid-19 has also brought with it the realisation of how one industry has time and time again shone through.

I have long said the primary sector, agriculture in particular, is the backbone of this country.

As we entered Alert Level Four more than five weeks ago, our essential businesses stayed open, our farmers kept farming.

If we look back at the last two years, in particular, there has been a lot of finger-pointing at these same farmers for a lot of the challenges our country faces.

They’ve been blamed for the current state of our water quality, very rarely acknowledged for the investment and work they have done to improve it and scolded for pointing out urban has also played its part in the degradation to date.

Farmers have been dealt regulation after regulation from officials in Wellington as they adhere to public pressures to get on top of the effects farming has on the environment.

Throughout all of this, they have played their part in the process, listening, reading and submitting.

They’ve given workable suggestions about how they can do better and what else further they can do, even though they are already doing much more than the average person, yet they are blatantly being ignored.

Then New Zealand is faced with a new battle, Coronavirus, and the country shifts to work to protect its most vulnerable by effectively shutting down.

But we still need to eat and stay warm – who shall make this happen?

The primary sector and those who support it.

As the world prepares for what will most likely be an event worse than the Global Financial Crisis, New Zealand will get through far stronger.

Why?

Farmers.

Southland will fare better than most provinces too, because of its dependency on farmers and the primary sector.

We will get through this thanks to our farmers.

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