A sell-out crowd of 300 people has attended a comedy night to promote rural wellness in Cambridge. Comedians Andre King, Nick Rado, Paul Ego and Tarun Mohanbhai had the crowd at the Sir Don Rowlands Centre “in stitches”.
“I think the show was just the ticket of what people need right now,” said Farmstrong’s Michelle Stevens after last Saturday’s event.
It’s been a challenging 12 months for Waikato farmers, with many parts of the region receiving record-breaking rainfall. “It was great to get off the farm and see a few faces I haven’t seen for a while,” said Parawera dairy farmer Robin Moss.
“You feel like you’re switching off and forgetting work for a few hours which is really important. It was a fantastic event.”
The comedy night was supported by the Rural Support Trust, alongside Farmstrong and NZ Young Farmers. “The atmosphere was alive and there were lots of laugh-out-loud moments,” said NZ Young Farmers chief executive Terry Copeland.
“It’s important for people to have balance in their lives. Taking time out to have a laugh is an easy way to achieve that.”
Research shows many farmers can neglect their own wellbeing.
“It was wonderful seeing so many people take an opportunity to down tools for a bit and have a break,” said Michelle. “The show was right in line with what Farmstrong aims to promote, which is taking opportunities to look after yourself.”
The sell-out success of the event will now see it rolled out in other regions.
“The idea is to stage a series of events, similar to this one, around the country. Taranaki and Southland would be obvious places to go next,” said Terry.
Southland and parts of coastal Taranaki were hit by a severe drought in December, forcing farmers to dry cows off early.
“I think a nationwide rollout is a fantastic idea,” said Kent Weir who’s the chair of the Waikato/Bay of Plenty Region of NZ Young Farmers.
“It was a really good event. It’s important people have an excuse to get off farm and the comedy night provided that.”