Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Overcoming cyclone mayhem for a win – and ready for another

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The cyclone may have put a spanner in the works, but a Hawke’s Bay sheep and beef farmer says it’s not going to stop him putting his best foot forward at the FMG Young Farmer Grand Final.
Motivated to provide leadership in the industry and governance space, Patrick Crawshaw is interested in putting time and energy into innovative practices for the modern consumer.
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Farming has always been part of owner and operator Patrick Crawshaw’s life. 

“I grew up on Kenhardt Angus Stud, and my parents are still farming in Nūhaka, Hawke’s Bay. My upbringing birthed a lot of passion for the industry and in particular the red meat sector and beef industry.”

Patrick now owns and operates a beef and lamb farm with his wife, Isabelle, and their young family. Located in Pātoka, Hawke’s Bay, the farm produces up to 2500 lambs annually, and between 300 to 400 head of beef.  

Sitting roughly 400m above sea level, the farm boasts stunning views – a sweeping panorama  from west to east.

“We’ve got the Kaweka range behind us, which gives us a nice snowy backdrop on the farm. Looking east, we can see down the valley to the top of Havelock North. We’re lucky we get a sun-drenched kitchen to wake up to.”

The scenery has looked a bit different lately in the aftermath of Cyclone Gabrielle. Patrick’s farm was badly affected, and he says it’s likely they will still be cleaning up in a year’s time. 

“For us, it’s about running a marathon, not a sprint.”

Cyclone Gabrielle hit just a few short weeks before the East Coast Regional Final was due to take place. Patrick says he had many Plan Bs, Cs, and Ds up his sleeve to make it to the contest, including traversing the river on a boat.  

“We had a fixed-wing pilot available, some helicopter pilots too, and a vehicle on the other side of the road during the good weather in case the bad weather levels left us stranded.”

As it happened, the week before the Regional Final had the best weather since the cyclone hit, and Patrick, after a great deal of adversity, took out the win

Now he’s doing what he can to prepare for the Grand Final. The cyclone may have put a spanner in the works, but he says it’s not going to stop him putting his best foot forward. 

“There’s been a lot of community support and reach to help me prepare for the Grand Final so I’m sure we’ll be able to piece something together, given the circumstances.”

Motivated to provide leadership in the industry and governance space, Patrick is interested in putting time and energy into innovative practices for the modern consumer. Winning the Grand Final would give him a leg up in the industry to do this, and he’s already excited to see where it could lead him.

“I get a lot of reward out of putting in the time, money and energy into producing a really good quality finished product for the plate. The Grand Final is an opportunity and you’ve just got to make it what it is for your own ambitions.” 

More: Farmers Weekly cadet Emma Blom Emma chats to East Coast representative Pat Crawshaw ahead of the Grand Final. Listen below

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