Rewarding an all-round good guy. Combining first-class care for the environment, his animals and local community has seen Whanganui farmer Chris Davison rewarded in a very rare way.
Chris was recently named the winner of a DairyNZ competition to find a ‘hidden gem’ of a dairy farmer. His prize? A sparkling ring featuring a rare green diamond - which may be the only one in New Zealand - donated by Auckland jeweller Mark Beckett and his wife Pamela.
Rachel and Chris Davison
Chris says once he got over the shock of winning, it was great to be able to surprise his wife.
“It’s right at home on Rachel’s finger, a nice reward for the demanding role of being a mother and a farmer’s wife. She’s the true gem of this outfit.”
The fourth generation of his family to run the farm, Chris was nominated for the award by his mum Jeanette and his twin brother Blake, who say he always makes time to help others.
Those others include students from Arahunga Special School in Whanganui, who Chris hosts on visits to the farm every Friday. For many of them, it’s their first and only experience of a farm.
“It’s great to be able to give them a chance to see the sights and the smells of a dairy farm”, he says. “Some of them help out by bucketing out troughs, digging holes, banging in some batons or picking up pinecones, and they love seeing the calves too.”
Arahunga School Principal, Daniel Price, says it’s an amazing outdoor learning experience for the students.
“For the students that have gone to the farm, they have gained increased confidence walking over uneven ground and learned how to safely move the electric tape for vehicles to move through. They have also benefited from seeing farm animals, tractors, vets, farm equipment and farm tools in use.”
Rachel, Chris, Blake, DairyNZ's Rob Brazendale and Jeanette
The green diamond is right at home of Rachel's finger
They were compelled to donate the gem because, although the past 40-plus years of their lives have revolved around precious jewels, both Mark and Pamela Beckett hail from dairy farming families.
“Even back then, our farming families had a long-term view of environmental stewardship – everything my father did on the farm was to care for the land and his animals,” Mark says.
“We saw the opportunity to give away this appropriately green coloured diamond to thank the good farmers for their hard work, both as stewards of the land and for producing top quality milk.”
Chris is grateful and says, “this act of generosity is a good reminder that, by and large, most kiwis appreciate and value what we farmers do. I’m sure many other farmers would feel the same way.”