Community care by the book
Rachel made the move to farming after seven years as a vet in Te Awamutu, where she worked mainly with dairy cows. Her book series, Tractor Dave, features a colourful character having adventures on a New Zealand dairy farm. A portion of the proceeds from the books go to charity.
Community at heart
Rachel is also involved in a wide range of local community and environmental initiatives in Pokuru (near Te Awamutu), where she farms with husband Chris.
“I love working with family, neighbours and community groups – we achieve so much more working together,” says Rachel.
For every copy of the first Tractor Dave book sold, Rachel donates 50 cents to the charity, Meat the Need, founded by dairy farmers Siobhan O’Malley and Wayne Langford. The charity supplies meat and milk donated by Kiwi farmers to food banks and community organisations nationwide.
“It’s great contributing to a positive initiative that’s making a real difference in people’s lives,” says Rachel.
To top it off, she also helps run the Pirongia Playcentre and attends playcentre sessions eight hours a week.
Environment in focus
For every copy sold of book two in the Tractor Dave series (Digger Disaster), a native tree is planted on the Numans’ farm, as part of protecting waterways and enhancing native birds and insect biodiversity.
The Numans also receive trees from Trees that Count, which matches seedlings gifted by Kiwis to planting projects nationwide. Plus, they pay Pirongia Te Aroaro o Kahu Restoration Society to plant a thousand trees on their farm every year.
Rachel volunteers with the Kakepuku Mountain Conservation Society too, to re-stock pest bait-lines on the mountain several times a year. This helps protect native birds on Mt Kakepuku, including tūī, kererū and North Island robins.
Rachel and Chris call their sons Jack (6) and Oscar (4) tiny farmers, so have their eyes firmly fixed on progressing a positive future for dairy farming and New Zealand.
“All Kiwis want their children to grow up in a healthy environment and supportive communities,” says Rachel, who adds it’s great to get out and develop strong community connections and connect farmers with each other too. I find the more I give, the more I get back.”