Farmers on the moove 

This weekend people across the Waipā region may see a bit more traffic across the area’s backcountry roads as the annual farming migration of Gypsy Day takes place across the country.

The concept of ‘Gypsy Day’ is entrenched in New Zealand dairy farming, but a lot of people have no idea what Gypsy Day, or as it is more commonly known as now Mooving Day, is.

Gypsy Day is when a significant number of people working on dairy farms from farm assistants, farm managers, herd managers, operations managers, contract milkers, sharemilkers and farm owners pack up their belongings and shift to a new location, and a new dairy farm, to start a new job.

They take their families, their farm equipment, their household belongings and sometimes even their own stock with them.

Farmers tend to move to progress in the industry, few other industries offer the chance of true succession, from worker to owner.

Traditionally, this is a well-worn pathway to farm ownership. These workers could expect to be moving, usually every few years, until they have built up the opportunity for farm ownership which could take anywhere from 15 to 30 years.

The move always happens at the same time of the year, June 1, because of the way dairy farms are run and cows are milked. It’s a seasonal business and this time of the year is the best time, when milking has stopped and just before calving starts.

There are plenty of opportunities and a fair amount of challenges linked to the annual Gypsy Day with big machinery being transported and sometimes traffic management having to be brought in with stock traveling by the roads.

This can make it a stressful and daunting process.

So if you see a harassed-looking farmer this weekend towing a trailer full of gear or moving stock, give them a wave and a smile to help make the move a little easier.

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