Coronavirus: A chance to bridge urban-rural divide, says Southland farmer

A high profile Southland dairy farmer believes the COVID-19 crisis will help unite New Zealand's urban and rural communities.

The agriculture sector has been deemed an essential service during the level 4 lockdown.

It means many farmers and growers can continue to work, along with support businesses under strict health and safety rules.

The sector is also being tipped to help support the country through the economic downturn resulting from the global pandemic.

Southland dairy farmer Tangaroa Walker is an award-winning contract milker on a 550-cow farm near Invercargill and shares insights on life on the farm through his Facebook page Farm 4 Life.

Walker told the AM Show while the lockdown had affected some parts of life, it was business as usual on the farm.

"We've still got fences to fix, cows to feed and grass to grow," said Walker.

He said the COVID-19 crisis was a chance for urban and rural communities to work together.

"There is a big onus on us as an industry to try and work together with urban society 

"We have a long history of working together so hopefully we can get through this."

It could also foster a greater understanding of the farming industry, he said.

"We can think of it as a positive, and think back to when urban and rural areas were one, this is just going back to when everyone had a link to the farm.

"It's going to be awesome to claw New Zealand out of this hole."

Watch the video.