'Sweet little tractor' inspires Waikato farmer to write series of children's books

Rachel Numan's book series follows the adventures of Tractor Dave.
Rachel Numan's book series follows the adventures of Tractor Dave. Photo credit: Supplied

A Waikato farmer hopes a new series of children's books she has written will help inspire the next generation of Kiwis to give life on a farm a go.

Rachel Numan, who is also a vet, says the idea for her book series, called Tractor Dave, came from a very special piece of machinery.

"A few years ago my husband and I bought a 1390 David Brown tractor," says Numan. "It's a sweet little tractor that starts with a purr on its first try, and it quickly won our whole family's heart - especially my three-year-old.

"While we initially purchased it for mowing the roadsides of our dairy farm, Tractor Dave as he became known, soon found himself being roped into helping out with the big tractor jobs - like teddering silage and weed control on the farm."

The series, aimed at three to seven-year-olds, follows the adventures of Tractor Dave as he negotiates life on a typical Kiwi dairy farm.

In the first book, Dave needs to spring into action and help out after drama hits during maize harvesting on the farm.

Numan, who lives on a dairy farm in Pokuru with her two young sons and husband, says she hopes the books will give children living in the city a chance to learn more about farming life.

"It would be awesome to engage little future farmers with Dave's story, as well as showcase the rural sector in a fun way," she says.

Fifty cents from each copy sold will also be donated to a farmer-led charity that supplies meat to food banks for New Zealanders in need.

The book is set to be released in September.