Dave McDonald is passing his enjoyment of ploughing to another generation of his family.
At the New Zealand Ploughing Championships held at Riversdale at the weekend, he encouraged his grandsons Riley (13) and Flynn Hill (14), of Merino Downs, to compete in the contemporary event for novice ploughers.
The championships were hosted by the Waimea Plains Ploughing Association at Sonia and Mark Dillon’s property.
Mr McDonald said it made sense to teach the boys how to plough.
”They’re interested in tractors and I gave up ploughing, so I gave them the chance to have a go,” Mr McDonald said.
”They’d sooner be ploughing than being at school.”
He did not know what the future of ploughing would be but his grandsons would always be able to remember they had learned the skill, he said.
The young ploughmen driving Mr McDonald’s tractors made a good job of turning over the stubble in their plots on Saturday, he said.
A retired farmer, Mr McDonald had six tractors in a shed at the back of his Gore house.
Ploughing was a satisfying farm job which he had always enjoyed.
”You could see where you’ve been and there’s nothing more enjoyable than turning over black soil.
”You can always smell the fresh soil you are turning over.”
For about 20 years he had also taken part in ploughing competitions.
The championships started with practice days on Wednesday and Thursday.
Saturday’s task was to plough a stubble paddock plot and Sunday’s a grass plot.
The brothers were the youngest of 38 competitors in the championships and entrants came from as far away as Putaruru to take part.
Riley said this was his second ploughing competition.
”Granddad got us into it,” Riley said.
He enjoyed ploughing.
”You get to drive a tractor and work up the ground.”
He drove a 1955 Ferguson 35 which pulled a two-furrow plough, and was pleased with his efforts.
”It’s pretty straight.”