Two defining events from last year returned to Southland at the weekend.  Firstly we had the Ranfurly Shield come back courtesy of a wonderful team performance in Christchurch.  Then we had another long weekend of snow.

Unlike last year, when the Shield was lost to Canterbury and the snow caused unbelievable damage, this year the cold was offset by the warm glow created from the Shield win.

At the same time Federated Farmers released its annual confidence survey which showed the highest level of confidence recorded in the rural sector.

Productivity and profitability in the farming sector is increasing, farmers are looking to invest more in their farms, and the flow-on beneficial effects to the wider rural services sector are being noticed.

It’s a good time to be a Southlander at the moment.