Farming Today Taps Into the Rural Diversity of the Waikato
Mandi McLeod is the first woman to front a farming show in New Zealand and she’s loving every minute of it!
Typically a male-dominated domain, Mandi, a farmer and farm consultant from Morrinsville, would sooner get into a paddock with a herd of stags to present than let what was previously uncharted territory phase her.
With a wealth of experience in the rural sector and plenty of enthusiasm to present Farming Today, a half-hour show which is produced for Waikato and Bay of Plenty audiences. Mandi is taking the show beyond dairying, beef and lamb farming and opening the door to wider agricultural and horticultural enterprises.
“I think we’re showcasing what depth there is in terms of agriculture and horticulture here in the Waikato,” she says.
Regional broadcaster Family Television Waikato and Rotorua broadcasts Farming Today which is produced by AlphaMedia Productions. The show first went to air in 2004 and its CEO Daryl Anderson is thrilled to have Mandi involved for a third series which is sponsored by Precision Group, Ballance and Kevin Deane Harcourts.
“Mandi has certainly grown into the role and is the right person for the job. She has an absolute passion for the field and her knowledge base is phenomenal,” says Daryl.
Series five of Farming Today is underway on Family Television delivering a stellar line up of Ballance “On Location” topics.
“We’ve further broadened our scope to do on locations at all kinds of exciting agricultural and horticultural locations – we look at everything from an eel processing plant, organic cheese and sausages makers, ostrich farming, to a commercial daffodil grower,” says Mandi.
Such diversity it is hoped will fulfil her objective, which is to cross the rural-urban divide.
“Farming Today is aimed at anyone who has an appreciation of rural life and practices and therefore not limited to an farming audience,” she says.
Rural issues are explored in the show’s lively and informative forum segment which draws on the expertise of banking, rural business and agricultural leaders. Forum guests have to date included Ian Johnston ASB Rural Manager, Kevin Deane Harcourts Cambridge and Morrinsville Managing Director, Hugh Vercoe Mayor of Matamata and many more.
Farming aside, Mandi is embracing the experience for the fact that she gets, “To feel like a princess for a day”. Her filming day starts at Room 66 Hair and Beauty where she gets hair and make up done professionally before heading into the studio.
Farming Today is on Mondays at 8.30pm and is repeated on Thursdays at 9.30pm and Sundays at 10pm.
Family TV channel frequency (UHF-band) for Waikato: channel 62/799 MHz and Rotorua TV59/775-25MHz and for more information on tuning go to: www.tvmg.co.nz
NOTE TO EDITORS: Mandi McLeod is available for interviews.
Photo caption: Mandi McLeod (left) ‘On Location’ for Farming Today at a Deer Farm.
For more information on Farming Today please call Family TV Executive Producer Paul Fawcett on 07 888 5030 ext 812