Hawke’s Bay celebrated its inaugural biodiversity field day in early February, with grower Xan Harding leading a posse of viticulturist utes on a tiki tour around the wider Bridge Pa area.
Farmers throughout New Zealand are invited to donate money to Hatuma's "Growing Minds" fund by nominating a school and in return Hatuma donates a percentage of their dicalcic phosphate order to that school.
Over the last four years the company has donated over $20,000 to rural schools through the programme.
Flemington School in Central Hawke's Bay attracted support from farmers this year. Principal Phil Bourke says the help provided by Hatuma and farmers gives a welcome boost to country schools, which are faced with many challenges.
"Rural schools often struggle with dwindling rolls and staffing issues so having a sense of community is crucial. The extra funding opens up more opportunity."
Central Hawke's Bay farmers also help Flemington School raise money by grazing cattle.
"The school buys the cattle and then farmers graze them for free. Up to 30 farmers will graze one or two cattle at a time. It works really well and we appreciate the support from the local community," he says.
With a roll of 72, Flemington School has three Government-funded classrooms and three teachers.
"Through the support of local farmers and companies like Hatuma we are able to employ an extra teacher for a half a day, each day."