Communicating with people has dominated Garrick Batten’s long life, especially during his New Zealand and overseas agricultural career of adviser, manager, diplomat and farmer. Articles, conference and academic papers, pamphlets, radio, video, newsletters, newspaper columns and several books on technical topics have canvassed many rural enterprises, more recently in the goat industry that helps to pay the store bill. The latest is recent Big Buck$ for Pastoral Farmers. University qualifications in agriculture, accountancy, exporting and dispute resolution have meant a lot of writing too!
The increasing disconnection between urban and rural NZ business, society and life has magnified his concerns, and his current writing attempts to address that. What Happened to Haystacks & Horses? is a hybrid fiction/ fact book accounting for changes in our rural life over the half-century up to 2000. In December 2017 he republished the fictional autobiography part as a stand-along book, Farmer Bill.
Encouraged by having several short fiction stories published, Garrick is working on and learning how to write more, each with a rural connection. The initial book effort is Short Head and Yard, 18 five-minute stories on a variety of topics, each with a rural tag. Greater understanding and appreciation might result. Don Quixote de la Mancha, the most widely published book other than the Bible, is a literary but hopefully not the operational model to success.