A Masterclass In Writing / by Jose Barbosa

A friend discovered this online. Written sometime in the 1970s, it's a seven page manifesto crafted by a Piopio hill country farmer outlining in precise terms his property, his stock and his philosophy of business.

It's an admirable doctrine with a clearly defined outcome:

“Maximum returns from optimum numbers of breeding stock with lowest feasible labour input”.

As he makes clear in his summery farmers should treat their farms as a business:

"... maintaining a professional approach to his problems, financial or otherwise, fully realizing that the high cost of getting started must be justified by maximum return from this investmenjt. It should also be justified by the pleasure, regardless of financial gain, that can be had from this form of businses (sic).

It's a strangely compelling narrative, written succinctly and with clarity. In the great New Zealand tradition it's a personal statement made without grand gestures. However, there's clearly some pride taken in his endevour and there's even a joke made about a sojourn on the beach in Tahiti. Not to mention a lovely use of poetic imagery:

"I am tending to subscribe to the thought that a man and a dog moving through lambing ewes cause as much disturbance as a rook thrown into a millpond ..."

I don't know who G. Reed was, but he could teach today's legal and finance institutions a thing or two about writing to communicate.