An excuse to get farmers away from tending to stock and crops was formed in last Friday’s district-wide Drought Shout.

Organised by Beef + Lamb NZ, the shout included barbecue, beers and banter as farmers got the chance to get off the farm for a few hours and wind down.

The shout was organised in six locations within the district — Lawrence, Heriot, Clydevale, Milton, Owaka and Tokanui.

Toko Mouth farmer and organising member Simon Davies said the usual topics of weather, stock and finances came up as farmers discussed the latest in farming news.

‘‘Usually the shout gets put on when it gets too dry, but the second it gets declared, the rain comes out of nowhere,’’ Mr Davies joked.

‘‘The whole point is an excuse to get farmers away from the job for a bit and catch up with mates and others in the same position as them or facing the same issues.

‘‘It’s been a bloody tough season for farmers, so the shout is just a small way to get them off the farm and away from the stress for a bit.

‘‘It can be pretty hard to get farmers to slow down but it’s a good excuse to have a free couple of beers, a feed and a yarn.’’