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Auckland man 'overwhelmed and humbled' by reaction to his heartfelt open letter of thanks to Kiwi farmers

An open letter to Kiwi farmers written by a "latte-sipping" Aucklander has gone viral over the last couple of days, and it has left the author feeling "overwhelmed and humbled".

The letter, prompted by a spate of farmer suicides and penned by Matt Shirtcliffe, has been read all over the world.

Mr Shirtcliffe's message of "your life is worth a great deal more than your farm ever will be," has been shared thousands of times since it was released.

Mr Shirtcliffe said he had no idea how far it was going to go.

"It's been picked up not just by farmers in this country but in Australia, the US, the UK and even funny places, like the Channel Islands."

Mr Shirtcliffe said all farmers hear about is the "bad news stories". Federated Farmers' Katie Milne said: "It's cool to know that we aren't alone.

"There are a lot of people who don’t realise that we are just doing our best and doing good stuff.

"If we didn't do it, their lives would be a lot harder because they'd have to go milk their own cow for their latte," she told 1 NEWS.

In recent years, the dairy downturn has taken a toll on the mental health of farmers and conditions are not getting any easier.

Ms Milne said it's about to get really hard.

"The way it's looking throughout the country is a really tough season. We went out of the wet, straight into the dry."

The cause is very close to Mr Shirtcliffe’s heart who lost his wife to suicide in 2015.

"We were living in the city but she had been a farmer before we got married, so I’ve always identified with farmers and their trials and tribulations," he said.

Ms Milne said: "It doesn’t matter who it is, we all need to look out for each other." 

The letter has gone global and was prompted by a spate of farmer suicides in New Zealand. Source: 1 NEWS