Respected rural journalist Philippa Stevenson will join the Country Channel’s daily flagship show Farmgate each Friday as the host of an exciting new weekly segment, The Bull Pen.

The Bull Pen is a place to kick up the dust on the big news, events and issues of rural New Zealand and each week Philippa will be joined by leading industry commentators in a lively discussion as they thrash out the issues that are important to farmers and growers nationwide. Confirmed contributors so far include Glenys Christian (Dairy Exporter editor), Allan Barber, (agribusiness consultant and commentator of Barber Strategic), Freelance agricultural journalist Hugh Stringleman, veteran agricultural writer Gordon McLauchlan, and former scientist and rural commentator Clive Dalton.

Philippa Stevenson is a freelance journalist and blogger specialising in reporting primary industries, science and the environment. A winner of 16 journalism awards, Philippa has been agricultural editor of the NZ Herald, the Waikato Times, editor of two rural newspapers, a reporter for National Radio and hosted Farming Edition on Coast to Coast Television.

Farmgate screens weekdays at 7.30am, 1.30am and 7.30pm, and features rural news, an in-depth weather report, overview of the financial markets, along with in-depth features, interviews, debates and analysis of issues affecting the rural sector

Viewers can have their say on the hot topics discussed in The Bull Pen by commenting on the blog of the same name at

The Country Channel is on SKY digital channel number 99.

THE COUNTRY CHANNEL – Daily from Wednesday 1 October, 7.30am, 1.30pm, 7.30pm, with a 2 hour omnibus on Saturdays and Sundays

Hosted by Mark Leishman and Kelly Loney, Farmgate is The Country Channel’s flagship daily current affairs show covering all the issues affecting the rural sector. Featuring rural news, an in-depth weather report and an overview of the financial markets, Farmgate strives to cut through the mass of media available to bring New Zealand farmers only the most relevant information to suit their needs. Farmgate will also include in-depth features, interviews, lively debates and analysis. Mark Leishman is well known to many New Zealand television viewers for a variety of hosting roles including the Young Farmer of the Year and Wonder Dogs and Kelly Loney is a former Taranaki print and television journalist now based in Auckland.