Journalist Neal Wallace was raised on an Otago sheep and beef farm. On leaving school he worked as a farmhand in South Otago before embarking in 1983 on a journalism career, initially at the Ensign in Gore and then the Star in Christchurch. In 1987 he moved to Dunedin where he was the southern reporter for the weekly New Zealand Farmer for eight years before returning to daily journalism at the Otago Daily Times, where he has been ever since. Beginning as a general reporter, he has also been a business reporter and for 10 years was the ODT agribusiness editor. Latterly he has been the regional chief reporter. Wallace has won numerous awards, including the Rongo Award for excellence in agricultural journalism (1998) and two Qantas Media Awards (1999). In 2003 he was awarded a David Low Fellowship to attend the Reuters Foundation Programme at Oxford University. He lives in Dunedin and is married to Liz. They have two children, Joshua and Grace.