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New Provincial President in Bay of Plenty


8 May 2008

New Provincial President in Bay of Plenty

Alan Law from Edgecumbe was unanimously elected as the provincial president for Bay of Plenty Federated Farmers. Alan replaces retiring president Derek Spratt who served in the position for four years.

John Scrimgeour from Te Puke was elected vice-president and Kay Graham was re-elected as provincial treasurer.

The theme of the provincial conference held on Wednesday May 7 was "challenges facing agriculture" and was attended by over sixty members.

Bill Bayfield, CEO Environment Bay of Plenty, covered ten issues in the regional policy statement that the council will be asking for input on this year. These were: growth management; special places which includes biodiversity and heritage; climate-adapting to the effects; flooding; land use; water allocation; water quality; the coast; air quality; and geothermal activity.

National Board member Frank Brenmuhl, reported on the Federation's submission to the Emissions Trading Scheme. The main concern expressed was the astronomical cost to farmers in New Zealand if the current proposals were adopted.

Professor Jacqueline Rowarth, Pastoral Agriculture Director, Massey University, gave a very entertaining and persuasive speech on, Agriculture - The potential and the challenges. Some of the points covered included: managing for the environment; sustainable competitive advantage; population increase; climate change; intensification of land use; biosecurity failure; and customer preference.

Derek Spratt in his final message told farmers the agriculture sector is facing many challenges from environment issues to restructuring the meat industry. He said everyone needed to come together so as to be heard and it was important that younger farmers were involved in decisions that will affect them in the future.

The province's 62nd conference concluded with a dinner where guests heard from the National Party Agricultural spokesperson Hon David Carter.

Chairmen also elected were: John Scrimgeour who replaced resigning chair Robin Barkla for Dairy; Tim Mackintosh for Meat & Fibre, John Russell for the Sharemilker section; and Scotty McLeod for the Sharemilker Employer Section.


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