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Farmer-led Canterbury Water Forum to set the agenda

24 May 2012

Farmer-led Canterbury Water Forum to set the agenda

Hard on the heels of the Land & Water Forum report, Federated Farmers has taken the lead by convening a farmer-led Canterbury Water Forum. Taking place at the Ashburton Trust Events Centre on 7 June, it gives all farmers a chance to see what the future holds.

“This Water Forum is very much a forum for farmers by farmers. It’s about looking at water and environmental stewardship through fresh eyes,” says Ian Mackenzie, Federated Farmers water spokesperson.

“It’s so important that ATS is helping us put it together. It’s about issues, yes, but it’s about practical solutions farmers can take inside the farmgate.

“Federated Farmers wants to help Canterbury’s farmers understand the clear direction on environmental stewardship coming out of Government. Nothing highlights that more than water quality and how it’s being interpreted by regional authorities.

“The first session of our Water Forum allows key representatives from each of the main political parties and other interested parties to outline their position. As farmers don’t like being talked at, the Forum requires speakers to respond to questions and engage with the audience.

“We expect there’ll be a high degree of useful dialogue.

“The second session will involve a discussion on setting and managing nutrient limits with particular reference to Environment Canterbury’s (ECan) proposed Land and Water Plan. We want people to come away knowing some of the implications for the future of farming in greater Canterbury. Not only that, what they can do about it inside the farm gate.

“The afternoon involves a visit to an environmental award-winning dairy farm near Ashburton. There, farmers can engage in open discussions about practical solutions to environmental problems and how to measure compliance.

“Ben and Shannon Johnson’s farm stands out for two reasons. It not only took out ECan’s Water Efficiency Award and LIC Dairy Farm Award at the 2012 Canterbury Ballance Farm Environment Awards, their sharemilkers, Enda and Sarah Hawe, were recently named 2012 New Zealand Sharemilkers/Equity Farmers of the Year.

“We hope as a result of this Federated Farmers Water Forum, farmers as well as our financiers and service industries will better understand the opportunities and costs, New Zealand’s emerging fresh water policies hold,” Mr Mackenzie concluded.

2012 Canterbury Water Forum by Federated Farmers – 7 June 2012 – Ashburton Trust Events Centre

Day: Thursday, 7 June

Time: 9.30am (registrations) with the Forum starting at 09:45am

Where: Ashburton Trust Events Centre

211A Wills Street
Ashburton 7700

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