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International Year of Family Farming Roadshow kicks off

Media release

For immediate release

21 March 2014

Rural Women™ International Year of Family Farming Roadshow kicks off next week

Four South Island towns will be celebrating the International Year of Family Farming next week, as the Rural Women NZ roadshow series gets underway. Three North Island events will follow in early April.

“Rural Women NZ has always backed families working on the land, and in the rural communities that surround them,” says Liz Evans, who is promoting the Rural Women NZ roadshow to be held in Marlborough’s Rai Valley on 30 March.

“For this reason, we were ‘first in’ to initiate a nationwide programme of events to support the UN International Year of Family Farming, a timely opportunity to celebrate the dedication and contribution of farming families, past, present and future.”

In every valley and on the plains of New Zealand, there are family-owned and operated farms. Many have been in the same family for generations, and can often be identified by local road names as people travel around New Zealand’s rural byways.

“Rural Women NZ members set a high store on family farming, especially as it tends to be these families who help contribute to the richness and spirit of community life.

“And we are seeing a renewed interest in the land by a wide range of people,” says Mrs Evans. “School children want to learn more about growing food. Teenagers are beginning to recognise a future in skilled work with animals, crops and agricultural technology, and young people already in farming families work hard for an opportunity to successfully transition to owning that farm business.

“People are beginning to think about what they can do to improve water quality, food safety and natural resources, taking a partnership approach. This can only lead to a greater sense of understanding and teamwork around farming and productivity.”

Mrs Evans stresses you don’t have to be a farmer to come along to the Rural Wonen NZ roadshows. An interest in land use, families, animals, food and personal well-being is more than enough to take part.

The roadshows include stalls and trade stands, a keynote speach by Doug Avery, Landcorp Communicator of the Year in 2013, seminars and workshops and entertainment. (Full details of the programme for each venue in the links below).

The United Nations’ aim in celebrating the year is to raise the profile of family farming and smallholder production by focusing world attention on its role in eradicating hunger, providing food security and managing natural resources for the benefit of all.

The goal is to reposition family farming at the centre of agricultural, environmental and social policy globally – and identify efficient ways to support family farmers.

Programme of Events – Rural Women NZ International Year of Family Farming Roadshows:

27 March - North Otago - Oamaru

28 March - Rangiora

29 March - Ashburton

30 March - Rai Valley

5 April - Helensville

6 April - Carterton

9 April - Stratford


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