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The future is now – FFTF 2018 line up announced


Across the world, farmers, producers, governments and agricultural processors have made their decision on what to do about climate change.

They're acting now.

NIWA announced last week that New Zealand has just had its hottest summer on record. The deluges from the passage of ex-tropical cyclones Fehi and Gita have brought calls for a sixth category of super cyclones to be created. Business as usual has literally melted away as an option for managing climate change.

New Zealand farmers are no strangers to challenge. The growth of the primary production sector is one of New Zealand’s greatest pioneering success stories, and generations of farmers have and will continue to embrace new approaches and technologies to meet the challenges the future presents.

“In its fifth year, the Farming for the Future 2018 seminar will support farmers to respond to the challenge of climate change”, said Heather Atkinson, seminar organiser, farmer and president of event co-host South Wairarapa Biodiversity Group. This year’s seminar will be on Tuesday 10 April 2018 at the Carterton Events Centre. It includes a stellar line-up of farming and rural industry speakers who will share positive ideas for responding to climate change and other challenges the industry faces.

“As farmers, it’s in our blood to challenge the way we do things. One of the best ways to do that is to get off the farm and spend time with other smart people who have the best interests of farming at heart,” said Mrs Atkinson. “We bring inspirational, informed and proactive speakers to the Wairarapa so farmers and farm advisors can hear from and meet people with practical experience and future focussed ideas.”

Susie Ferguson from Morning Report on Radio New Zealand will MC this year’s event. Susie’s authoritative and comprehensive perspective on the issues facing New Zealand will make it one not to be missed.

This year’s presenters are:

Paul Crick: Paul Crick is the Director Farms for Taratahi Agricultural Training Centre. Taratahi has a critical role in preparing our future farmers to be successful and sustainable business owners and managers.

Stephen Davies Howard: The Centre for Space Science Technology’s (CSST) research agenda includes using satellite, aerial, drone and in-situ data to provide a publicly available digital platform to deliver usable, actionable information to drive smart, data-driven decision-making.

Dr Alex Pezza: As a senior scientist role in the Environmental Science department at Greater Wellington Regional Council Alex had a pivotal role in preparing a major 2017 climate change report that provides high-resolution climate change maps and impacts assessment for the first time in the Wellington region

Greg & Rachel Hart: Greg and Rachel have been taking a fascinating journey transitioning their Mangarara Station from a traditional sheep and cattle station to a farm of the future that creates balance by developing diverse, integrated, regenerative farming systems that restore ecosystems and sequester carbon from the atmosphere.

Julia Jones: Julia is part of the Agri-Food team at KPMG who look at the changing global face of Agri-Food and connect food producing clients with long term sustainable business solutions.

Dot Bissett: Dot and her husband Alan have brought their passion and enthusiasm for gate to plate production to the Wee Red Barn north of Masterton where they've transformed 8.1 hectares into a diverse farm of grapes, strawberries, raspberries, other berries and assorted vegetables - all of which is processed and sold on site from the namesake barn.

The South Wairarapa Biodiversity Group and Mangatarere Restoration Society co-host the event with the generous support of industry sponsors. Gold sponsor: Taratahi Agricultural Training Centre, Silver sponsors: Akura Plant Nursery, Morgans Road Nursery and Steens Honey, and Bronze sponsors: CRS Software, Moore Stephens Markham, Greater Wellington Regional Council, Beef and Lamb New Zealand and Perception Planning.

To register and learn more about the seminar, go to www.farmingforthefuture.org.nz. The cost is $45 per person and $30 for students.

-ENDS-

Website: www.farmingforthefuture.org.nz

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