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Rotorua to host future environmental farm leaders

Media Release

Thursday, 26 November 2009

Rotorua to host environmental farm leaders of the future

Future dairy farming leaders from the length and breadth of New Zealand will meet in Rotorua next week at the Building Dairy Environment Leaders Forum to learn more about sustainability.

Convened by DairyNZ and the New Zealand Farm Environment Award Trust, the forum is the third annual workshop for award-winning dairy farmers to learn about becoming champions for sustainability in the agricultural industry. This year 22 dairy farmers will take part in the forum which runs from December 1-3.

Event chairman, Martin Bennett is a past participant of the programme.

“The objective is to challenge the group’s thinking around leadership, explain the environmental challenges facing the dairy industry from various perspectives, and show them potential opportunities for them to use their skills.”

The participants invited to attend are either Ballance Farm Environment Award winners or Dairy Industry Award winners.

“They are all high-performers who have a focus on farming in harmony with the environment. This forum is often the encouragement they need to take the leadership they show on their own farm business out to their communities.

“The debate between these high achievers and the guest speakers is always lively and informed and most importantly challenging. This year I expect it will be no different with Green Party MP Jeanette Fitzsimons presenting to the group.”

DairyNZ strategy and investment leader for sustainability Dr Rick Pridmore believes the investment in this area is already paying dividends.

“Previous participants in this programme have been able to discuss concepts of leadership, sustainability and environmental science with some heavy hitters over the past two years, which has spurred them on to bigger things. As an industry we are determined to step up in this area.”

Past participants have become involved in a variety of environmental programmes like stream catchment groups, planting initiatives, and Dairy Action Teams. Others are involved in educational initiatives like Get Fresh, Go Dairy and the Big Day Off where they can reinforce the importance of farming sustainably.


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