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Sheep and beef farming leaders focus on environment

12 April 2013

Sheep and beef farming leaders focus on environment

Twenty-five sheep and beef farming leaders from across New Zealand will attend the first Beef and Lamb New Zealand (B+LNZ) Environmental Leadership Forum in Wellington next week.

The Forum is being funded by B+LNZ and delivered by the New Zealand Farm Environment Trust. It is based on a successful programme – also run by the Trust, in partnership with DairyNZ – for dairy farming leaders.

B+LNZ Chief Executive Officer, Dr Scott Champion says the forum is designed to equip the farmers with some of the skills they need to engage effectively with regional councils and take on leadership roles within their communities.

“They will be a reasoned voice at a community level for the sheep and beef sector. With changes in the way fresh water is managed – to a more local focus and using a more collaborative process – it’s a timely investment in these farmers.”

The forum runs over three days – 16 to 18 April – and includes guest speaker presentations and workshop sessions. Participants will also have the opportunity to meet and network with politicians, government officials and environmental leaders. The focus is on developing participants’ leadership styles, with a particular emphasis on understanding people, their drivers and how to best communicate messages, so environmental challenges can be successfully solved.

Dr Champion says that, in recent years, the supreme winners of the Ballance Farm Environment Awards have been sheep and beef farmers. “This highlights the responsible approach to the environment that most sheep and beef farmers take. B+LNZ supports farmers by facilitating the development of individual operations’ Land and Environment Plans, and through its sponsorship of the high profile Ballance Farm Environment Awards.

“Most of the farmers involved in the Forum have been actively involved in the Ballance Farm Environment awards or are B+LNZ Farmer Council members. All have demonstrated an interest in environmental issues.

“With increasing community participation in water and environmental discussions, sheep and beef farming leaders are needed across New Zealand – so they can actively participate in these processes to ensure the sector’s voice is heard.”


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