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New Speaker Series Reveals The Good, The Bad, And The Opportunity In Regenerative Agriculture

Tuesday May 12, 2020: A six-part online speaker series for farmers and growers will explore the nuts and bolts of regenerative agriculture (regen ag), from international trade opportunities in the wake of Covid-19 to how often animals should be moved when grazing.

Hosted by think-tank Pure Advantage and the Edmund Hillary Fellowship, the series authored and hosted by Alina Siegfried will provide insights into the benefits and costs of regen ag and the practicalities of changing systems while maintaining production on a working farm.

The series features Kiwi farmers and international experts, including Gary Hirshberg, Co-founder and former Chief Executive of Stonyfield Organics, the second largest organic dairy company in the world. Soil scientists and business leaders will explore the role of market mechanisms, funding models, soil science, systems-thinking, and community mental health.

The series follows from the launch last week of the Our Regenerative Future report by Pure Advantage. Its Chief Executive Simon Millar who produced the series says we’ve moved from the “why” of regenerative culture to the “how.”

“We set up this series to inform and widen this discussion and give farmers and growers a place to learn from people who have been in their shoes,” says Simon. “Some of the farmers who will speak on this series are intergenerational and others are fairly new to regen ag. They are living the transition every day.

“This is an optimum time for New Zealand to be considering how to move to a value-based agriculture system. The science is rapidly catching up to the anecdotal evidence and these men and women are showing us how it’s done; they are leading from the edge and going mainstream.

“In the wake of Covid-19, as people become more health-aware and focus on a product’s provenance, we have a golden opportunity to build on the strengths of our primary sector and become a global model for regenerative agriculture.”

The first episode in the series will discuss how Kiwi farmers can get more bang for their buck with premium and value-added products here in New Zealand.

Register for upcoming events at

and learn more at @PureAdvantage

Time & DateTopicDescriptionsPanellists

Episode 1

12pm, 18/5

Food, Business and Trade in a Post-COVID-19 EconomyInternational trade and commodity exports will be dampened for some time in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. How can we ensure that we are getting more bang for our buck from the primary sector with premium products and value-added here in New Zealand?

Gary Hirshberg, Cerasela Stancu

Allan Richardson

Episode 2

7pm, 25/1

Walking the Talk of Regenerative AgricultureIn this session we’ll hear from a range of regenerative farmers across sheep & beef, dairy, mixed cropping and horticulture. With over 75 years experience between them in regenerative and organic techniques, these panellists have a wealth of knowledge to share.

Hamish Bielski Mark Anderson Simon Osborne

Kay Baxter

Episode 3

12pm, 1/6

Regenerative Soil Science Regenerative agriculture allows for thriving and diverse microbial communities below the ground, many of which are killed off by synthetic fertilisers and other conventional farming methods. Hear about how regen ag can improve soil functioning, sequester carbon, and decrease nutrient loss from farms.

Dr. Gwen Grelet

Nicole Masters

Episode 4 TBC, 8/6Community + Mental HealthMany farmers who have transitioned to regenerative methods have reported that they are less stressed, more supported by their community and have re-discovered the joy in farming once more. Hear from those who are supporting farmers to make the transition and improve rural mental health.

Jono Frew

Sam Lang

Episode 5

12pm, 15/6

Lessons from Around the WorldHear international perspectives on regenerative agriculture from the vast Canadian prairies, the diversity of the United States farming community, and from a Nuffield scholar who travelled 18 countries, interviewing over 100 farmers.Erin Crampton Sam Lang

Episode 6

7pm, 22/6

Investing in Regenerative Agri


The transition from conventional input-based farming to regenerative can be costly for the first few years. This session brings in business leaders and entrepreneurs to discuss how we can best support farmers to make the switch.

Mike Taitoko

Rod Oram

Geoff Ross

About Pure Advantage

Pure Advantage functions as both a generator and communicator of knowledge, undertaking and supporting a variety of green growth-focused research activities and outputs. Through this work we seek to disseminate cutting-edge theory and practice that will transform how New Zealanders understand and manage the relationship between the environment and the economy.

We advocate for economic models that generate both profitability and positive social and environmental outcomes. In promoting these models we seek to uphold the ethical imperatives of impact investment while also dispelling any lingering misconceptions around wealth creation and environmental protection being contradictory goals.

PRINZ PR Consultancy of the Year 2018 (Medium/Large) – Highly Commended

PRINZ PR Consultancy of the Year 2017 (Small/Medium) – Winner

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