55 environment-focused dairy farmers were invited by DairyNZ to a forum in Wellington to further develop their leadership skills and create strategies for positive change in dairy farming for the environment.
The annual farmer-led forum, now in its seventh year, supports dairy farmers in environmental leadership, utilising their skills and standing in their communities to speed up change. This year’s theme “Dairy Leading Change: from Limits to Opportunities” aimed to put the industry’s Strategy for Sustainable Dairying into action.
A highlight of the event was a visit to Parliament where delegates met with the Minister for Primary Industries, Hon Nathan Guy and enjoyed a dinner at the Beehive with members of Parliament.
Stepping up in their communities, becoming part of collaborative policy processes and telling the good stories to a wider audience were some of the actions the farmers defined as outcomes of the Forum.
The 3-day programme included workshops, panel discussions and guest speaker sessions to challenge, motivate and encourage action for the participants.
The line-up of guest speakers included lawyer Mai Chen, scientist and inventor Sir Ray Avery, Green party co-leader Russel Norman, Radio New Zealand CEO Paul Thompson, Landcorp CEO Steven Carden, Fonterra’s Todd Muller, social entrepreneur Sam Johnson and DairyNZ’s Dr Rick Pridmore. They shared their own leadership journey as well as strategies to overcome the challenges facing dairy farming in New Zealand.
So far 230 people have been through the dairy environment leaders’ programme. This investment in community leaders is a key initiative to achieving sustainable farming in New Zealand.
Browse the gallery of photos taken from the event.