The programme’s vision is to support, develop and empower dairy farming leaders to lead positive change, shape a sustainable future for the dairy industry and enhance the communities we live in towards a better New Zealand.
Who are the dairy environment leaders?
The dairy environment leaders are an active network of highly effective dairy farming leaders from around the country who engage on farming environmental matters from within, and on behalf of, the dairy industry.
Dairy environment leaders make things happen. They are active in our communities at grass-roots level, on boards and local committees, and work to achieve better outcomes for the environment and farming. Dairy environment leaders may be working on regional and national initiatives to improve water quality, reviewing their farm system to reduce their environmental footprint, assisting other dairy farmers in the consultation process with their regional councils, or engaging with the public by hosting school children on their farm.
Dairy Environment Leaders' Forum 2016 highlights
Dairy Environment Leaders’ Annual Forum
The annual farmer-led Dairy Environment Leaders’ Forum in December - held since 2007, is an invaluable opportunity for dairy environment leaders to get together, evaluate their progress and set goals for their regional and national initiatives.
Dairy environment leaders’ diverse backgrounds means a considerable amount of farming and industry knowledge is brought to the annual forum where over one hundred farmer leaders meet to accelerate positive change for the dairy industry.
At the forum, farmer leaders:
- work on individual, regional and national action plans
- attend skills sessions and workshops and build on existing leadership skills
- celebrate individual and industry successes
- share their knowledge and experience and learn from each other.
Dairy Environment Leaders' Forum 2016
A diverse group of dairy environment leaders from the regions met to lead, connect, develop leadership skills, influence policy makers and hear speakers at the tenth annual Dairy Environment Leaders’ Forum.
Hon Nathan Guy addressed farmer leaders before invited guests at Te Papa from central and local government, business, industry, science, environment organisations and training, dinned with farmer leaders for the purpose of shaping a sustainable dairy industry.
Farmer leaders were challenged by DairyNZ’s Dr Tim Mackle and Dr Rick Pridmore on confronting the industry challenges, and Dr Bruce Thorrold shared his expertise in his presentation, Optimistic, Excited and Realistic - How Can We Increase Profit and Reduce Our Footprint?
Vicky Robertson spoke on policy in the real world, Ben Allomes gave insight into self-awareness and his leadership journey, Theresa Gattung shared her personal leadership story, and Gilbert Enoka talked about clear thinking and getting out of your comfort zone.
Farmer leaders left Wellington after three inspiring and productive days with regional action plans.
Dairy Environment Leaders' Forum 2016 highlights
Confronting the industry challenge
Dr Tim Mackle and Dr Rick Pridmore gave insight into the strategy and direction of the dairy industry, the challenges ahead, and where dairy environment leaders can make change.
What can dairy environment leaders do?
Rick Pridmore told farmers, “Over the last five years we have got better and better behind the farm gate. But public perception is low because you are not telling the story. It’s you, that is the link. It has to come in a different form and a different way. The story has to come from you.”
In workshops, farmer leaders analysed current regional situations and resources, and skills required to progress.
Farmer leaders worked on action plans focusing on how, across regions, we can work together.
Regions presented on progress made, what they’ve learnt and future plans.
Leadership and self-awareness
Understanding leadership styles, strengths and raising self-awareness.
Workshops and presentations helped develop farmer leaders’ leadership skills including a presentation from Ben Allomes, farmer, Nuffield Scholar, DairyNZ director.
Learning from farmers
Farmer-led sessions exampled the wealth of knowledge and experience within our dairy environment leaders.
- Liz Blakemore - Farmer Wellness - Feeling the Fear and Leading Anyway
- Stu Muir - Connecting Our Wider Community
- Jessie Chan-Dorman - Do or Do Not – There is No Try
- Chris Lewis - Lessons Learnt to Help Get It Right: Farmers Input into the Waikato Planning Process
- Marilyn Baldwin - Getting Started on Social Media - Telling our Story
- Brad Markham - Advanced Social Media
A time-pressured social media scenario challenged farmer leaders.
Farmer leaders learnt tips on how to tell the positive dairy farming story and the power of social media.
The Dairy Environment Leaders’ Forum hashtag #DELForum trended number one during the forum thanks to farmer leaders and everyone supporting the programme.
Farmer leaders engaged with policy makers in an opportunity to shape policy.
Topics included animal welfare, water policy, economic analysis, and climate change.
Inspiring speakers shared personal leadership stories and gave insight into policy.
Ben Allomes - Nuffield scholar, DairyNZ director
“Everyone has their own story. Those who understand their story are the ones in the best position to shape their future.”
Ben gave insight into how being self-aware and self-reflective shapes you as a leader and helps align your purpose and vision.
Gilbert Enoka - Manager Leadership, All Blacks
“Success is a lousy teacher.”
Gilbert told a story about vision, strategy, changing organisational culture and getting leadership closer to the decision makers!
Theresa Gattung - My Food Bag co-founder and former Telecom chief executive
“The most important power is your personal power, the power of your passion, of your belief, of walking the talk. That is how you lead people.”
Theresa shared her leadership journey and how to align your purpose and passion with what you are doing, how to measure success, and motivate yourself to overcome failure.
Vicky Robertson - Chief Executive, Ministry for the Environment
“Things you are doing on farm already: soil analysis, riparian planting, precision agriculture, these are the stories, these mean our product will be bought in the future. We are well positioned to take advantage of premium consumer demand.”
Vicky gave farmer leaders insight into ‘Iti-Nui’ and how small actions can lead to a big impact.
Dairy Environment Leaders' Forum 2016 photographs
Dairy Environment Leaders' Forum 2015
The ninth Dairy Environment Leaders’ Forum, Dairy Leading Change: Accelerating Collective Action.
Highlights from the 2015 Dairy Environment Leaders’ Forum
Dairy environment leaders interview 2015 forum speakers
At the 2015 forum dairy environment leaders put their training and skills into action:
- Sarah Coatsworth from Rotorua, talks to Yamini Naidu – What’s your story?
- Suzanne Hanning from Invercargill talks to Jacqueline Chow – What’s your purpose?
- Colleen Sheldon talks to Mike Petersen – Negotiation skills
- Mat Hocken from Feilding talks to Shark man, Riley Elliott
Dairy Environment Leaders interview 2015 forum speakers
Dairy environment leaders’ regional programme
Environment leaders have formed regional groups throughout the country to work on regional challenges and bring other farmers on board.
They are supported by DairyNZ with training opportunities, involvement in industry projects, communication, and linkages to other farmers and industry initiatives.
Northland dairy environment leaders are working with key stakeholders to discuss issues and opportunities on developing Northland Regional Council’s Regional Plan.
Formed by Southland dairy environment leaders, the purpose of the Dairy Leaders Advisory Group is to contribute to the development and promotion of dairy industry views on policy changes.
Southland dairy environment leaders work closely with other farmers, Environment Southland, industry stakeholders and the wider community to help develop long-term solutions to environmental issues. The leaders’ first objective was to provide input into and raise awareness in the community of Environment Southland’s Water and Land Plan.
Dairy environment leaders have made significant contribution over the last two years to engage, support and inform farmers about Waikato Regional Council’s Healthy Rivers: Plan for Change process for the Waikato and Waipa catchments.
A farmer engagement group consisting of 18 farmers (12 of which are dairy environment leaders) have helped lead interactions between farmers and council throughout the process.
The Coast Dairy Environment Group (CDEG), formed by dairy environment leaders, is promoting the sustainability of dairy farming on the West Coast through promotion of good news stories and engagement with authorities.
Activities include working with the NZ Farm Environment Trust to bring the Ballance Farm Environment Awards to the West Coast region, encouraging and facilitating school visits to dairy farms and engaging with regional authorities and Westland Milk Products. They meet every few months to review progress and set actions for individual members to ensure they are working towards their objectives.
Nominate a dairy environment leader
Help us identify further dairy environment leaders. Leaders must have a collective spirit – look beyond the farm gate, be reputable and trusted in their community, and be a levy payer.
Dairy environment leaders are committed to:
- Environmental progress and stewardship
- Engaging with and enhancing communities
- Improving the public perception of farming
- Investing time and action to lead change for the industry.
If you believe you, or someone you know, should join the dairy environment leaders’ network - please contact us DEL@dairynz.co.nz.
Dairy Environment Leaders' Forum 2016 speaker and leader interviews
For more information about the dairy environment leaders programme, contact Helen Moodie at firstname.lastname@example.org.