Around 500 dairy farmers turned out at 33 meetings across the country to share their thoughts on issues affecting them, be updated on levy-funded research and talk about what the future focus should be for DairyNZ investment.
“The meetings provided some very valuable feedback for us on what farmers are thinking and what they think are priorities for the future. The farmers who came along to the meetings were very keen to talk with us,” says DairyNZ chair Jim van der Poel.
“With significant government consultations underway this year on freshwater and climate change policy, the feedback we received from farmers was that the work DairyNZ has been doing to support farmers to tell their story has been very important.”
“Farmers really appreciated that DairyNZ has their backs and that we could provide factual information they could use in their submissions on issues like Essential Freshwater and emissions policy. We provided science-based options and modelling showing the real economic impact of changes.”
DairyNZ chief executive Dr Tim Mackle says farmers attending the meetings also highlighted the need for continuing investment in farm system research.
“The New Zealand dairy sector has a track record of being world leading in farm system research. Farmers told us they see investment in this research as vital to continue finding solutions to changes in government policy and to meet changing expectations from our customers.”
Dr Mackle says dairy farmers also felt it was important for all the organisations in the agricultural sector to continue to work together on both advocacy and research, in order to achieve the best results.
“We received a really wide range of comments at the meetings on many topics – from on-farm emissions to biosecurity, low nitrogen pastures and crops, labour availability and many more issues. Farmers value the work DairyNZ does and there is certainly a strong demand for continued investment in research and solutions that work on farm,” says Mr van der Poel.
“We would like to invite dairy farmers who didn’t attend the meetings to share their thoughts on what they think priorities for future levy investment are online.”
Dairy farmers can comment on this topic at dairynz.co.nz/feedback.
DairyNZ will review the feedback it receives online and from meetings and is planning to use this to draft priorities for future investment.
In May 2020 farmers will be asked to vote on whether they wish to continue to support the levy on milksolids to enable DairyNZ to continue industry good activities.
More information on common questions dairy farmers raised at the recent meetings is available at dairynz.co.nz/feedback.
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