Change is a constant in the agricultural sector and the March 22-23 forum will help more than 60 Dairy Environment Leaders (DELs) plan how they will support environmental progress in their communities this year, as they continue to embed sustainable dairying into New Zealand.

The event will give the DELs an opportunity to showcase some of their achievements, raise farming issues with politicians and decision-makers and ensure rural voices are heard.

Dairy Environment Leaders around New Zealand work with other farmers, their communities and decision-makers to drive positive change. Supported by DairyNZ, they influence decision-makers to create fair and practical environmental policy, share the great work the sector is doing with the wider community and lead by example in reducing environmental footprint.

DairyNZ general manager sustainable dairy, Dr David Burger, says all the DEL farmers are passionate, driven, practically minded and particularly environmentally conscious.

“They have all undertaken incredible projects to improve their local environment and reduce the dairy sector’s footprint, while maintaining profitable farm businesses. Their diverse backgrounds and extensive farming and sector knowledge help accelerate positive change for dairy farming.

“The DELs are all committed to sharing their experience and knowledge with other farmers, to encourage the adoption of positive environmental practices."

The DEL network’s vision is to support dairy farmer actions to encourage and influence a sustainable future. DEL chair, Te Aroha dairy farmer Melissa Slattery, says the network’s farmers have taken on leadership roles around New Zealand to help achieve this vision.

“They’ve opened their gates, started and participated in catchment groups, improved their farms and shared their experiences with their peers and communities,” she says.

DairyNZ invites environmentally minded dairy farmers to join the DEL network. The industry-good body welcomes enquiries from dairy farmers with a particular passion for the environment who would like the opportunity to develop leadership skills and learn more about sustainable farming. For more information or to register interest, please email DEL@dairynz.co.nz.

About the Dairy Environment Leaders

  • DairyNZ formed the Dairy Environment Leaders network to empower leadership and help farmers support each other to reduce environmental footprint.
  • The DEL programme’s vision is to foster kaitiakitanga – stewardship for the future.
  • There are now more than 300 DELs around New Zealand.
  • More than 60 DELs are expected to attend this year’s forum in Wellington.
  • The DELs provide a voice at a regional and national level, including with Government and sector groups and leaders. They are active at a grassroots level, on boards and local committees.
  • The DELs demonstrate excellent environmental practices on their own farms, including protecting and enhancing waterways, riparian planting and reducing emissions.

    For more information contact:
    Justine McLeary
    Senior media specialist, DairyNZ
    027 808 0673

Page last updated:

8 Mar 2023


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