"We are partners in the Waikato Agricultural Hub and the Lincoln Hub. This is another step towards our goal of establishing these multi-disciplinary science, education and business centres," says DairyNZ chief executive Tim Mackle.
"DairyNZ's focus is on ensuring these hubs bring a closer connection with our industry's needs. We're keen to see an easier and more effective transfer of research and innovative solutions to our farmers.
"It's obvious AgResearch has a big change management process on its hands. It has consulted a great deal in recent months over its plans and has now made key decisions that will enable us all to move forward," he says.
"That's good news from our perspective, as there are many steps in this major project. We need to keep the momentum up. DairyNZ will be relocating our Christchurch-based staff to the Lincoln Hub when it is up and running in 2017."
Dr Mackle says he is particularly pleased to hear that AgResearch will be doing all it can to maximise the retention of staff.
"It is so vital that we don't lose capability within the research sector. Everyone is concerned about that, including dairy farmers.
"For us it's not so much about quantity – but the right mix of skills to ensure the regional strength and focus of research is sustained in our sector. So we have worked through this issue with AgResearch to ensure they remain committed to dairy farmers in key dairy regions where they've signalled change. Examples include Otago/Southland and the Upper North Island.
"Co-location and collaboration to attract and retain the best science capacity is the approach we've adopted to secure that goal. We're supporting AgResearch with that objective front of mind. We believe that farmers want us all working together and getting the best and most efficient use of research and demonstration farms around the country," he says.
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