Dairy Environment Leaders


3 min read

Dairy Environment Leaders? Dairy Environment Leader Roles DEL forums Join the DEL movement

Dairy Environment Leaders (DEL) is a network of farmers who aim to encourage and create a sustainable future in dairy farming. As a part of this network, you will lead by example in reducing your farm's environmental footprint and support other farmers to do the same. The network undertakes various projects to improve local areas and hosts forums and webinars for like-minded farmers to network, attend training sessions, and learn about industry opportunities. If you are committed to environmental sustainability and wish to connect with others to bring positive change in the dairy industry, you can join the DEL movement.

What is Dairy Environment Leaders?

Dairy Environment Leaders (DEL) is a farmer-led network who's vision is: 'Supporting dairy farmer actions to encourage and influence a sustainable future.'

What does a Dairy Environment Leader do?

Dairy Environment Leaders are dairy farmers who lead by example in reducing their environmental footprint, seek to support their fellow farmers to do the same, influence decision-makers to create fair and practical environmental policy, and share with the wider community the great work dairy farmers are doing.

As a combined group, they have undertaken some incredible projects to improve their local areas. Here are a few of them:

DEL forums

Each year, the Dairy Environment Leaders hold a regional or national farmer-led forum. The forum is typically in Wellington and is a chance for the farmers to:

  • Network with like-minded farmers across the country
  • Attend leadership training sessions
  • Hear about industry challenges and opportunities
  • Connect with government officials

The diverse backgrounds of Dairy Environment Leaders means a considerable amount of farming and industry knowledge is brought to the annual forum to accelerate positive change for the dairy industry.

Join the DEL movement

Step 1: Know your numbers

Understand your environmental footprint and overall profitability by knowing your GHG emissions, purchased N surplus, and operating profit.

  • There are many places you can find your GHG emissions and purchased N surplus (e.g. Fonterra Insights Report, Overseer, Farmax).
  • If you don’t know your operating profit you can:

Step 2: Create a freshwater farm plan or FEP

Dairy Training has recently developed a free course to help you create a version of a Freshwater Farm Plan.

Find out more and enrol here

Step 3: DEL commitments

Lead by example 

  1. Take responsibility for understanding your business’s environmental impact.
  2. Strive to reduce that impact through early adoption of positive environmental practices.
  3. Share experience and knowledge with other farmers at events, committees, catchment groups and networks to encourage the adoption of positive environmental practices.

Influence decision-makers 

  1. Connect with local MPs, government advisors, stakeholder groups and councils to bring policy closer to the farm, ensuring that dairy farmers' views are heard, and policies can fit with farming practices. 

Share your hard work

  1. Tell your story to increase understanding and appreciation of dairy farmers' efforts. 
  2. Have a presence in the media through stories, social media and video.

Step 4: Show pride and be recognised

Show pride in being a Dairy Environment Leader and be recognised for the work you do.

Step 5: Connect with other DELs

Connect with other DEL farmers to share ideas, stories, or inspiration through the Facebook group, national or regional DEL forums, catchment groups, or local DairyNZ events.

If you want to be part of the Dairy Environment Leaders network please contact DEL@dairynz.co.nz

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Last updated: Aug 2023

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