Regional Farmer Groups


3 min read

Who can be in a Regional Farmer Group? How do the groups work? Why should I get involved?

We're tackling people challenges together with Regional Farmer Groups who face challenges in attracting and retaining staff on farm. Our team work alongside farmers to design and build solutions that work for them and their communities.

People challenges? Let's tackle them together.

Dairy farms are experiencing critical staffing shortages which are impacting job satisfaction, well-being, business performance and rural communities.

During development of the Great Futures in Dairying Plan, farmers asked for support with local solutions for these challenges. In response, DairyNZ has dedicated a multi-functional team to work alongside regional farmer-led groups to design and build solutions that work for them and their community.

Some solutions farmers have suggested are job sharing, collective job ads, collective training or community development, including well-being support and community revitalisation. The solution a group lands on could be one of those or completely different because whatever they do will be designed to tackle their challenge.

Regional Farmer Groups are an exciting opportunity for dairy farmers who want to address staffing challenges in their area.

Regional Farmer Groups

Video 0:40 min

Who can be in a Regional Farmer Group?

They can be made up of local farmers, members of the rural sector, and community members who face challenges in attracting and retaining staff on farms. The group might be new or already working together.

Once a group has a clear solution they want to implement, they might bring in expertise, other farmers or other organisations who can help them.

The groups are farmer-led, so they decide who is involved and when.

How do the groups work?

Regional Farmer Groups are run by farmers, for farmers, with support from DairyNZ. We will work alongside the groups and can provide support and expertise where needed. Support could be in the form of facilitators, subject experts, researchers, designers etc., depending on what the groups needs are.  We can help a group figure out where to start and what to focus on and help them design and test the solution. 

Groups can choose to meet locally, somewhere in the community, or online if they desire. They might meet once or several times.

Why should I get involved?

  • Networking: Form a peer support network and connect with others.
  • Share ideas: Learn from what other farmers have tried and share what works.
  • Full control: As a farmer-led group, the control is in your hands.
  • Access knowledge and expertise: Get support in the form of facilitation, marketing and design, access to scientists or experts, problem solving, designing solutions or more.
  • Tailored and regionalised solutions: Your shared challenge will drive the direction of the group and the solution will be tested and implemented by you.

Be a part of something great: great people, great jobs, great workplaces, great communities.

Get involved or find out more

North Island - michelle.greaves@dairynz.co.nz
Canterbury, Top of the South Island and West Coast - sinead.wilding@dairynz.co.nz
Southland and Otago - al.simpson@dairynz.co.nz
Or call DairyNZ on 0800 4 DAIRYNZ and ask to be transferred

Tackling rural staff challenges

Listen to Jac McGowan, Solutions and Development specialist at DairyNZ, talk about how rural staff challenges are being tackled with regional farmer groups.

Last updated: Aug 2023

Related content

Dairy Environment Leaders


3 min read

Climate Change Ambassadors


5 min read