Big guns roll out for dairying conference
Discussion on the dairy industry’s competitiveness challenges will be front and centre when key influencers and experts, including Minister for Economic Development Steven Joyce, front farmers at DairyNZ’s Farmers’ Forum on May 7 and 8 in Hamilton.
DairyNZ chief executive Tim Mackle said the biennial event will this year focus on market issues outside the farm gate and on how dairy farming can be competitive and responsible in a changing world.
Day one keynote speakers include Fonterra chairman John Wilson, Reserve Bank governor Graeme Wheeler and McDonald’s Corporation’s Lisa Isaacs. Day two’s keynote speaker is Minister for Economic Development, Steven Joyce.
‘‘There are a number of global and domestic challenges facing farmers in the near future, so this year we’ll be discussing our competitive edge as an industry, as well as giving some practical on-farm advice,’’ said Mackle.
‘‘DairyNZ’s general manager for development and extension, David McCall, went on a factfinding trip to the United States last year. He’ll be talking on how the US is our biggest competitor in export dairy markets.’’
The two-day forum at Hamilton’s Mystery Creek Events Centre is expected to attract more than 800 farmers, and is free to levy-paying farmers and their staff.
This year the forum offers a chance for farmers to cast their vote onsite in the milksolids levy referendum. The levy vote happens every six years and farmers are being urged to have their say in May on whether to continue the levy on milksolids to fund industry research and development and a range of other activities.
‘‘We’ll be encouraging farmers to take the opportunity to vote onsite and making it easy for them to do so,’’ he said.
‘‘The forum will also share the results of our latest scientific work to help farmers see and discover new ideas, tools and techniques to manage risks to their business.’’
Day two includes a farmer panel discussing what they learnt from their experiences as regional focus farms in Northland, Hauraki and Bay of Plenty.
Across the two days, farmers can choose from 12 workshops.
‘‘The workshop topics range from getting involved in decision-making on environmental controls and how to strengthen the farm business, right through to automatic milking, how to grow great teams and succeed with high input farm systems,’’ said Mackle.
The DairyNZ Farmers’ Forum is free to levy paying dairy farmers and their staff.
The fee for others is $100 for one day and $175 for two. Registration is essential prior to the event.
To view the full programme or register, visit dairynz.co.nz/ farmersforum.