World’s agri-me­dia comes to Mata­mata

Matamata Chronicle - - Rural Delivery - ABBY BROWN

Mata­mata farm­ers Wynn and Tracy Brown’s pas­sion for bal­anc­ing the en­vi­ron­ment and eco­nom­ics is pay­ing off.

‘‘When our friends were over­seas in their 20’s, we were fenc­ing off wa­ter­ways and cre­at­ing wet­lands. Iron­i­cally now, the world has come to us,’’ Tracy laughed.

Over

50

jour­nal­ists

vis­ited their Matai Rd farm on Oc­to­ber 15 as part of the In­ter­na­tional Fed­er­a­tion of Agri­cul­tural Jour­nal­ists congress.

The jour­nal­ists had lit­tle un­der­stand­ing about ri­par­ian plant­ing from congress speeches un­til they vis­ited the farm.

The cou­ple at­trib­uted the lack of ero­sion to cor­rect al­lo­ca­tion of stock type for land class as well as the 310 hectare ef­fec­tive farm’s 13 wet­lands and 12-14km of fenced wa­ter­ways.

The visit was also il­lu­mi­nat­ing in how unique and for­ward think­ing New Zealand farm­ers are in com­par­i­son to the world’s dairy farm­ers.

One Euro­pean jour­nal­ist told them ‘‘I am go­ing to write that you are lead­ing the world in agri­cul­tural sus­tain­abil­ity’’ and an­other said ‘‘you are rev­o­lu­tion­is­ing how the world should be think­ing about food pro- duc­tion’’.

Wynn has an agron­omy and Tracy an eco­nom­ics back­ground, so as a team they were able to an­swer jour­nal­ists’ wide rang­ing ques­tions from pas­ture per­sis­tence and pro­duc­tion to eco­nomic and po­lit­i­cal is­sues that af­fect farm­ing.

They were also grate­ful that Mata­mata-Pi­ako mayor Jan Barnes was in at­ten­dance.

It was a great op­por­tu­nity to show­case the Mata­mata-Pi­ako dis­trict with jour­nal­ists also vis­it­ing Hob­biton and meat pro­ces­sor Sil­ver Fern Farms in Te Aroha.

The cou­ple en­cour­aged other farm­ers to take the op­por­tu­nity to host me­dia on their farms.

‘‘It’s pow­er­ful when farm­ers talk to me­dia,’’ Wynn said.

‘‘Industry groups do that for us but when in­di­vid­ual farm­ers tell their story, the pas­sion comes out,’’ Tracy added.

PHOTO: ABBY BROWN

Tracy, left, and Wynn Brown im­pressed in­ter­na­tional jour­nal­ists when they vis­ited their Matai Rd farm as part of a congress.

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