World’s agri-media comes to Matamata
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.
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.
Tracy, left, and Wynn Brown impressed international journalists when they visited their Matai Rd farm as part of a congress.