Fo­rum gives farm­ers new skill

South Waikato News - - RURAL DELIVERY -

The hun­dred’s up as 41 new farm­ers joined in­flu­en­tial grass­roots move­ment the Build­ing En­vi­ron­men­tal Lead­ers Net­work at a fo­rum in Hamil­ton last week.

The fo­rum has been run by the New Zealand Farm En­vi­ron­ment Award Trust for DairyNZ for four years.

Fo­rum chair­man and past-par­tic­i­pant Martin Ben­nett is a dairy farmer from Pu­taruru.

He says the fo­rum was ramped up this year to build on past suc­cess.

‘‘Last year we had 22 at the fo­rum. We’ve dou­bled the num­bers this year and we have now had 129 farm­ers come through the fo­rum,’’ Mr Ben­nett said.

Mr Ben­nett said the re­sults for­mer par­tic­i­pants had achieved had been en­cour­ag­ing.

‘‘They’ve been equipped with the skills and knowl­edge to make a dif­fer­ence across a wide range of en­vi­ron­men­tal mat­ters in their com­mu­ni­ties.’’

‘‘It’s not ev­ery day that farm­ers get the chance to dis­cuss com­plex in­dus­try is­sues around sus­tain­abil­ity with the likes of Ju­lian Cribb, the Aus­tralian award win­ning author of The Com­ing Famine, and then fol­low that with dis­cus­sions with Pro­fes­sor Jac­que­line Rowarth, Dr Rick Prid­more and David Carter the Min­is­ter of Agri­cul­ture.’’

Other speak­ers were ad­junct pro­fes­sor of sci­ence com­mu­ni­ca­tion at the Uni­ver­sity of Technology in Syd­ney Ju­lian Cribb and New Zealand Pa­role Board chair­man Judge Sir David Car­ruthers.

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