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Identifying innovative approaches to succession planning to retain the family farm

Executive Summary

There are too many horror stories out there where family farms have been sold unnecessarily because the succession process becomes too hard. The objective of this project was to find non-standard or innovative ways that people had managed to achieve succession on the family farm and to try to identify common themes or methods that enabled that succession to occur. To get a deeper understanding of this over 20 interviews were completed with farmers and professionals on innovative succession plans they’d been involved with or done.

There are many ways succession can be carried out successfully. From the literature review and interviews, the succession process is a journey which requires flexibility and resilience. There are three key building blocks for a viable succession plan. The parents’ needs are met, there is fairness amongst all children (succeeding and non- succeeding) and there is a business that has long-term viability for the succeeding generation to buy. The key findings were the re-occurring themes that came through from interviews. This is that there are three succession “pillars” which, when added to the key building blocks, can enable innovative solutions. These pillars are communication, clarity and capability. When there is a desire and vision to have an inter-generational business and there is good communication, clarity and capability, over time a family business can progress to where a viable succession plan which has the three building blocks can be enacted.

Recommendations from the findings are as follows:

-Start early. Succession is a journey and the transition of the business assets may take ten or more years. Starting early and thinking about potential future succession will have a positive influence on the business. Setting a framework, working to incorporate skills and having the right structures in place will be hugely beneficial when it is appropriate to start a more formalised and structured succession plan.

-Practice open communication. Where open communication that is respectful is part of everyday life, everyone is aware and informed of the process and knows what is going on.

-Establish clear values. When it is clear how the parents and other family members would like things to be, then common ground can be found. What people want out of life and answering the ‘why’ is key.

-Have clarity of vision. Being clear on the vision for the business and what you are trying to achieve allows everyone involved to commit towards a common goal. The vision may change but having a goal in mind is crucial as it sets the tone and direction of the business.

-Have a clear structure that is fit for purpose. Everyone involved in the succession process needs to understand the ownership structure of the business. It must be fit for purpose in carrying out the succession plan and have flexibility to accommodate any changes in family needs while transferring ownership to the children.

-Build up the capability in the business. The skills needed for operations and management, finances and strategic planning need to be identified. Plans need to be put in place to develop those skills within the business or to fill them with third parties. Having strategic capability and working on the business will help drive performance.

-Engage quality professionals to assist in the succession process. Professionals can get the ball rolling and help formulate the appropriate succession plans for farming families. They can help navigate families through the process and assist in monitoring and tweaking the plan, so it meets the families’ needs.

-Have an open mind. Having an open mind to opportunities and the ability to critically evaluate them is a valuable skill.

Identifying Innovative Approaches to Succession Planning to Retain the Family Farm – Paul Duynhoven

Can New Zealand dairy farmers regain control of their narrative from inside the farm gate

Executive Summary

This research and affiliated report asks the question:

Can New Zealand Dairy farmers re-gain control of their narrative from inside the farm gate?

The dairy industry is New Zealand’s largest good exports sector, contributing 20% of total exports while bringing in $17.1 billion dollars into the New Zealand economy (NZIER, 2018). As dairy has grown in scale, the sector has increasingly become the brunt of social discontent. The current social climate places media platforms in misplaced control of narratives with the growing apprehension stemming mainly from questions around the sustainability and historical poor practice highlighted in the media. The New Zealand Ministry for Primary Industries conducted a study to explore urban and rural New Zealanders’ views of the primary sector and rural New Zealand. The study, consisting of 1,245 New Zealanders, suggested both groups of respondents, urban and rural, showed a decline in positivity toward farming in general. Since 2008, positive perception of the dairy industry from urban respondents has dropped from 78% to 47%, with rural outlook on the industry dropping from 83% to 50% (Ministry for Primary Industries, 2017). These numbers highlight that collective trust is shifting. This decrease in trust and increase in negative public perception is having huge impacts on our industry inside farm gates filtering into mental health and wellbeing and staff attraction and retention.

Throughout my research, I have utilised cross-industry resources and publications which I have compiled into a literature review and broken down in to main themes. I have compiled information from marketing literature and social media research regarding consumer and market trends with support from psychology and philosophical theories. I have also utilised research from social licence experts which I have followed with case studies. I have used case studies to demonstrate how companies have dealt with consumer trust and the results of individual responses on the associated market. Throughout this research I have dissected two main themes, why consumer demands on New Zealand dairy farms are changing, and how.

My report aims to cover the effect changing values are having on trust in the rural sector and the impact it has on company and industry, it will break down the relationship between narrative and consumer trust and discuss why having control of your narrative is important, and discuss recommendations on how farmers can build trust and empathy; re-gaining control of their narrative from the ground up.

My main findings throughout my report have been:

  1. Change in industry Trust is driven by changing consumer values.
  2. Unconscious decisions affect the uptake of brand strategic narratives.
  3. Misinformation is a key contributor to dairy farmers loss of control over their narrative.

On the basis of my research, my recommendations are as follows

  1. Farmers to develop credibility and authenticity built on results, history and consistency.
  2. Step out of our echo chambers.
  3. Render authentically by humanising the industry.

Support credible, trusted social media platforms.

Can New Zealand Dairy Farmers regain control of their narrative from inside the farm gate? Sacha McDougall

How can you influence shareholder engagement

Executive Summary

Co-operatives have existed in New Zealand since 1864. Farmers purchase shares in these co-operatives and become shareholders. For many farmers and shareholders this could be the last time that they interact with this co-operative. I have often wondered why shareholders don’t engage with their co-operative when they have invested some of their hard earned money into it. For some shareholders this is a large sum of money invested, yet they have little to know engagement with the co-operative. This led me to thinking, How can you influence shareholder engagement?

Agricultural co-operatives have been operating in New Zealand for nearly 150 years, they are a business model that has lasted. Why are engagement levels decreasing? Where will the next governors of these co-operatives come from if shareholders are not engaged?

With these issues at the fore front of mind I attended the Co-operative Business New Zealand forum and met Directors, Chief Executive Officers and Senior Management from a number of leading New Zealand co-operatives. I then interviewed 4 different co-operatives ranging from less than 500 shareholders through to 10000 plus shareholders to try and gain a greater understanding of how you can influence shareholder engagement.

The key findings that came out of my interviews were

  1. All employees need to understand the co-operatives vision and purpose
  2. Regular communication is required, minimum of monthly newsletters.
  3. Written communication needs to be authentic, not formal speech.
  4. Have the close of election date after the 20th of the month.

Having staff that are highly engaged and understand the vision and purpose of the co-operative is essential as these people are usually the shareholders first interaction with the co-operative. This allows for a base level of engagement to be set.

The recommendations that have come out of my report are that all co-operatives are trying to engage with shareholders. Some are doing well and some are still trying to find the correct methods of engagement. Keep sending out regular newsletters and emails as some form of engagement is better than none.  Be proactive in your approach to engagement, little and often communication is better than sending out a two page document for shareholders to read.

Every co-operative is different and all shareholders have different needs and requirements from their co-operative. “Not one box fits all” works for co-operatives. Shareholder engagement is a long term process. Co-operatives need to keep trying and shareholders need to remain engaged. The key is to keep engaging with shareholders during good times and bad, find innovative ways to engage with shareholders through the use of modern technology and to make the engagement as easy as possible for shareholders to complete.

How can you influence Shareholder engagement ? Mark Meyer

Can we make stone soup for rural wellbeing

Executive Summary

The fable of Stone Soup tells the tale of a weary stranger arriving at a village.  He convinces the villagers to each contribute an ingredient in order to make a meal for everyone to enjoy.  The weary stranger elaborately makes use of a simple stone as the key ingredient, to start creating the soup, as a catalyst for the village coming together.   As the stranger leaves, the villagers plead for the soup recipe.  It is at this point the stranger reveals they have always had the recipe.  Simply put, it took each of them making a small contribution which ultimately provided a significant result.  The moral of the story is that there is value in collaboration to achieve a better outcome.

The question is – can we make Stone Soup for Rural Wellbeing?

Mental health and wellbeing is a wicked problem for New Zealand.  This report serves to explore if there is sufficient interest within the agricultural sector to pursue a working arrangement, commercial interest’s aside, in collaborating for the betterment of rural wellbeing.

Twenty three interviews were conducted with employees of organisations that have either a retail store presence, mobile employees visiting farmers and growers, or provide membership or professional services to the rural sector.  The discussions identified that the sector is acutely aware of an increasingly poor state of mental wellbeing within our rural communities, and acknowledges this is a growing concern.

Many within the sector are working individually to make a difference by way of providing educational opportunities for their staff and customers, introduction to wellbeing training programmes, providing links to various mental health and wellbeing online resources and inviting different speakers to events and workshops.

By taking a collaborative approach the sector could improve wellbeing within our rural communities.  Working in unison to simplify, standardise and share scientifically proven advice and techniques which are effective for self-wellbeing management, would achieve a much better result.

Farmstrong, as a reputable and established rural wellbeing programme, is proposed as the unifying force bringing the sector together for the purpose of promoting wellbeing in our rural communities.

The main recommendation from this study is that the agricultural sector should unite to agree a framework of working together, with Farmstrong, to effect social change.

Actions resulting from the recommendations include connecting to cement commitment, collating and connecting key contacts, and a program of continuous coaching for regional champions.

A paper is going to the Farmstrong Governance Group as a next step.

Aims & Objectives

The project sought to understand how a selection of the sector currently share wellbeing resources and messaging internally with their employees and externally with their customers, shareholders and industry, as well as the desire to collaborate in order to optimise reach and impact.  Furthermore, the research tested the appetite for a collaborative and consistent development and sharing of Farmstrong materials, research and community engagement as a collective approach to promoting rural wellbeing.

Ultimately, I want this project to be a catalyst for mobilising the sector in a collaborative effort to simplify and standardise messaging to rural communities and reduce duplication, by adopting the Farmstrong voice.  I also want to challenge the sector to truly work together in making a difference for rural wellbeing.

“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much”
Helen Keller

Can we make stone soup for Rural Wellbeing? Michelle Stevens

What is the future for farm compliance in New Zealand

Executive Summary

Compliance and regulation are the two words that make many farmers roll their eyes. The shed-load of rules and regulations to be aware of and act in accordance with are vast and cover aspects such as staff recruitment and employment, health and safety, animal welfare, water and effluent management and more recently, greenhouse gasses.

Many land owners, lessors or managers feel there is more “red tape” attached to farming nowadays which causes a large amount of confusion and general uncertainty around long term production, productivity and profit (Soper, 2019; Stretton 2019). Farming is a multi-facet job with physical and academic requirements, the sheer level of knowledge required to farm at a high level is astounding.

We can be the champion of farm compliance enhancing our competitive advantage and cementing our brand on the world stage. Nutrient management has been the first mover when it comes to recording on farm practices and mitigation, however, there are many more facets to farm compliance and long term success for our agricultural nation. Encompassing all facets of a farm management system while connecting a specific business to a value chain has significant benefits with transparency and traceability. When it comes to market access, compliance can be a powerful tool in terms of retaining our social licence to operate.

“In the future, imagine compliance being easy, valuable, and simply part of everyone’s mindset. The benefits for our loyal and esteemed customers widely recognized and synonymous with brand New Zealand. Farmers leading the regulatory discussion, fulfilling market requirements and supporting economic, social and environmental sustainability for our entire country”.

 In twenty years’ time New Zealand will be a markedly different place. It may still be rich in natural resources, but as a society, we will probably be using these resources in very different ways. Our demographics, population and economy will all have changed markedly. We will continue to face complex issues and trade-offs between conservation of our natural environment and using our natural resources to support our society’s health, well-being and economy.

The focus of this study is on understanding the current compliance challenge for farmers in New Zealand and looking out to the future of farm compliance. The appetite and ambition for a change in compliance is among us as we look to a more holistic view of sustainability and what it means for our future production systems.

What is the future for farm compliance in New Zealand? – Laura Keenan

Opening gates: Staff attraction and retention on New Zealand’s meat and fibre farms

Executive Summary

This is a research paper into how future employees, current employees and the employers of both, feel about their current situations in their in today’s tight labour market. It is concentrated on the meat and fibre production sector.

The process used for the research below initially involves a literature review from previous Kellogg papers investigating the lack of interest in the primary sectors at a secondary education level. The three papers reviewed present information around the lack of promotion by schools and some misconceptions around the primary industries. It is generally accepted that there needs to be more done to attract people towards the primary industries.

The second part of this research revolves around three surveys. The first is presented to students studying at Lincoln University and as combined with semi-structured interviews with cadets from the Coleridge Downs Cadet School. The second of the surveys targets

employees on New Zealand’s sheep and beef farms. This is circulated via social media along with the third survey, which is directed at employers. The employer survey is also circulated through Beef and Lamb NZ. The employee survey has a large uptake with the other two being disappointing. As with the student survey employee and employer survey were combined with informal interviews to gain greater understanding.

The employee survey results unearth some underlying issues of farm, with an over whelming amount or respondents indicating they have given serious consideration towards leaving the sector. The underlying cause of these thoughts are directed at attaining better work-life balance.

The key conclusions from this report are as follows:

That there is some discontentment from senior management employees as they are considering leaving the sector in search of better work-life balance and in some cases greater financial reward.

Future and present employees have a very good understanding of their career paths along with a short time frame to reach management. This may contribute to reaching a ceiling at an early stage in their careers which may contribute to the above- mentioned discontentment.

Key recommendations from this research are:

Industry bodies need to build and promote an appropriate and current template that is relevantly shaped where processes can be implemented that will assist employers when attracting and retaining staff.

There needs to be more research done into why farm staff are considering leaving the sector.

Opening Gates: Staff attraction and retention on New Zealand’s meat and fibre farms – John Fitzgerald

The future of technical knowledge transfer at farmlands co-operative society

Executive Summary

Disruptive technology is all around us and changing how we work. Jobs are being replaced by robots and artificial intelligence, which is changing the set of skills we require in the work place, and new skills are being demanded of us before we can even train in them. This idea is explored further in this report, looking at how the world of work is changing, some of the key drivers behind this and new learning technologies that may help to decrease this widening divide between formal education and labour market needs. Technologies investigated include Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), microcredentials, blended learning, virtual reality, artificial intelligence and the ‘learning in the flow of work’ concept. It was concluded that all technologies researched will have a place in the future of learning in some shape or form and are all very complimentary of one another.

These new technologies were then considered in the context of Farmlands Co-operative Society, which is an organisation in New Zealand that supplies agricultural products and technical advice to farmers. A survey of Farmlands employees was completed with the aim of gaining insight into their perceptions of learning and development and how it could be changed to benefit the success and enjoyment of their role and future roles at Farmlands. The findings of this survey, in combination with learnings from Ravensdown, who were used as a case study, were used to formulate recommendations for Farmlands Co-operative Society to consider in the future when designing learning framework and delivering technical training across the business to ensure that employees feel well supported in their roles and to ensure they are prepared for the what the future of work has instore.

A key finding of this research was that retail store staff are most in need of more technical training as a priority group and that, more generally, all employees require access to more training and development opportunities after their first year in their role to ensure engagement and continued role satisfaction. It was also concluded that technical training opportunities need to be more visible to employees so they can take control of their own learning and so everyone feels they have the same opportunities to upskill, which would be further supported by continuing to encourage a learning culture within the organisation. Another key recommendation was to incorporate blended learning into technical training programs and to use forum functionalities in the learning management system to encourage collaboration amongst trainees. It was also recommended to utilise MOOCs where relevant and investigate further how virtual reality and artificial intelligence could be used in the future for technical training as both technologies have potential to take learning to a new level.

The future of technical knowledge transfer at Farmlands Co-operative Society – Stacey Cosnett

The importance of developing positive stress management and mindset skills in young dairy workers

Executive Summary

Stress management is a learned skill. No one is born with it. We develop stress management skills either good or bad reactively out of our upbringings or life events. Positive stress management is seen as an important skill but there is still much room to proactively develop this in younger dairy staff. The way we handle stress can lead to growth or improved performance or, rarely but tragically at the other end of the range people in extreme distress can take their own lives.

There are now more farm suicides than there are accidental farm deaths. Between 2013 and 2018 104 people were killed in accidental farm deaths, compared to 122 by suicide. Rural males under the age of thirty are over-represented in the statistics. Maori and Cantabrians are also over-represented in the statistics as a whole.

There were three parts to this research project 1) a survey of dairy farmers 2) a literature review and 3) interviews with industry leaders, psychologists and counsellors.

The aim of this report is to provide the industry with a discussion document on the importance of developing positive stress management in young dairy workers.

The key findings of the survey for this report were:

  • Medium correlation between female workers and loneliness
  • Large correlation between loneliness and resilience
  • No relationship between loneliness and living situation or relationship status
  • Large significant relationship between loneliness and help-seeking
  • Large significant relationship between loneliness, meaning and purpose
  • Medium significant correlation between loneliness and increased alcohol use
  • Over 40% of respondents use alcohol as a coping strategy
  • Approximately 50% of respondents said they were sometimes or often
  • Indication that 75% of people are relatively well educated about
  • 45% of respondents stated they were extremely unlikely or unlikely to seek help from someone else if they were facing a personal or emotional
  • 76% of respondents stated they were extremely unlikely or unlikely to tell their employer if they were facing personal or emotional

The key findings of the literature review and interviews with health professionals were:

  • Rural areas need to be acknowledged by government as needing a specific focus
  • Employers need to protect employee’s mental health. They may be liable under the Health and Safety at Work Act if they do
  • Relationship problems account for 20% of stressors to suicide, compared to financial issues being 5%
  • Adolescents undergo significant brain development, which can make them more emotional and prone to risk taking
  • Current suicide demographic statistics follow a similar “pattern of inequalities in the broader determinants of health, such as socioeconomic status, ethnicity, gender, age and geographical (Minister of Health 2000)”1
  • Dairy industry culture could do more to encourage positive stress management in younger staff
  • There is an opportunity for rural leaders and employers to grow in emotional intelligence skills

The most important recommendation of this report is for individuals and managers to develop positive stress management skills in their own lives, and then role model this to young dairy workers.

Three other key recommendations were made by Dr Annette Beautrais (psychologist and researcher into rural suicide)

  • Central farm armoury

Firearms are used as a method of suicide in 40% of rural suicides compared to 8%  in the general population. Individual farm health and safety policy should store firearms in a central secure location (e.g. at a manager’s house). Holders of firearms licenses can then access firearms for a defined period only after an interview and approval by an appropriately trained manager, that knows the individual.

  • Gatekeeper / First responder training

Young people under extreme distress will often not seek help themselves. Gatekeeper training should be seen as a necessary measure by employers. These programmes are available now and being used by other industries.

  • Develop a self-care plan with staff

Gatekeeper trained staff can facilitate specific individual “self-care” plans with staff.

Other recommendations include 1) developing a rural mentoring scheme, and 2) emotional intelligence training for managers.

The importance of developing positive stress management and mindset skills in young dairy workers – Blake Marshall

Dairy farming, climate change and farm diversification

Executive Summary

All across the world, in every kind of environment and region known to man, increasingly dangerous weather patterns and devastating storms are abruptly putting an end to the long-running debate over whether or not climate change is real. Not only is it real, it’s here, and its effects are giving rise to a frighteningly new global phenomenon: the man- made natural disaster. (Barack Obama, speech, Apr. 3, 2006)

In the race against climate change, this report explores the possibilities of the diversification of a dairy platform into horticulture. This report was not put together to come up with an answer or find a solution, the purpose of this report is to start a topic of conversation, provoke thoughts and ideas and hopefully create some positive changes for the greater good for the future of our environment.

Throughout there report, there is a lot of work referenced by many individuals and companies that are doing some world-changing research in the space of land use change.

In this report, it is essential to note that Horticulture refers to Fruits, berries, vegetables, vineyards.

Agriculture produces nearly half of New Zealand’s total greenhouse gas emissions with one-quarter of our total greenhouse gases coming from biological dairy emissions (Methane and Nitrous Oxide). 85% of the dairy sectors emissions are also made up on the farm, with the other 15% coming from agriculture transport and processing. When breaking emissions down within the agriculture sectors in 2017, around 78% of emissions come from Livestock, 21% from soils (fertiliser applications etc.) and the remaining 1% from urea and liming. (Emissions Tracker, 2019). New Zealand also has a unique greenhouse gas profile and is unusual for a developed country, we have one of the highest rates of emissions per person, and agricultural emissions dominate our emissions profile compared to the rest of the world where energy and fossil fuels dominate them. With the difference between New Zealand and the rest of the developed world, we could assume that no other country will look to combat methane or nitrous oxide, giving New Zealand a chance to show our ingenuity and become world-leading at reducing these gases.

There has been vast research on the likely impacts of climate change in the future. All of these changes will impact our environment, our lifestyle, businesses and the economy. These impacts and changes in climate impact not only the Dairy Industry but all sectors and put pressure on the food production industry as a whole.

From several studies, results have shown that land use change into horticulture will reduce emissions and ensure maintaining lower emissions is sustainable in the future. One study prepared for Motu found that to reach our emissions targets for 2050 seems possible with no additional on-farm mitigation through new technology however if achieved without a shift towards horticulture, mitigation technology or permanent forestry then reductions would be difficult to sustain as forestry expansion is limited. With development into horticulture by one million hectares, results show the emission reductions are almost identical to those emission reductions from new technologies. By achieving a reduction through a combination of horticulture increase and new technologies, emissions will be more manageable in the future. (Dorner, Djanibekov, Soliman, Stroombergen, Kerr, Fleming, Cortes-Acosta, Greenhalgh. 2018).

A study around permanent horticulture was researched as an option for low emitting land use. Modelling work was done on a pip-tree crop, where an area of a farm was taken out to grow chestnuts. With changing the land use on a dairy farm to permanent horticulture, there is a decrease in greenhouse gas emissions as well as a positive impact on the farm businesses EBIT. While a change in land use to horticulture could be an option soil types, crops and regional climates need to be taken into consideration. (AgFirst, 2019).

Horticulture is currently planted on 190,000 hectares in New Zealand, and according to statistics established, horticulture operations have higher profitability per hectare than dairy operations ranging from $5,000 to $20,000 and above. (Resigner, Clark, Journeaux, Clark, Lambert, July 2017). Dairy operations have profitability of around $2,500 per hectare. Currently, dairy is farmed on 2.6 million hectares (ha), fruits and berries 120,000ha, vegetables 70,000ha and grains 449,000ha (Stats NZ, April 2018). According to the reports referenced in this paper, the available land to go into horticulture is anywhere between 1.5million and 3.2million hectares, taken from both dairy and sheep and beef. For dairy farmers to be able to diversify their current farming platform into horticulture, information is needed to understand what could grow best on their platform. During the time this paper was put together, from what I could find, and very much out of the scope of this report, there is no mapping around best soil types, climate and growing ability to help dairy farmers understand their potential. However, if this could be achieved, combined with the work done on how climate change will affect our landscape, these tools would open up opportunities to help dairy farmers convert land use.

From a value-add point of view to the end product of what we are producing, Customers and consumers are more interested in climate change and sustainability than ever. Terms such as Sustainable, Organic, Environmentally Friendly, all gain consumer confidence and support. There is a lot of awareness of the impact on the climate and a focus for consumers on where their food comes from, how it’s produced, and consuming food that is healthy for them and healthy for the world (Philips, L. 2019).

Although the option to diversify a farm business into other primary sectors is very dependent on soil type, farm business and location. The idea of bringing sectors together onto the same sustainable platform which tells a story of bettering the environment fits into what consumers are looking for and wanting out of their produce. For example, looking into the future where we can work out what emissions come from a dairy farm, have a full understanding of what emissions come from a crop or orchard and also what sequestration is achieved from this, what are the possibilities?

Take a farm that has reduced its stocking rate, worked on pasture management and in turn reduced overall emissions from the dairy platform. With the farms reduced stocking rate, they have been able to plant an avocado orchard on the land that has been freed up and dramatically reduce further or even offset the emissions from farm activities completely. “Carbon Neutral New Zealand Produce or Carbon Positive New Zealand Produce”. How great would that look branded on the side of a bottle of milk or a bag of avocados?

In conclusion, climate change is a complex and continuously changing subject. The science and information around where climate change is today and how we are going to tackle this as a species is forever evolving as new information comes to light. There is a lot of evidence to suggest diversification into horticulture is not only beneficial to emissions but also potentially profitable. Although the research suggests these positive outcomes, it also notes that there is no one size fits all solution.

Every farm is different; every farmer is different. We range in farm size, herd size, systems, soil type, climate, profitability, infrastructure, and management.

If we can have a better understanding of what horticultural crop can be grown where, what will the emissions be from the growth of horticulture and what positive effects will come from diversifying into horticulture, the opportunity to future proof not only farm businesses in New Zealand from climate change but also the ability to market our collaboration and success of total carbon reduction could increase the value of our products further to the world.

At the moment we do know, New Zealand dairy farmers are already doing more than their bit in the reduction of greenhouse gases and will still do more to protect the environment and our planet from further damage.

There is an opportunity to come together as sectors, from the grassroots level to industry heads, to achieve this common goal and work together and support each other in how we are going tackle this “Titanic” problem.

We are the first generation to be able to end poverty and the last generation that can take steps to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. Future generations will judge us harshly if we fail to uphold our moral and historical responsibilities. (Ban, K. 2016)

Dairy Farming, Climate Change and Farm Diversification – Amber Carpenter

Climate change and agriculture.

Executive Summary

This report is about climate change and its effects on the dairy industry on the East Coast of New Zealand. I have been working in the industry for the past 12 years and have seen some of the changes in climate. As a farmer, you would be foolish not to have a better understanding about climate change and its effect on your business.

The scope of the research considers climate change impacts over the past 20 years, and into the next 20 years. The three key areas of enquiry are related to farming operations, productivity and environmental factors (rain, temperature and land erosion).

The key objectives are to:

  1. Understand how climate change has impacted on operations and productivity in dairy farming/farming over the past 20
  2. Explore how climate change may impact operations and productivity in the next 20 years.
  3. Consider the key environmental factors of rain, temperature and land loss on the future of dairy

The literature review looks at climate change and the implications for farming operations and productivity. All information was gathered through an internet search under the topic climate change and agriculture. The main sources used were New Zealand government agencies, research centres and research from Universities.

The research methodology used anonymous questionnaires to gather data. The questionnaire was distributed via social media and email. I received 14 responses. The data from the research questionnaires was analysed by question and themed by topic. Six of 14 respondents say that climate change is a natural cycle of weather. Five of 14 say that climate change means less certainty and that farming operations will need to change. Six of 14 say that the main risks are weather related, mainly drought, flooding and major weather events. Half of the respondents said climate change has not affected them. Nearly all respondents

  • have plans to mitigate the effects of climate change. Half of respondents say that compliance and cost does affect their farming operations and they expect these to

For farmers, it is business as usual and for farming operations we manage for the extremes now anyway. However, the industry needs to develop sustainable practices, we need innovation, and government and regulatory bodies need to be reasonable about the cost of compliance.

Climate Change and Agriculture – Jori Tuinier