Monday, 20 April 2020 09:15

Dairy discussion groups go online

Written by  Staff Reporters
Sharon Morrell. Sharon Morrell.

DairyNZ is now hosting online discussion groups where farmers can beam in from the comfort of their living rooms, offices or dairies and there’s no need to take the gumboots off.

According to acting DairyNZ general manager farm performance, Sharon Morrell, someone recently tuned in on the discussions while he was working in the milking shed.

“The farmer put his phone on silent for most of it and was able to take part as if he’d been at a meeting in person,” she says.

Morrell says the online discussion groups are an important way for farmers to provide support and ideas to each other, replacing the face-to-face discussion and are one way DairyNZ is adapting how it provides support to farmers during COVID-19. 

“It’s very important we ensure our farm teams, families and supporting services are safe and implementing the right measures to protect themselves while continuing their work on farm as essential businesses. But we’re also keen to ensure our farmers are able to catch up to talk about their activities and current priorities.” she says.

The new online discussion groups are proving popular with farmers and have many benefits, including the opportunity to chat about current farm activities, how they’re meeting COVID-19 responsibilities and setting up for next season. 

Morrell says most sessions run for 60 to 90 minutes and people can attend for as long as they like. Farmers say the technology is easy to use – just click on the link to join a virtual ‘room’ where everyone enjoys the opportunity to hear from each other. The link is emailed and texted to existing discussion group members. 

“It means farmers can take part but stay well within their own bubble,” she says.

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