Friday, 05 July 2019 08:55

Farmers urged to connect locally

Written by  Sudesh Kissun
Hauraki dairy farmer Connall Buchannan. Hauraki dairy farmer Connall Buchannan.

Hauraki dairy farmer Connall Buchannan is urging farmers to get more active in their local communities.

He told the South Island Dairy Event (SIDE) in Invercargill last week that active farmers would ensure their voices were heard during decisionmaking.

Buchannan, who milks 1100 cows on two farms near Paeroa, Hauraki Plains, is a former chair of Federated Farmers sharemilkers section, was a founding member of the Fonterra Shareholders Council, is a trustee of Netherton School, Paeroa and a member of the Hauraki Plains Marine Spatial Plan stakeholder working group.

He spent three years in Chile starting a dairying company which has grown to 40,000 cows.

Buchannan says given the public focus on environment, doing the right thing environmentally, both on and off farm, “is good in and of itself”. 

Caring for the environment is often also a good way to bring people together to connect.

“On farm in 2019 we all have a range of environmental initiatives now common or compulsory and ‘business as usual’: nutrient budgets, enviro walks, fencing waterways, riparian planting, good winter crop management and planting for shelter and biodiversity. 

“Some of these were not common 30-plus years ago when I started farming although, interestingly, there are farms which have had versions of those things in place for generations.”

Buchannan says on farm initiatives will continue to evolve and farm environment plans are common and a further step down that road. 

“As farmers we need to continue working to minimise the negative and maximise the positive environmental impacts we have. 

“We need to be engaged in working out the methods used so that our production systems retain economic as well as environmental sustainability.

“Being involved in formal processes, informal discussions and our community generally help ensure our voice is heard and has the credibility to be listened to and considered as some of the important decisions are made in this area,” he says. 

“Environmental policy and regulation is an area where the decisions aren’t ours alone to make.”

More like this

Rubber to hit the road on farm gas plans

A joint initiative where farmers measure, reduce and pay for greenhouse gas emissions rather than being included in an emissions trading scheme swings into action later this year.

SIDE heading to Ashburton

For the first time in its 23-year history, the two-day South Island Dairy Event (SIDE) is heading to Ashburton.

Paralympian to inspire farmers

Former Paralympic blade runner Liam Malone expects to inspire dairy farmers attending the South Island Dairy Event (SIDE) in late June.

National

Hort heads for new heights

Pretty impressive - that's how Agriculture Minister Damien O'Connor describes MPI's latest prediction that horticulture exports will hit the record…

Machinery & Products

New look for MF brand

Massey Ferguson has a new look for its iconic triple triangle logo, as well a completely new 'Born to Farm'…

Solution to rowdy livestock

After walking away with a Fieldays Innovation Award back in June 2021, Springarm Products has now signed a sole marketing…

Look ma - no hands!

Although this month's Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas is usually associated with the "geek brigade", global manufacturer John…

Telehandler range gets a lift

Kramer has introduced a further two models to its telehandler range – the mini KT144 and the medium-sized KT3610.

» The RNG Weather Report

» Latest Print Issues Online

The Hound

Woof, woof!

OPINION: This old mutt has been pointing out forever just what a dog with fleas - as both a business…

DJ friends?

OPINION: Your canine crusader wants to know just what drugs the politicians and bureaucrats are on in Wellington.

» Connect with Rural News

» eNewsletter

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter