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Creating an even stronger future for the New Zealand dairy sector

dairy herd stock image

DairyNZ Farmers’ Forums are being held throughout the country in April 2019 and May 2019, showcasing what a bright future the dairy sector has, the opportunities available and how New Zealand dairy can take control of the changes on the horizon.

“We strive to be the best dairy producers in the world and we should be proud of what we have achieved so far. We are also always striving to be better and remain the top choice for our international consumers,” DairyNZ Chief Executive Tim Mackle says.

“The forums will show how we can stay ahead and the science that is being worked on to ensure we meet environmental and animal welfare goals. New Zealand farmers are committed to looking after their cows, people, land and water, and the forums will help them farm with confidence.

“We also want to provide inspiration for the next generation to get involved in what is an exciting sector with a bright future,” Dr Mackle says.

The theme of the forums is Future perspectives – local and global impact. Inspirational speakers will explain the developments occurring in New Zealand and overseas, how they may impact local farmers and how farmers can prepare with confidence. Dr Mackle says if farmers know what’s coming, they can adapt to take advantage of new opportunities and respond to challenges.

Each year the DairyNZ Farmers’ Forums alternate between a national event and regional events. Agriculture Minister Hon Damien O’Connor will speak at two of the six forums – Timaru (by video-conference) and Westport. Regional Economic Development Minister Hon Shane Jones will speak at the Whangarei forum.

Keynote speakers will vary at each local event. They include Massey University Professor of Farm and AgriBusiness Management Prof Nicola Shadbolt, NZ Special Agricultural Trade Envoy Mike Petersen and NZX Limited Head of Analytics Julia Jones.

At selected events, Jamie Fitzgerald, adventurer and member of the Institute of Directors will share great stories around bridging the gap between strategy, leadership and teams; and Robotics Plus Limited Chief Executive Officer Dr Matt Glenn will speak about developing robotic and automation solutions for the global agriculture and horticultural industries.

There will be informative workshops and science snapshots showcasing the latest in research and development to help farmers improve how they farm. Topics include finding new traits to improve cow genetic merit for fertility, plantain-based pastures for production and environmental benefits, and ‘tightening up our belch’: how we’ll reduce methane emissions.

“The forums will have tailored information for each region. We encourage farmers to register now because registration is compulsory,” Dr Mackle says. “Each event will offer plenty of opportunity to get to know fellow farmers and chat to the speakers.”



  1. Timaru, 17 April 2019, Southern Trust Events Centre, 9:30 am – 5:00 pm
  2. Westport, 7 May 2019, NBS Theatre, 9:30 am – 5:00 pm
  3. Stratford, 14 May 2019, TET Stadium, 9:30 am – 4:40 pm
  4. Rongotea, 16 May 2019, Te Kawau Memorial Recreation Centre, 8:30 am – 5:00 pm
  5. Whangarei, 22 May 2019, Toll Stadium, 9:30 am – 5:00 pm
  6. Rotorua, 24 May 2019, Holiday Inn, 9:30 am – 5:00 pm

Source: DairyNZ

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