Bay of Plenty Future Farming Symposium

Bay of Plenty avocado growers are among those invited to attend the first BOP Future Farming Symposium on October 24 aimed to help growers and farmers prepare for environmental regulations which will come into force soon.

“The aim of the symposium is to get Bay of Plenty farmers and growers ahead of the game,” said Rick Burke, chairman of the Pan-Sector Industry Alumni Events subcommittee which is organising the event.

Among the keynote speakers is the Minister for Climate Change James Shaw, Martin Workman Director Water, Ministry for the Environment and Todd Muller, National spokesperson for Agriculture, Biosecurity, Food Safety, and Forestry.

“Growers and farmers will have the chance to listen to these speakers, learn what regulations are coming at us in terms of environmental issues for the land, and ask questions of them during a panel discussion,” said Burke.

“The opening keynote speakers will leave farmers and growers feeling ‘where to from here’, and that’s where the workshops after lunch come in. They are designed to give growers and farmers “tool-kits” to help take control of their own destiny, to be environmentally sustainable and at the same time improve profitability.”

All who attend will have the chance to participate in the workshops on Land Environmental Plans, water quality and sub catchment initiatives, led by speakers from the Ministry for Primary Industries, DairyNZ, Zespri, NZ Avocado, Beef + Lamb NZ, Bay of Plenty Regional Council, Ballance Agri-Nutrients, rural professionals and award-winning farmers and growers.

The symposium is an initiative which has grown from the alumni (including previous winners) of the Bay of Plenty Ballance Farm Environment Awards and its aim is to provide pan-sector support, education and innovation for sustainable food and fibre production.

“We all face similar challenges and by pan-sectors working together through ‘a team approach’ we can drive meaningful change,” says Burke.

The symposium, which begins at 9.30am on Thursday October 24, will be held on the 850 ha mixed kiwifruit and dairy property Otamarakau owned by Bruce Cameron, chairman of Zespri. It is open to all Bay of Plenty growers and farmers, but registration is essential as numbers are limited.

To register for the BOP Future Farming Symposium on October 24 go to: https://www.facebook.com/bopfuturefarmingsymposium/

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