International and NZ dairy farmers bringing innovation, vibrancy and expertise together to build a brighter future for pasture-led farming.
Up to 1000 farmers, researchers, dairy sector influencers, innovators and critical thinkers are expected to attend New Zealand and Ireland’s first joint Pasture Summit in New Zealand in November.
Chairman Colin Armer says the summit is for people who are driven to create a prosperous future producing nutritious food from grassland farming while nurturing the environment. It consists of two conferences – one in Hamilton on 26-27 November and one in Ashburton on 29-30 November.
“We’ll have a dynamic group of international and local speakers, cutting-edge science and robust debate. We’ll be talking about innovation, new ways to reduce dairying’s environmental footprint and the natural health and wellness benefits of dairy products from pasture-fed cows,” Mr Armer says.
Olin Greenan, North Island dairy farmer and conference organising committee member, chose to get involved in the summit because it reinforces what he believes dairy farmers should be doing. “For any enthusiastic grass farmer, young or old, these events are not to be missed. Farmers can come along to hear why New Zealand is a world leader in producing pasture based food and ensure that this can continue for generations to come.”
The summit is designed to share the latest knowledge and thinking from leading experts, scientists and business people to help farmers secure profitable and sustainable businesses from pastoral farming. It is also designed to encourage attendees to ask the hard questions during discussion time so that as a sector, we are looking forward and focused on innovation and finding solutions.
The Pasture Summit is being organised and run by a group of progressive and committed farm business owners and dairy sector experts from across New Zealand and Ireland, and supported by industry-good body DairyNZ. Registrations and expressions of interest for the summit have been received so far from people in New Zealand, Ireland, Australia, the United States, South America and South Africa.
The conference will include talks by farmers and leading scientists with a strong focus on profit, pasture, genetics and sustainable business growth. Michael Murphy, an Irish dairy farming leader will address opportunities and challenges faced by pasture based dairy farming, today and tomorrow.
“It doesn’t matter what kind of system you prefer, our competitive advantage in the global food market is producing nutritious dairy products at relatively low cost, from grass fed cows. Future opportunities for on-farm profitability, sustainability and product value all have exciting outlooks from pasture-based systems and the roundup of speakers at the Pasture Summit from here and overseas look like they’ll open our eyes to those,” says Alistair Rayne, South Island dairy farmer and conference secretary.
North Island and South Island conferences mirror session titles and speakers; however, each will have a region-specific focus. The next Pasture Summit will be held in Ireland in two years’ time with the 2022 event returning to New Zealand.