Dairy industry forum intended to lift spirits

GWYNETH HYNDMAN
Last updated 05:00 29/11/2012

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More than 50 dairy industry award winners from around the country took part in the Building Dairy Environment Leaders Forum in Invercargill yesterday.

DairyNZ network leader and farmer Ian Tarbotton said the three-day programme was about lifting the perspective of high achievers in the industry.

Most of the dairy industry workers who took part had won awards as dairy trainees of the year and sharemilker of the year.

Yesterday's nine-person panel at Ascot Park Hotel encouraged participants to think of the forum as a springboard as they continued in their careers, Mr Tarbotton said.

Speakers included ECan commissioner David Caygill who believed leadership was about thinking "how can I make this different?"

New Zealanders shouldn't be here "just to coast".

"I think we have an obligation to leave a place better than how we found it."

Leadership was also about understanding other people, he said.

Environment Southland chair Ali Timms said that women had to work harder to have their voice heard in the industry - but hoped this was changing as women were seen increasingly as partners in dairying.

Mr Tarbotton said this was the sixth year DairyNZ had held a leaders forum, and it was the first time the forum had been held in Invercargill. It also included field trips to Southland farms and a talk with Venture Southland group manager enterprise and strategic projects Steve Canny about opportunities in the Southland area.

In the past he had seen people flourish after attending the annual forum, Mr Tarbotton said.

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- The Southland Times

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