Road shows focus on family farming

RWNZ president Wendy McGowan
RWNZ president Wendy McGowan

Events in New Zealand to celebrate the UN International Year of Family Farming 2014 will kick off in Oamaru on March 27.

The New Zealand events are part of a worldwide programme which focuses on sustainability, food security, the eradication of hunger and malnutrition and helping people step out of poverty.

Leading the events is Rural Women New Zealand whose national president, Wendy McGowan, says the organisation is excited to be leading events around the country.

"There will be a series of road shows beginning at the North Otago A&P showgrounds in Oamaru on March 27," she said.

"Similar events will be held at the A&P showgrounds in Rangiora on March 28, Ashburton on March 29, Helensville on April 5, Carterton on April 6, Rai Valley on April 7 and Stratford on April 9."

Marlborough drylands farmer Doug Avery, Landcorp Communicator of the Year 2013, will co-host the events.

He will outline the transformation of his drought-stricken farm into a sustainable venture through visionary changes to his farming system.

Avery predicts farming families will continue to excel in New Zealand.

"There is one reason they will do that which is because you cannot replace passion with anything and people that are working for themselves with their own vision have that element that is called passion, which will lead and beat pretty much anything else that corporate structures will throw at us," he says.

But farmers cannot operate in isolation. Mrs McGowan says every family needs a farmer and every farmer needs a community.

"Our organisation is focused on growing dynamic communities, so celebrating the UN International Year of Family Farming is the perfect fit for us," she said.

Each of the road shows will have its own flavour, including seminars on topics such as succession planning, safety on the farm, investing in your farming future and sustainability.

There will also be market stalls, crafts and displays by local businesses.

The Timaru Herald