The FAR conference focused on presenting research aimed at supporting growers transitioning to a farming system that better meets New Zealand’s increasing environmental challenges. CEO Alison Stewart says feedback around the event has been overwhelmingly positive.
"When recommending practice change it is always a fine balance between bringing growers along on the journey with you and alienating them completely. Hopefully we achieved the former, and based upon the positive feedback that we received from attendees I feel confident about the way forward for the arable sector.
"Even though we are being faced with challenges from every angle (fungicide resistance, nutrient leaching, soil erosion etc), the mood was definitely upbeat. Growers were recognising the need to embrace new systems and technologies, encouraging each other to step up to the challenge, and more importantly, look to capture the many new opportunities out there for plant based products.
"Our industry has many highly successful growers who are adept at managing change and have been able to stay relevant, and most importantly, profitable. We have to learn from their experiences and support the wider industry to achieve similar success. Supporting effective grower to grower knowledge exchange is going to be a major focus for FAR over the coming year with the idea that the theme of our next conference will be Growers Leading Change."