Wed, Mar 20, 2024 5:00 AM

Federated Farmers Golden Bay, March 2024




Leptospirosis - At the February Federated Farmers’ provincial meeting, members were quick to praise the Rural Services Centre (RSC) for alerting dairy farmers of the newly identified strain of Leptospira, L. pacifica, which has been found in Golden Bay. The RSC will be providing the latest vaccine for cattle which will cover all four strains found in New Zealand. Leptospirosis in humans remains a debilitating occupational disease affecting farmers, vets and abattoir workers and vaccinating cattle helps cut transmission from animal to human.

Rewarding ag students - Once again, at the 2023 Collingwood Area School prize
giving, Federated Farmers presented its prize for agriculture. Courtney Riordan, a young woman who plans to enter the veterinary profession, was very pleased to receive it.

This year, however, she remains at school, studying agriculture through Telford’s distance learning programme. Our congratulations go to Courtney and also to the
school in supporting students studying in this area. We couldn’t present a prize at
the Golden Bay High School because no student was studying subjects relating to the primary sector. This is, we think, a poor outcome as this sector provides most of the wealth for the province. Those running schools must remember that learning about agriculture, forestry and aquaculture to a senior level is tied to great jobs (here and overseas) and the national economy.We look forward to presenting prizes at both schools at the end of this year.

Slowing change - Cherrie Chubb, Federated Farmers President for Golden Bay, talked about frustration amongst farmers nationally, who want to see the new Government make quick changes to ‘everything’ that affects farming. Cherrie said changes are unlikely to happen quickly – just like it takes a long time to turn a container ship around. Regional councils across the country are being asked to slow down bringing in any new regulations that were formulated under the previous government so that farmers are not asked to jump twice, which costs money and effort.

As she stated in her written report for the meeting, ‘2024 will be a really interesting one to see how the big talk from the coalition government will play out. Just how much regulation affecting farming gets reworked, and how quickly, is still to be seen. But one thing is sure - whoever is writing the rules to the game, the fundamentals of farming remain the same: the transformation of biological resources into saleable products as efficiently and consistently as possible. It is Federated Farmers’ role to be providing sound, reasoned input to ensure that farmers can continue to make the most of the opportunities afforded to us. It is our responsibility as individual farmers to be doing so responsibly and sustainably so
those opportunities continue well into the future.

Farming is very much a long-term game. ‘A move from self-responsibility to one of a perceived need to be regulated has seen changes in the way our businesses operate. Some things are for the better and technology advancements have driven efficiencies. Insights from increasingly accurate real-time data mean we can make more informed, timely decisions. But the increasing assurances required from our markets, processors, local and central government that we do actually know what
we are doing and can maintain minimum standards of workplace safety, animal welfare etc with minimal environmental impacts, has often felt unnecessarily

Step up - This year will see some change at Federated Farmers in the Bay, with both Cherrie and Meat & Wool Chairperson, Pax Leetch wanting to step aside from their roles. Cherrie is now busy with the farmer catchment group tied to the Waikoropupu Water Conservation Order and Pax is also wanting to form a catchment group for his area out at West Wanganui, and with a second child on the way, he really will be busy! We look forward to the AGM on 14 May to see
who will step up.

Nelson App is owned by Top South Media. a locally owned media company.