Friday, 08 October 2021 12:55

Farmers flock to climate change workshop

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A series of climate change workshops are being held over the course of two weeks. A series of climate change workshops are being held over the course of two weeks.

Over the next two weeks, more than 1,500 farmers around New Zealand are getting to grips with why and how they should start responding to a changing climate, thanks to new workshops run by Beef + Lamb New Zealand (B+LNZ) and Silver Fern Farms (SFF).

The 59 workshops kicked off this week and are focused on supporting farmers to know the emissions profile of their farm.

The workshops step attendees through a process to ‘know their numbers’ by using B+LNZ’s Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Calculator. The second stage of the workshop provides technical assistance and templates so farmers can develop an action plan to manage GHG emissions.

B+LNZ’s North Island general manager Corina Jordan says the workshops are practical and add value to the farming business.

“Farmers need to understand their own ‘why’ in terms of climate response, so it really means something to them – whether that’s because they want to build a more resilient business, understand the implications of future policy on-farm, or whether they want to unlock market opportunities and meet the expectations of consumers,” says Jordan.

She says the workshops take a whole of farm systems approach, with the first step being to help farmers understand how actions undertaken on farm result in improvements in environmental performance including the sustainable management of GHGs, animal wellbeing and increasing on-farm performance.

“They’re then walked through the tools we’ve developed to help them with measurement and management. Farmers leave the workshops knowing their numbers, including carbon sequestration opportunities, and with a written plan that will future-proof their farming business.”

What they learn in the workshops will help farmers contribute to the sector’s He Waka Eke Noa Primary Sector Action Partnership milestones – by the end of this year, 25% of farmers need to know their annual total on-farm emissions and have a written plan to manage emissions.

The other benefit for farmers who attend is that they will be meeting a key requirement of the newly-launched New Zealand Farm Assurance Programme (NZFAP) Plus.

The workshops started this week and run until 15 October.

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