Drought has contributed to New Zealand’s sheep flock falling over the past year.
The initiative which aims to support farmers to develop the confidence to turn ideas into action on-farm will now continue until 31 March 2021.
The programme is made up of farmer Action Groups of seven to nine farm businesses.
Action Groups are farmer-led and supported by trained facilitators to guide a group and help identify experts who can share new knowledge and ideas needed to achieve their goals.
“The extension is great news for those farmers interested in improving their on-farm productivity and profitability and we’re encouraging new farm businesses to get involved in the programme,” says Malcolm Bailey, chairman of RMPP.
“The Ministry for Primary Industries and the other RMPP partners are extremely pleased with the outcomes and achievements of the Action Network.”
Beef + Lamb New Zealand (B+LNZ) is delivering the Action Network programme on behalf of RMPP.
Chief executive of B+LNZ, Sam McIvor says farmers are benefiting from working together to explore ideas and share expert resources to help make profitable changes on-farm.
“Farmers point to the small group learning, access to experienced facilitators, subject matter experts, and quality tools and resources as really growing their confidence.
“Farmers have also welcomed the Action Network’s contribution to improving farmer wellbeing, stronger social connections and building resilience.
“The Action Network model is being enthusiastically driven by farmers and now we’re seeing the benefits flow through to the bottom line.”
According to a recent independent evaluation, 14 farm businesses attribute 55% (on average) of their net gain in earnings before interest, tax, rent and wages of management (EBITRm) to being involved in an Action Group.
B+LNZ will continue to adopt the Action Group extension and adoption model into its business to ensure all sheep and beef farmers have the opportunity to benefit from the success of the RMPP Action Network’s small group learning approach, says McIvor.
Any new farm business joining an existing Action Group or forming part of a new Action Group will be eligible for up to $2,000 kick-start funding.