We’ve just completed a farm tour with a group we were invited to join four years ago.
Each autumn we have a study tour which visits members’ farms, alternating between the North & South Islands. We also have a city-based seminar every second winter and conference calls with a guest speaker every couple of months.
Farming can be a lonely and isolated business so sharing experiences with and learning from others in this way has immense value.
Chatham House rules apply which promotes a high level of openess in discussions and very strong friendships develop amongst us all.
This trip we visited nine farms which included a lamb finishing unit, intensive dairy and crop farms and a high country run. We also visited an agribusiness and had two sets of guest speakers.
They not only opened their gates to us, they opened their businesses too.
They were very different operations but all had several things in common – the people who owned them work hard, are very good at what they do and are passionate about doing it.
Discussions often got on to the recession and there was concern about what impact it might have, but also confidence about the part agriculture will play in the recovery.
The week wasn’t all work, we also had plenty of good food, wine, lots of laughter and finished here with an asado: