Farmer Focus: Get involved in your industry beyond the yard gate

It has been an enormous week for me, as I stepped down from my roles inside Federated Farmers (New Zealand’s equal of the NFU).

In 2004, I adopted some ex-Young Farmers buddies to an area Federated Farmers assembly and, as occurs in all farmer teams, I quickly discovered myself with a job.

About the writer

David Clark

Farmer Focus author

David Clark runs a 463ha absolutely irrigated combined farm along with his spouse Jayne at Valetta, on the Canterbury Plains of New Zealand’s south island. He grows 400ha of cereals, pulses, forage and vegetable seed crops, runs 1,000 Romney breeding ewes and finishes 8,000 lambs yearly.

First, as an arable industry vice-chairman for our province of mid-Canterbury for 3 years, adopted by eight years as arable chair and 6 as nationwide arable council vice-chair. This overlapped with three years as provincial vice-president, and Thursday marked the finish of my three-year time period as president of mid-Canterbury.

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It has been an enormous privilege to have the ability to serve our fellow farmers over this time. We have handled numerous disaster, earthquakes, floods, snowstorms, mycoplasma bovis and its eradication, biosecurity incursions, milk and arable crop worth peaks and crashes.

Over this time, I’ve had interactions with ministers and administrators of presidency businesses, industry chairs and executives, and numerous farmers.

The biggest privilege was being taken right into a farmer’s confidence in their hour of want and attempting to offer sensible assist or coverage recommendation; or in receiving farmer suggestions to tell our stance as we take an advocacy place on their collective behalf.

For me, it’s been a blast. Getting to know individuals from throughout New Zealand, seeing how the massive machine of presidency works, having (some) affect over these processes, and travelling to Australia, the US and Malaysia.

As farmers, it’s simple to develop into blinkered inside the farm boundary, be remoted from coverage or pissed off by the affect of that legislative path.

Federated Farmers has been a chance to broaden my horizons, to shoulder into the scrum with my fellow farmers, or carry them out of the mud in their time of want.

It has additionally been the likelihood to be a voice for farming and inform our story inside our wider society.

I write these phrases to encourage every of you to get involved in your industry beyond the yard gate. I wouldn’t have missed it for the world, however I’m a working farmer at coronary heart, pleased to have now finished my bit and handed the baton on.

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