More than two dozen agricultural industry, rural professionals and local authority staff gathered near Whangarei recently to learn more about a farmer-led programme designed to lift profitability, environmental sustainability and wellbeing on Northland farms.
Extension 350 was launched in 2016 to help farmers in Northland to share knowledge between farmers and gain access to specialist advice.
It's taken three years to launch the project since its inception, but project manager is excited by the business case and funding that is now available to get Extension 350 up and running.
Regional council chairman Bill Shepherd – a dairy farmer himself – says the five-year project aims to have 10 ‘clusters’ of farmers (three sheep/beef and seven dairys) up and running by 2018/19, with seven clusters already involved in the project.
Project manager Luke Beehre says it's important to be focused on farms as individuals, and give farmers time to open up to these changes.
Skip to 2:00 and watch the full interview with Luke Beehre above.