Workshops to help develop environment plan

Sarah O’Connell.

Beef + Lamb New Zealand is running a free workshop in Ashburton later this month aimed at helping farmers in the district who have yet to complete a farm environment plan.

B+LNZ northern South Island extension manager, Sarah O’Connell, said many Canterbury farmers had been contacted recently by Environment Canterbury reminding them of their requirements for obtaining a consent to farm if it is a requirement in their zone.

“Part of the consent application process is to have a completed Farm Environment Plan from an approved provider. Beef + Lamb New Zealand has a plan that is suitable for the consent process and we have a couple of workshops coming up that are free for you to attend as a levy payer.”

One of those is in Ashburton, on January 31 from 10.30am to 3pm at the Ashburton A&P Showgrounds committee room. There is also one the following day at the same times, at the Darfield Community Centre.

O’Connell said places at each workshop are limited so it’s important those who want to go get in early and register their interest.

She said the workshops will help farmers understand their farm’s unique resources – and build a plan to remain productive while mitigating environmental and water quality issues.

“Using B+LNZ’s Farm Environment Planning toolkit, you’ll assess the impact your farm has on your environment and implement strategies to mitigate any risk. You will build your own plan to remain productive, while addressing environmental and water quality issues.”

The workshops will be run by trained facilitators who are environmental specialists or consultants.

One of the keys to the workshops was having farmers do the plan themselves, rather than paying someone else to do it, O’Connell said.

Not only would this save farmers money, it would also get them to buy into the process more through actually doing the work themselves, she said.

Those attending need to bring along two copies of their farm map/aerial photo that can be written and drawn on.

Go to to register.

– By Colin Williscroft