B+LNZ AgInnovation Conference 2024 – Palmerston North

Event category
AgInnovation banner 2024

The annual B+LNZ AgInnovation Conference is an opportunity to hear from a strong line-up of presenters focused on  innovative solutions, business diversification, agricultural research, and global trends. 

This year’s conference features a fresh line-up of concurrent presentations. You’ll have the opportunity to hear from industry leaders, business executives, research specialists and fellow farmers. 

This is an opportunity you don’t want to miss! 

Further information on our Pick 'n' Mix Sessions will be released soon.


Opening Keynote Speaker – Julia Jones

Digital harvest – sowing seeds of AI and human intuition 

image of Julia Jones

Charting a Course Through Tomorrow's Unknowns. More than just living in the present, Julia is invigorated by the future, embracing change as a platform to empower and guide. Her expertise in global trends, particularly in the Food and Fibres sector, equips leaders with crucial strategic insights. Her journey encompassed diverse roles including Chair of Meat the Need focusing on food security, a compelling keynote speaker, Stanford University emerging leader scholar, and a global explorer. Julia's resilience in the face of challenges fuels her dynamic leadership, believing that true growth stems from overcoming obstacles.

Embracing AI in Farming can provide an electrifying dive into the future of farming. Discover how AI can amplify, not replace, the power of human intuition, tailored uniquely to your farming needs. We'll explore how adopting AI supports you to propel forward keeping the sector competitive and relevant in the world of livestock farming. Thoughts on how to swap fear for curiosity and how to navigate risks using smart mitigations. Gear up for a session that's not just about tech, but a celebration of where we have been and how we can design a bright future ahead. 

Closing Keynote Speaker – Gemma McCaw

Enhancing your health and building resilience 

image of Gemma McCaw

After drawing the curtain on her stellar hockey career, three-time Olympian Gemma McCaw is dedicated to sharing her skills and knowledge in the field of health and wellness. With a degree in Sport and Exercise Science and a Diploma in Positive Psychology and Wellbeing, the Sunday Series founder works with women to help them reach their full potential. Her innate understanding and experience gained from her decade-long Black Sticks journey where she amassed 254 international test caps has given her a unique insight into resilience-building, teamwork and fostering good habits. It’s also given her the skills to cope with the highs and lows of high-performance sport, all learnings which can be transferred to everyday life. As a busy mum to three daughters Charlotte (5), Grace (2), and Ella (1) she knows all too well the challenges many of us face on a daily basis when it comes to juggling the demands of home, work, happiness and health. 

Pick “n” Mix sessions

Professor Steve Morris, Massey University

Grading up to a shedding flock of Wiltshire sheep

image of steve morris

A Massey University trial to examine an upgrade up to a self-shedding flock in a bid to reduce farm costs. The trial is comparing the Wiltshire cross with a Romney, with both breeds run together at all times, with the exception of two cycles at mating. The trial involves 400 ewes, 200 of each, to provide comparison and has yielded little difference in live weights and reproductive performance in the Wiltshire crosses so far compared the comparable Romney flock.

Results of the trial to date will be presented together with some information from another trial searching for the shedding gene at Limestone Port Waikato.

Kane Brisco

Live Fit to Farm Fit

image of Kane Brisco

In this workshop you will hear Kane’s farming journey from high school dropout to typical stoic farmer through to creating FarmFit NZ, mentoring and educating farmers across the country on the importance of prioritising themselves physically and mentally. How these fit into Farm Life and also why your business bottom line is directly linked to the health of your Top Paddock. There will be tips and simple ways to think about complex psychological barriers, along with some good bang for buck ideas to help look after the mind and body.

Brent Paterson, MyEnviro

Digitising farm planning

image of brent paterson on farm

Brent is a farmer in Patoka, Hawkes Bay and developed the MyEnviro digital farm planning platform out of the frustration of analogue. “Farming businesses are super dynamic and always evolving, they need tools to support them that are aligned with this, we wanted to create a platform that could help the farmers understand their environmental position, prove their position and promote their position, as farmers we are good at what we do, we just need smart tools to validate and visualize this.”  

The MyEnviro platform is an easy-to-use geospatial tool which turns problematic, confusing, and time-consuming farm planning into a simple, quick, editable 3D visual of your farm. MyEnviro works across multi enterprise farms, individuals and has a scale multi-cadastral solution for catchment groups looking to manage their processes and outcomes. Digital planning will change the way consultants do business, creating more time for the solutions rather than recording and reporting on the data.  

Ginny Dodunski, BVSc MACVSc (Med. Sheep)

Beyond triple drench resistance – the future of parasite management 

image of Ginny Dodunski

The era of ‘mass medication’ of livestock is coming to an end. Parasites and other disease agents are developing drug resistance faster than new treatments are being developed. The evolution that’s required now is from us – habits, attitudes, systems and technology use all need to evolve (and fast) so we can continue, and even improve, raising livestock in our pastoral grazing systems. Happily, there are opportunities available right now in most farm systems. And looking ahead, some bright lights from current projects and emerging technologies that will add to the tools we have available to manage parasites. 

Dan Brier, Beef + Lamb New Zealand

Informing New Zealand Beef, what have we found out and what is still to come

image of Dan Brier

The Informing New Zealand Beef programme is one of Beef + Lamb New Zealand’s premier pieces of research and extension. A genetics programme half way through its 7 years term, this presentation will discuss the findings so far and outline what is in the plan for the rest of the programme. Farmers will gain valuable tips on beef genetics as well as getting an understanding on how they can be involved in the programme if they wish.  

Theo Beaumont, Halter

Halter: virtual fencing opportunity for the New Zealand beef sector

image of Halter Theo

Profitability concerns, regulatory pressures, labour and climatic changes are some of the biggest challenges the sheep and beef sector are up against. Virtual fencing opens a door to re-think our grazing strategy for a range of systems. From extensive hill country, to intensive finishing. 

Shaun Forgie, Dung Beetle Innovations

Why dung beetles are a good idea  

image of Shaun Forgie

This presentation aims to demonstrate the importance of pastoral dung beetles and the services they provide for productivity, soil, health, soil fertility, livestock health and water quality. Nesting by flourishing populations of dung beetles across the pastoral environment can reduce the surface flow of contaminants suspended in water from severe rainfall events  by as much as 81%. Dung beetles are the only on pasture preventative tool that not only significantly reduce contamination of our waterways but provide sustainable improvements to soil fertility and  productivity. 

Pat Maher, Atkins Ranch

The US lamb market – an Atkins Journey over the past few years

image of Pat Maher

Pat started off his career rural banking, followed by investment banking in London, the primary industry has always been a passion. Since 2012 Pat has held a number of roles within the meat industry both in NZ and in the US. Currently the CEO of Atkins Ranch, he has responsibility for looking after both the NZ and US operations of Atkins Ranch whilst driving profitability for shareholders and ensuring strong premium payments for lamb suppliers.

Peter Tozer, Massey University

Solar farming pilot study – impacts on pasture production and quality and some bioeconomic modelling

Image of Peter Tozer

Danny Donaghy, Massey University

Solar farming pilot study – impacts on pasture production and quality and some bioeconomic modelling

image of Danny Donaghy

Since 2021, solar farming has been a fast-growing part of New Zealand’s energy sector.  One potential downside is the conversion of previously productive farmland.  However, there is scope for synergies, with solar farming co-existing with sheep grazing under and around the solar panels, providing two sources of income per unit of land area. For this to be feasible, we need to know more about pasture production and quality below and around solar panels.  Massey University, with funding from AGMARDT, undertook a pilot study on a solar farm in Taranaki from mid-2022 to mid-2023. 


Ticket Price: $65 per person.

Morning tea, lunch and canapes at the networking hour included.

Purchase tickets via the button below.