B+LNZ’s CEO Sam McIvor says the organisation is delighted to recruit someone with Ron’s ability.
“It’s a signal of how important this is to B+LNZ, that we are bringing additional commitment and calibre to the farm planning space.”
Work relating to farm planning is underway by both Government and Industry, and Ron will help coordinate this work and ensure it aligns with initiatives such as the New Zealand Farm Assurance Programme. An early priority for Ron will be ensuring relevant elements of B+LNZ’s new Farm Plan are approved as a certified freshwater farm plan by Government. Other key elements of the new farm plan include climate change, soils and biodiversity, reflecting farmer feedback on their future requirements.
Mr McIvor says the new Farm Plan takes a holistic approach to environmental management with integrated modules across water, soils, climate change and biodiversity.
“Farmers will be able to make decisions knowing that action taken in one area, such as in meeting regulatory requirements, will complement work in other areas and take broad sustainability (including financial sustainability) into account.”
It is based on a modular approach which will give farmers the ability to address particular issues, as they need to.
Mr McIvor says Ron will be responsible for working with B+LNZ’s teams and external partners to oversee the roll-out of the farm plan in early 2021, with the timing subject to clarity on the certified freshwater farm plan process.
Part of Ron’s role will also be to secure funding to assist the rapid uptake of farm planning.
Ron will also lead work with local government, processors, and other stakeholders to ensure that the data and information architecture is in place to allow farmers to not only easily source data and info for their own farm plans, but also p tshare their data with others.
Ron brings unique skills and experiences to the Leader Farm Planning role.
Having worked in the dairy, arable and sheep and beef industries, Ron has a strong network across the primary industries which is critical for cross-sector collaboration, particularly with farm plans.
Most recently Ron was National Manager Farms for AgResearch and was also well known for leading pioneering work on the Lincoln University Dairy Farm which demonstrated that high profitability can be achieved with a significantly reduced environmental footprint.
Over the past seven years he has also served as a community member on the Selywn-Waihora Zone Committee, one of the 10 catchment-based groups working to implement the Canterbury Water Management Strategy. Zone committee’s comprise community members, local rūnanga and Council representatives that work collaboratively seeking solutions that balance the interests of all water stakeholders in the community.
Ron will be based in Christchurch and has already started in his new role.