One of the initiatives we are driving alongside meat processing companies, banks and the Ministry for Primary Industries is the Red Meat Profit Partnership Action Network.
The RMPP Action Network is a programme to support farmers to develop the confidence to turn ideas into action on-farm. It’s made up of farmer Action Groups of seven to nine farm businesses.
Action Groups are farmer-led and supported by trained facilitators to guide a group and help identify experts who can share new knowledge and ideas needed to achieve their goals. Each Action Group is eligible for kick-start funding of $4,000 per farm business, which is pooled for the group to pay for a facilitator and expert advice.
For us, the RMPP Action Network represents a missing piece in the extension puzzle, and it was farmers who identified this solution.
You told us working and learning alongside other farmers was key. You also wanted the advice of trusted independent experts to grow your confidence to make on-farm changes and improve your bottom-line.
The Action Network has been designed to do exactly that.
Farmers identify issues and collaborate to develop solutions. Those that have signed up to professionally facilitated and results-focused Action Groups are reporting tangible on-farm improvements.
More than 600 farm businesses have registered to the RMPP Action Network. Popular topics for these groups so far have been animal performance, pasture management, business planning and financial management, soils and the environment.
You can choose whatever topic you like as a group. For example, given the challenges around M Bovis at the moment, there is an opportunity to pull a group together to look at managing risks or changing farm systems. With the seed funding only available through until June 2020, we’re encouraging farmers to consider forming or joining a group.
Please visit www.actionnetwork.co.nz to register or speak to your extension team.
Meanwhile, sheep and beef farmers will have seen a lot of reports in the media about winter grazing practices.
Beef + Lamb New Zealand has been clear in this debate that poor environmental practices are unacceptable to farmers.
We know winter grazing on crops is vital, but with the increased scrutiny on our sector, we all need to work hard to ensure we minimise the potential environmental and animal welfare impacts.
Beef + Lamb New Zealand has developed a range of winter grazing resources to support farmers and I encourage you to visit: https://beeflambnz.com/wintergrazing for more information.