In my part of the world, we are on the threshold of spring. Despite another challenging season, I use springtime to look forward – not back.
The weather-dependant nature of our livelihood means we must work with the cycles of nature, and under the conditions we’re dealt. But I am confident (alongside a good dose of hopefulness) that 2016/17 will be a great season.
Why do we farm?
People often ask me “Why – with so many challenges and variables – do farmers choose to farm?”
The answer is simple. At the very core sits the family unit, living on the land that we also farm. The family and the land are intertwined and form our identity.
The privilege of having our family so deeply immersed in what we do is immeasurable. We are able to involve them in activities and discussions which, in turn, shape their own passion, values, resilience and work ethic.
Our story is replicated nationwide. The relationship between the people – families and communities – and the land is truly authentic. It is the “New Zealand sheep and beef story”.
Telling our story
Led by Beef + Lamb New Zealand, processors, exporters and government are working together to tell our New Zealand red meat sector story. It is a compelling story of heritage, provenance, quality and safety, and will be used to underpin the activities of exporters with their customers.
The story needs to be credible, which means that we must have consistent standards. Our goal is to create an emotional connection with consumers who identify with our production philosophy and can afford grass-fed protein produced to the highest standards.
I can’t wait to share the story of “who we are and why we farm” with consumers around the globe. It’s a great story and one I feel very proud to be a part of.
Kirsten Bryant is Beef + Lamb New Zealand’s Western North Island farmer director.