Hill Country Futures programme

Hill Country Futures is a long-term $8.1m programme focused on future proofing the profitability, sustainability and wellbeing of New Zealand’s hill country farmers, their farm systems, the environment and rural communities.

Visit the Hill Country Futures website here

This multi-year programme takes a trans-disciplinary approach to “landscapes” and considers the whole farm system and associated communities. The Hill Country Futures programme incorporates traditional science research, farmer knowledge, social research and citizen science.

At an on-farm level, the programme focuses on practical options for future proofing hill country farming and includes a strong emphasis on forages. Specifically, which farming practices and forages will best serve hill country farms and farmers into the future? 

As a co-funder, the New Zealand Government requires the Hill Country Futures programme to deliver 50/50 environmental and social benefits, while recognising the role farm profitability plays in achieving both goals.

Research programme  

Within the programme, there are four research strands – all contributing towards the overall objective of future proofing New Zealand’s hill country farms and rural communities:

  1. Development of a pathways – framework
  2. Landscape classification tools  
  3. Biodiversity in forage landscapes  
  4. Communities to market  

Learn more about the research on their website

Programme co-funders include: 

  • Beef + Lamb New Zealand
  • Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE)
  • Seed Force New Zealand
  • PGG Wrightson Seeds

Science providers

AgResearch – Beef + Lamb New Zealand – Cameron Ludemann Consulting – Lincoln University – Manaaki Whenua Landcare Research – Massey University – Nature Positive – Plant & Food Research – Scarlatti.

Find out more

Visit the Hill Country Futures website at https://www.hillcountryfutures.co.nz/

B+LNZ point of contact: Mhairi Sutherland and Suzanne Keeling.