Comment: Federated Farmers advocates so farmers can farm, writes Federated Farmers Rotorua/Taupo Territory Manager Salli Baldock.

Communication is key.

My role is being a conduit for urban and rural people to talk to each other. I help both groups understand where the other one is coming from and why situations are arising in the way they do.

I support several Federated Farmers provincial executives. I share with the public their good works while getting alongside other rural professionals.

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There are themes arising from the frank conversations I'm having. There is frustration and challenges in modern farming.

To help match those concerns Federated Farmers has looked at itself to see if it's evolving to meet the needs of members. It is.

Read more from Federated Farmers here.

Our representatives are on the ground connecting with farmers and their communities, listening to the concerns of people on the receiving end of government policy.

A challenge to our industry that needs more light shone on it is the farm sales to forestry - that is influencing the East Coast dramatically.

Diminishing rural communities, declining school roles, creating housing issues in the local cities. Where do policy makers think our rural communities are going to end up?

A further challenge is a feeling there is a duplication of roles within Feds and Beef + Lamb when seeking membership.

What needs to be understood is the different roles both groups play.

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Beef + Lamb's role is to give farmers tools to be better at what they do with strategies to produce a premium ethical product.

Federated Farmers advocates so farmers can farm. Feds talks to the Government and local authorities about the practicalities of farming in a way that is educational and productive.

An example being Federated Farmers submitting on 68 out of 78 long term council plans, holding meetings with Cabinet Ministers 36 times in 2018, and attending more than 48 court hearings and mediations and submitted on more than 50 pieces of legislation and proposed government regulation and more recently have helped massively in the outcomes of the Capital Gains Tax and the firearms changes.

People get to farm because of the advocacy Federated Farmers takes part in.