Content brought to you to by DairyNZ.
Award-winning dairy farmer Fraser McGougan has been appointed chair of the DairyNZ Climate Change Ambassadors.
Climate Change Ambassadors are leaders for climate change action on dairy farms, DairyNZ said.
They help communicate the challenges and opportunities dairy farmers face when addressing climate change, alongside the rest of New Zealand
"We're all interested in climate change and also what we can do about it and how we can help other farmers adapt to it," McGougan told The Country Sport Breakfast's Brian Kelly.
McGougan has been a Climate Change Ambassador since 2018.
He said he was looking forward to leading the ambassadors to engage with farmers, communities and decision-makers, and to provide a farmer voice at national level.
"Farmers want to be part of the climate change solution," Mr McGougan said in a statement.
"Our role as Climate Change Ambassadors includes helping farmers understand the changes they can make on their farm to reduce emissions and improve water quality, while maintaining or even increasing profitability."
"There is no one-size-fits-all approach and small incremental changes on individual farms add up to big changes nationally."
Recently the Climate Change Commission announced draft carbon budgets on how New Zealand can meet its climate change obligations.
This meant that it was a critical time in the national conversation about emissions reductions, McGougan said.
Research by AgResearch has confirmed New Zealand dairy was already the world's lowest emissions producer of milk. But there was more to be done, McGougan said.
New scientific developments will be important in supporting farmers to continue to address climate change, and investment in research and development and support from the government were crucial, he said.
"We're going to need ongoing support with research and development and technology - this is a bit challenge but it's also going to be a long challenge," McGougan told Kelly.
McGougan is a fourth-generation farmer – Willowvale Farm has been in the McGougan family for 120 years. He and his wife Katherine have 430 cows on 143 hectares.
Among a number of awards, the couple won the Bay of Plenty Ballance Farm Environment Awards Supreme Award in 2019. They have three children, Emily, Isaac and Liam.
The McGougans have fenced all their waterways, matched their stocking rate to what the land can sustainably carry and decreased their imported feed.
The Climate Change Ambassadors group was created in 2018 under the Dairy Action for Climate Change. New members have been appointed this year to maintain the diversity of the group, with a mix of locations, farm systems and experience.
The five new ambassadors appointed to the Climate Change Ambassadors are:
Waikato farmers Graeme Barr and Melissa Slattery (Dairy Environment Leaders chair), Southland farmer Steve Smith, and Canterbury farmers Ash-leigh Campbell and Phill Everest.