The last of eight regional climate change workshops for dairy farmers will be held in Rotorua this Friday.

DairyNZ says the workshop is for farmers to train up on the challenges of climate change, the need to address biological emissions on farms, the scientific research underway, and the development of the Zero Carbon Bill.

DairyNZ senior climate change advisor Milena Scott said the first step towards reducing New Zealand's greenhouse gas emissions was education.

"Farmers need to have a good understanding of climate change in order to recognise why they need to address their emissions alongside other New Zealand businesses and households."


"We want farmers to come out of these workshops understanding how their farm contributes to New Zealand's greenhouse gas profile, and how specific environmental initiatives can improve their farm's broader environmental footprint.

"Farmers need to feel comfortable that adopting new environmental initiatives will help lead to farm businesses that are both profitable and sustainable."

Bay of Plenty farmer and climate change ambassador Fraser McGougan said he would be attending the Rotorua workshop.

He said all farms were different, and when it came to mitigation options one size didn't fit all.

"There are a variety of options available that farmers can learn about at these workshops. Small steps now lead to big differences down the track.

"It's important to look to the future. We've focused on reducing our use of fresh water, decreasing nitrogen use and we are retiring and replanting native bush.

"I want our farm to be seen as an example of what can be done on a pretty standard farm, while balancing profitability and environmental standards."

McGougan is a fourth-generation farmer running the family farm of 420 cows. He and his wife aim to focus on what they can do well and keeping costs down. The McGougans won the Best People Leadership in the Dairy Business of the Year awards, as well as Low Input with Best Financials and Best Bay of Plenty-Central Plateau Farm Performance in 2016.


DairyNZ said the workshops were a commitment under the Dairy Action for Climate Change, an 18-month long plan to build awareness among the dairy sector of the science behind climate change.

The Rotorua workshop is the last of eight regional workshops held around the country this month for farmers. It will be held on Friday, June 29, at 10am at the Distinction Hotel. Farmers can register at