The annual farmer exchange programme run by the World Farmers' Organisation (WFO) is a huge opportunity to share Kiwi know-how and to learn from others' experiences writes Federated Farmers Meat & Wool policy advisor Julie Geange.
This week New Zealand is privileged to host one of the biggest names in international farming.
As part of the annual farmer exchange programme run by the World Farmers' Organisation (WFO) and the Ministry for Primary Industries, the head of the WFO Dr Theo De Jager will take part.
He makes up part of an international contingent of farmers visiting the Hawke's Bay this week to see how farming is conducted in this part of the world.
This visit is such a huge opportunity to share Kiwi know-how and to learn from others' experiences.
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The purpose of what is effectively a study tour for farmers from participating Global Research Alliance on Agricultural Greenhouse Gases (GRA) countries is to increase everyone's understanding of environmental practices within a sustainability approach.
Visiting countries participating in the tour are East Africa and Indonesia.
New Zealand's representatives on the tour include Federated Farmers Wairarapa provincial president William Beetham, Dargaville's Siobhan Wakeling and Hawke's Bay farmer Charles Yule.
What some people don't realise is farming will be the first industry in most countries to have to deal with adapting practices for climate change.
Those participating in the tour will be looking at a range of farming practices and innovative ways to grow food without growing greenhouse gas emissions.
Their visit is our opportunity to learn from some of the best and most diverse nations while also forging relationships on a farming diplomatic scale.
We are lucky to be part of such a program.
The group will be travelling throughout the North Island for about a week.
The week includes activities such as visiting methane chambers at AgResearch, farm visits covering diverse practices from honeybees to hemp farming and everything in between.
The tour will conclude with a trip to Wellington to visit the Ministry for Primary Industries and an address by Federated Farmers President Katie Milne who is the Oceania WFO Board representative.
The WFO represents approximately 1.5 billion farmers from 54 countries.
The WFO is farming's representative to the United Nations and works on issues such as food security, sustainable development and climate change.