The response to Ag Proud NZ's barbecue in Manukau today has been "fanstatic" says Jon Pemberton.

"We've had about 700 people through ... it looks like we'll comfortably get through the 1000 that we've budgeted on catering for" the group's trust chairman told The Country's Rowena Duncum.

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Ag Proud NZ has been travelling around New Zealand hosting barbecues to help strengthen the relationship between urban and rural areas, and so far the events had been "acheiving more than what we thought" said Pemberton.


"The response has been pretty awesome ... and I guess the publicity too, we feel like we're getting a foothold with the media as far as trying to get the good news out there".

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Talking with the crowd at the Manukau barbecue highlighted how some people were "totally unaware" of what was happening with farming, but there were still connections to be made said Pemberton.

"The convos have been pretty good today. Everyone's worried about the environment and asking us what we're doing around that area".

As for the naysayers, that's nothing a bit of barbecued New Zealand meat can't fix said Pemberton.

"There are the odd people that are like 'bloody farmers' but by the time you give them a bit of lamb rack and a beef brisket they kind of change their tune a bit to be fair".