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  • A great tale of the next generation making change to the orchardists have been price-takers of commodity products for too long.

    For information 73 Citrus visit, https://www.73citrus.co.nz/

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  • NZ farmers’ simplified focus on protein & energy in pastures needs to move to understanding mineral compounds impact on animal health.

    For more information on 5th Business Agri visit, https://www.5thbusinessagri.nz/home

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  • From making an award winning documentary they discovered that the method of councils collecting on freshwater quality is flawed.

    For information on Riverwatch visit, https://riverwatch.nz/ to watch the documentary

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  • Our consumers are concerned about bobby calves, so how do New Zealand dairy farmers work to practically reduce this and economically?

    To watch the show, visit www.sarahscountry.com

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  • Evolving their farming around deer's natural browsing patterns and building shared values for the environment and financial sustainability.

    For information www.deernz.org

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  • How we consume to alleviate the guilt of our individual impact on the planet is now a fixture of daily life for many conscious consumers. Whether it's calling out companies on the use of packaging for its single-use or the source of the product’s ingredients, it's each now etched into our psyche.

    But what about sustainability claims of sourcing 85% organic from overseas and planting native trees to offset carbon, means NZ growers are missing out on access to our premium consumers?

    “If we had regular communication with the NZ grower connecting feedback on what we want, we won’t necessarily purchase organic from overseas if it fits our quality standards & consumers values,” explains James Denton, co-founder GoodFor.

    One of this week’s Sarah’s Country’s Change Maker is James Denton, co-founder of GoodFor, a wholefood refillery chain growing in New Zealand who explains:

    GoodFor is a New Zealand owned, 100% plastic free pantry refillery in stores across the country and online.Less food waste and less packaging lead him and his partner, Georgie, to start their first store in Ponsonby and following a multi-million capital raise in June 2021 they are set to leverage their 14,000 customers to ripple their business ethos wider.They have a strict procurement process that starts with the quality of product first and foremost and then organic certification and welcomes the discussion with NZ growers as they ultimately influence up to 50 stores.They have been planting 87 native trees per week here in NZ through their own tree-planting platform as opposed to off-setting programmes overseas.

    For information on GoodFor visit, https://goodfor.co.nz/

  • Chronic disease globally is linked to the gut microbiome, so what if the food New Zealand produces could be sold at a premium if we move towards farming for nutrient density rather than per kilo of a product?

    “The microbiome is so important to human, animal and soil health, so let’s reward forward-thinking farmers for producing nutrient-dense food,” explains the Vicker sisters.

    Our Sarah’s Country Sister this week are actually sisters, twin sisters in fact!

    Sarah Perriam discusses with Katie Vickers, Head of Sustainability at Farmlands Co-Operative and Sarah Vickers, holistic health coach at BePure Clinic:

    Their farming upbringing with an alternative view of soil health from their farming father growing up in Marlborough after emigrating from the UK.Functional food is a growth area for both industries, as Katie explains, even more so now since she did her Kellogg’s in nutrient-dense food as a market opportunity for New Zealand farmers.As a registered nurse, Sarah has seen first-hand how today's stressful lifestyles can lead to poor health outcomes and can’t understand how we have lost touch from our ancestral knowledge. Katie explains the disruptive technology coming at farming food with consumers armed with spectrometers to select food based on its nutrient density and our need to get ahead of the curve.

    To read Katie’s Kellogg report, https://ruralleaders.co.nz/putting-the-food-back-into-food-what-will-it-take-for-our-primary-industry-to-produce-nutrient-dense-food/

    To learn more about BePure visit, https://www.bepure.co.nz/

  • What started in a search to make ‘bioplastic’ with a scoby that is used in making Kombucha, AgResearch scientists found it could help kill E. coli. in dairy effluent ponds.

    “The scoby decreased the water to a very low pH so then we hypothesised you could potentially use it as an anti-microbal mechanism in effluent,” explains Seth Laurenson, AgResearch

    One of this week’s Sarah’s Country’s Change Maker is Seth Laurenson, senior scientist at AgResearch who explains:

    Seth’s scientific research has been in effluent and wastewater and says that effluent, when applied in perfect conditions, is fine, but that’s not always the case with weather and can leach and affect the water quality of aquifers and streams so by lowering the E. Coli levels can provide farmers with more flexibility. After discovering they could drop the pH of dairy effluent making it more acidic, the next challenge is to drop the alcohol with bio-engineers to make it safe for distribution on the soil.AgResearch’s 'Curiosity Fund' supports proving concepts quickly and delivering early to see innovations work with people that can add to the progress of the technology.

    Learn more about AgResearch's effluent research in this Farmer's Weekly article

  • It used to be worth $10/kg to farmers in the 80’s, now farmers are throwing it into gullies to dispose of the waste product. The world’s natural and renewable fibre needs a desperate lifeline, but our guests in this week’s Opinion Maker can see the light on the horizon of consumer change & urge farmers to hold on.

    To watch the show, visit www.sarahscountry.com

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  • There is a gaping hole of farmers coming into the sheep & beef sector but there may be a shining light with the new farmer-led Growing Future Farmers programme launching in Winter 2021.

    “You can’t teach farming in the classroom. We provide the training, liaison and pastoral care for our registered farm workplaces to give our young people the start they need, including a 6-week-old pup!” explains Cyn Smith, GM, Growing Future Farmers.

    As a Change Maker this week on Sarah’s Country learns more about Growing Future Farmers with general manager, Cyn Smith who outlines the new programme:

    The idea came from Tam & Dan Jex-Blake and grew with a passionate board of farmers from large hill country properties across New Zealand with 50 accredited farm trainers across the country.The learning is outside of the classroom structured as a two-year programme where students learn in the paddock with qualifications and liaison managers in support with Eastern Institute of Technology in Hawkes Bay.This is a chance for farmers to give back to the sector by training young people as a trainee as they build their capability alongside the everyday running of the farm over two years.The farmer provides the student with a heading & huntaway pup so they should eventually have three working dogs for our young shepherds to get employment.

    For information on the Open Days around NZ in July & August 2021, visit https://growingfuturefarmers.co.nz/

  • Selling pasteurized milk direct from the farm to the customer has a lot of regulatory barriers around it but people are demanding it and want to celebrate our local food heroes - our farmers.

    A new innovative “milk factory in a box” can allow any farmer to sell safe, pasteurised milk to their local community and cafes with a secure payment system and food regulations ticked.

    “10 cows would supply 5-6 cafes with the milk they need and a milk refillery station which is equivalent to $14/kg/ms redistributing the wealth to the farmer and the community,” explains Glen Herud, Happy Cow Milk

    As one of this week’s Sarah’s Country’s Change Maker's we highlight Glen Herud from Happy Cow Milk Company:

    They have created a system where farmers attach the mini milk factory to your current milking plant into 100L keg, plug it into the internet and you become a fully compliant milk processor.The farmer gets paid upfront then delivers the milk to a cafe for them to use and sell to customers as a refillery.Customers fill their reusable containers with fresh, local milk and the local farmer keeps your dispenser full and the Happy Cow system takes care of all payments, sending everyone their share of each purchase to your bank account – instantly!Happy Cow Milk Co. recently won at the 2021 ChristchurchNZ Supernode Food, Fibre & AgriTech ChallengeYou can invest in Happy Cow Milk Co through their crowd-equity funding campaign on PledgeMe

    Learn how it works here, https://happycowmilk.co.nz/sell-milk/

    To watch the show, visit www.sarahscountry.com

    Subscribe to Sarah’s Country on the podcast and if you love us, please leave a review!

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  • California has regulations requiring dairy farmers and other producers to cut methane emissions by 40% by 2030 (New Zealand's CCC recommendation is a 13% reduction).

    So what how can we adopt the superfood of seaweed that UC Davis scientists have found cuts methane emission by over 80%, into a NZ farming system?

    As our Thought Maker brought to you by Multiscapes at Lincoln University, Prof. Ermias Kebreab, Director, World Food Center & Professor and Sesnon Endowed Chair | University of California, Davis.

    His team have been studying how seaweed as a feed additive can reduce methane emissions in cattle by over 80% as only 1% of their diet.

    But, does it affect the taste of meat or milk?

    Sarah also discusses with Ermais the work he is doing in lifting milk production in his home country of Eritrea in Eastern Africa.

    For more on the research, visit https://caes.ucdavis.edu/news/feeding-cattle-seaweed-reduces-their-greenhouse-gas-emissions-82-percent

    For more information on Multiscapes, https://www.multiscapes.co.nz/

  • With less water available in our changing climate, stock water systems are often overlooked so to get farmers off the farm can be as simple as giving them assurance that their water tanks are full and water is being delivered to their livestock.

    Waterwatch’s technology of farm tank water monitoring it can all be done via an app on your phone.

    “One of the key things we know talking to farmers is that they spend a lot of time building their water schemes and they are hesitant to trust them to work so by putting that assurance in their pockets they can leave home,” explains Jesse Teat, Waterwatch.

    One of this week’s Change Maker’s is Jesse Teat, a Dunedin-based ag-tech entrepreneur discussing:

    The real dilemma is that 96% of the water taken on farms can be lost from leaking pipes or animals getting into troughs so early leak detection can give farmers hours, even days, of their time back.Growing up on a kiwifruit orchard, Jesse realized from a young age the importance of keeping water infrastructure running at all times.Waterwatch works with regional council water scheme infrastructure as well to enable them to ensure water security.Waterwatch was a 2020 Fielday's Innovation Award winner.

    For more information of remote water tank monitoring from your phone

    For more information about Sarah’s Country, visit www.sarahscountry.com

    Subscribe to Sarah’s Country on the podcast and if you love us, please leave a review!

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  • How do we move from status quo to game-changing innovation-led farming?

    How do we deal with the systemic silos across leadership, research and data-management?

    And when will we have purpose-driven leadership that is happy to prioritise the people it serves over themselves?

    To download the report visit: sarahscountry.com/opinion

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  • In a world of disruption and uncertainty from COVID, NZ has emerged with an unexpectedly strong GDP result but the sector this country are relying on is fatigued and people are operating very short term focused, living day to day from farm to executive level.

    The disruption and uncertainty though has seen a $65 billion global food renaissance emerge so can New Zealand muster up the energy and courage needed to take bold steps to keep its seat at the table?

    In the 12 years the KPMG Agribusiness Agenda has been published, Head of Global Agribusiness Ian Proudfoot said this was the most difficult to write due to the combination of immense regulatory pressure, the volume of change coming at the sector as well as trade negotiations and supply issues as well as mounting labour shortage.

    Ian discusses the report with Sarah at the 2021 Fieldays after the launch of the report as our Change Maker and highlights:

    We must invest and change the leadership mix with talent that is new, young and diverse and we need directors to govern for the future and growth, rather than for risk and what’s happened in the past.The only way we can have a seat at the global food table is based on our reputation for being innovative and being a good international citizen but the seat won’t be there forever unless we take action now. We need the government to rethink the timing of their regulation and in a coordinated approach with time for the industry to implement the policy and also encourage farmers to get engaged in what is coming to make sure it works for them.He is worried about non-tariff barriers to our product from taking a different approach to managing our agricultural emissions so we need as much market access as we can get from a variety of markets.Food is an incredibly personal product as it is what we put inside us, so farmers need to understand who they are producing for and the reason they are consuming for health to capture the opportunities ahead.

    Read the 2021 KPMG Agribusiness Agenda

    For more information about the show, visit www.sarahscountry.com

    Subscribe to Sarah’s Country on the podcast and if you love us, please leave a review!

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  • Agriculture innovation becomes successful when paired with investment to scale.

    The Australian’s are not only investing in research at a faster rate of knots than New Zealand but providing transparency about what researchers are working all in one place, growAG.

    “Researchers can collaborate with other researchers. Investors find innovations to commercialise into solutions for farmers. And it provides traction for our government-funded research - win-win!” explains Arianna Sippel, Senior Business Manager, growAG.

    One of this week’s Sarah’s Country’s Change Maker is Arianna Sippel, Senior Business Manager at growAG who explains:

    The Australian government sees innovation as the foundation for a sustainable and resilient future for their agricultural businesses.AgriFutures is one of the 15 Research & Development Centres with funding from levy paying farmers and government that works across their National Research Initiatives.In an aim to provide traction for their funded research and extend the solutions beyond the lab to farmers in the paddock they have created growAG showcasing 2,000 innovations transparently presented online.growAG helps researchers to see who else may be working on a similar project to collaborate with partners to validate their project and investors that maybe interested in commercialising.

    Visit growAg - A connected network bringing innovation into the spotlight

  • The ripple effect when women prioritise their own needs and establish boundaries has on the wider family and farming business is profound as this Norsewood farmer found out from a health prognosis that forced her to look at her own life.

    “I hear rural women say 'I feel like the dog's body' and that's how I felt. Living on a farm can be an amazing lifestyle but that comes when you recognise your personal boundaries because you can't take care of everyone if you don't take care of yourself first,” explains Charlotte.

    This fortnight’s Sarah’s Country Sister is Charlotte Heald from Wealth of Health who shares:

    In her career as a rural nurse, Charlotte found her passion for health promotion and then after the diagnosis of an autoimmune disease whilst running a family and farm she trained as a health coach to support rural women with self-care.Boundary setting and recognising what you will and won’t tolerate is the first step. It can be really empowering to say ‘no’ from a place of integrity and respect for yourself.We train those around us how we want to be treated and when we shift the goalposts it can be an adjustment for everyone, but the energy of women with boundaries has huge value for those around them.Her and husband Russell’s journey into regenerative farming and changing their mindset that they are farming with the best practice for them and their land and they learnt to stop comparing themselves with the neighbours.

    To get in touch with Charlotte for one-on-one coaching, workshop or speaking at your next event.

  • Award-winning artificial intelligence technology recognising sheep's faces via cameras in the paddock could provide a transformational leap forward in the Australasian sheep industry.

    “Of the majority of the 23 million lambs born from 17 million ewes each year we don't know which lamb comes from which ewe, so facial recognition in the paddock will unlock massive potential for the sheep industry,” explains Mark.

    One of this week’s Sarah’s Country’s Change Maker is Dr Mark Ferguson from neXtgen Agri who recently won the 2021 ChristchurchNZ Supernode Food, Fibre & AgriTech Challenge and explains:

    A pilot project with Australian Wool Innovation and the University of Sydney three years ago proved in a trial in the yards that the technology works. Now Genesmith, , focuses on taking the cameras into the paddock to help match ewes with their lambs.The ultimate way to reduce methane released per unit is by optimizing production, selecting ewes based on their ability to have a number of healthy lambs and take the efficiency out of the animal system.Currently, farmer’s ability to identify sheep at the moment is manually by humans via visual sheep tags and matching the parentage of the lambs via DNA is too expensive to be viable for commercial sheep farmers.By June 2022 they endeavour to have a commercial product developed with the ability to capture data on farm.

    For more information on the Genesmith artificial intelligence technology

    To watch the show, visit www.sarahscountry.com

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  • One of the most precious gems in New Zealand’s food & fibre sector is the family farm, so how do we ensure that the intergenerational business model can survive a changing world?

    For information on the services of our guests visit, https://www.familybusinesscentral.com

    https://nzab.co.nz/our-services

    https://www.wynnwilliams.co.nz

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  • The global lockdown of 2020 brought consumers closer to the source of their food and gave confidence to an NZ arable sector project that will see local chefs and pasta producers able to source the key durum wheat ingredient from their backyard.

    “We have found that the taste profile of Wairarapa grown durum wheat presents a really interesting provenance story, as the wine industry tells. NZ pasta producers want to source all their ingredients locally - eggs, sunflower oil and durum wheat to tell their own provenance story too,” explains Ivan Lawrie, GM Business Operations at Foundation for Arable Research.

    One of this week’s Sarah’s Country’s Change Maker, Foundation for Arable Research General Manager of Business Operations, Ivan Lawrie explains:

    Semolina the coarse, purified wheat middlings of durum wheat is mainly used in making couscous and Italian pastas and currently is all imported, but there is demand for NZ product by NZ chefs and food producers.MPI’s Sustainable Food & Fibre Future’s funding is enabling a project to create niche markets for the highly sought after durum wheat and providing a shining light for Wairarapa arable growers following the devastating biosecurity eradication of pea weevil eradication costing the industry close to $130 million.This is the beginning of many more specialty pulses and grain value chains which ultimately fill our New Zealand wheat mills operating at full capacity.

    For more information on the MPI funded durum wheat project

    For more information on Sarah's Country, visit www.sarahscountry.com

    Subscribe to Sarah’s Country on podcast and if you love us, please leave a review!

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