Between 30 June and 2 July, several hundred farming leaders will descend upon New Zealand’s largest and most metropolitan city for the 110th annual meeting of Federated Farmers, including its antecedent bodies.
“2009 marks the 110th meeting of Federated Farmers since the New Zealand Farmers Union was formed back in 1899,” says Don Nicolson, President of Federated Farmers.
“Yet far from looking back, our eyes are firmly on the future of New Zealand, which has agriculture at its epicentre. Farming is New Zealand’s future and ensuring that is a key role of the Federation today.
“On my watch as President, Federated Farmers is determined to work across the political spectrum, engaging with those whose view of farming and farmers is decades out of date.
“The simple truth is that New Zealand’s best exporters are found out there, in the fields and paddocks of New Zealand under rain, sun or snow. Working every single day, they’re the ones who bring wealth in to New Zealand.
“To help those farmers understand wider business drivers, we’ve organised an outstanding range of speakers for the 2009 conference. From the Prime Minister to entrepreneurial wool exporters and chief executives, we’re determined to learn.
“Given farmers farm, Federated Farmers role is to watch their backs in council chambers, parliament and on international trade issues, as our work in the Wall Street Journal recently showed. Federated Farmers role is to help manage farmers substantial off-farm risks that they as individuals can’t.
“Policies that enable farmers to retain a greater share of wealth on-farm benefits all New Zealanders as that will grow the country’s economic pie,” Mr Nicolson added.
For 2009, the Federated Farmers One Event National Conference will feature open sessions that farmers and non-farmers are welcome to register for. More information about how to register can be obtained by calling 0800 FARMING (0800 327 646). Speakers include:
WEDNESDAY, 1 JULY
8.30am Don Nicolson – President, Federated Farmers of NZ, conference opening
8.45am Hon David Carter MP – Minister for Agriculture
9.30am Hon Rodney Hide MP – Minister of Local Government/Regulatory Reform and Leader of the ACT Party
10.30am Prof Jacqueline Rowarth – Director, Agriculture at Massey University
11.15am Doug Steel – Agri Economist, Westpac New Zealand
12.00pm Hon Jim Anderton MP – Opposition Spokesperson for Agriculture and Leader of the Progressive Party
1.45pm Jamie Fitzgerald – The first kiwi to reach the South pole unsupported on foot.
2.30pm Dr. Paul Reynolds – Chief Executive, Telecom Group
3.30pm Beverley Forrester – Entrepreneurial wool exporter and winner of the 2009 Enterprising Rural Woman Award
4.15pm Pita Alexander – Director, PS Alexander and Associates
5.05pm Conor English – Chief Executive, Federated Farmers of NZ
7.30pm Federated Farmers 2009 Cream of the Crop Awards
THURSDAY, 2 JULY
7.30am Hon John Key MP – Prime Minister’s Breakfast
“2009 marks the first time Federated Farmers is formalising its national awards and will recognise Agribusiness Person of the Year and Agricultural Personality of the Year. Yet, Federated Farmers wishes to recognise the very best of the industry from environmental management through to Maori excellence in farming,” Mr Nicolson continued.
“It says a lot about agriculture that while export prices are down for some sectors, our export volumes are up. Federated Farmers is focused on helping our members get through this economic speed bump and back on the path to full farm profitability,” Mr Nicolson concluded.