Constructive AgResearch farmer meeting
March 12, 2014
AgResearch Chief Executive Dr Tom Richardson is describing today’s meeting with farmers in Gore as constructive and a good opportunity to share our plans and talk with farmers from Southland and Otago.
The meeting was initiated by the Southern Texel Breeders and hosted by Beef + Lamb New Zealand.
Eighty seven people attended the meeting, of which about 50 were farmers.
“It was good to be able to speak to concerned farmers directly about our plans to deliver them better science and higher returns. It was a good wide-ranging discussion, and wasn’t solely focused on our reinvestment plans for AgResearch campuses,” says Dr Richardson.
“There was also discussion on government investment in science, industry support for science and how to take research forward.
“Regards our campus reinvestment plans, we understand the concerns of Southland and Otago farmers, and it was an opportunity to reinforce the fact we are not closing Invermay – in fact we’d like to increase the numbers of staff there who are dealing with on farm and regional environment issues.”
AgResearch’s Future Footprint plan will position the organisation for the long-term to deliver better science, more effectively, to New Zealand farmers, the pastoral sector and the New Zealand economy.
The Southern Texel Breeders passed a motion requesting an independent review of the plan, which will involve the co-location of scientists into science innovation hubs, allowing for a more effective collaborative approach to tackle national science ‘big issues’.
Dr Richardson says the plan will see $100 million reinvested to create modern facilities that are functional, adaptable and fit for modern science.
“Future Footprint will see us maximising the use of our facilities and specialist infrastructure to achieve better returns for AgResearch, our clients and the pastoral sector,” says Dr Richardson.
“We remain committed to find the best solution to continue to deliver the science all New Zealand farmers rely on to stay ahead of their international counterparts.”