The increasingly regulated management of natural resources in New Zealand provides another dimension for agricultural extensionists to consider, alongside the economic and bio-physical dynamics of farming systems. New processes for on-farm learning and system adaptation are needed that address the legal and statutory obligations being imposed on farmers to reflect the values of communities, industry and central government.
DairyNZ and private consultants have worked together with the Manawatu-Wanganui Regional Council to assist dairy farmers in that region comply with the regulations while improving on-farm productivity. Dairy farmers in the Waikawa Catchment applied for their landuse consents before the end of 2015 to reduce their estimated nutrient contamination in the catchment by between 5-15%. The significant change enabling this to happen has been that extension participants found that by collaborating across organisations they have been able to join up their capabilities for the good of the industry, rural communities and future generations.
Collaborative Extension, a draft, submitted to the “Rural Extension and Innovation Systems Journal, 2016”.