Pasture Summit Conference returns next week

Pasture Summit Conference Pasture Summit Conference

The Ravensdown-sponsored Pasture Summit Conference will take place in Hamilton and Ashburton

After the inaugural event’s success in 2017, Ravensdown-sponsored Pasture Summit Conference returns this year to both the North Island and South Island.

Irish dairy farmer Denis Finnegan is no stranger to New Zealand’s pastures. After a backpacking trip in 2006 and an organised farm tour in 2008, Denis is back for the North Island Pasture Summit Conference on 26–27 November, as well as a three-week tour of New Zealand’s top dairy farms.

"We are privileged to be going to visit the best dairy farmers in NZ.  They’re the all-stars of grassland dairy farming around the world – they’re the ones we want to emulate," Denis says.

The conference is an Ireland/New Zealand initiative that looks at the cutting edge of pasture-based farming, the challenges the sector is facing, and innovations for the future.

"If we want sustainable grass-fed systems to be economic and environmentally sustainable in the future, we have to work together," Denis says.

Denis farms 700 cows across four farms near Cork in the south-west of Ireland. He took part in the ideas committee investigating the possibility of Pasture Summit and why it’s important for Irish and New Zealand farmers and researchers to talk to one another.'

 "Pasture Summit was formed because we must come together to share our technologies, our information and bring all that intellectual property together to create something better," explains Denis.

Ravensdown’s general manager of innovation and strategy, Mike Manning, says the Pasture Summit will give both delegates and sponsors an excellent chance to share information and build on common experiences.

"The pasture-based system prevalent in New Zealand is unique in the world. Our temperate climate, soils, pasture species combined with our pasture management expertise has given us a feed cost advantage globally. While we are competitors, Pasture Summit offers a platform for the two countries to collaborate."

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