Tuesday 25 June Timetable

8am – 8:45amRegistration
8.45am – 9.00amWelcome and introduction
9.00am – 10.00amKeynote address:Sue Lindsay
10.00am – 10.30amMorning tea
10.30am – 11.25amSession 1: Workshop A
11.30am – 12.25pmSession 1: Workshop B
12.30pm – 1.15pmLunch
1.30pm – 2.30pmKeynote address: Gilbert Enoka
2.30pm – 4.25pmSession 2: Workshop A
2.30pm – 4.25pmBrightSIDE
4.30pm – 5.15pmDrinks and Nibbles with the sponsors 


Day 1 Workshops

Recognising today
You can attend one workshop from the list of 1.1 or 1.2 as a double session or pick 1.3, 1.4 or 1.5 (Three shorter sessions)

1.1 LEAN all about it
Sarah Watson, (PeopleMad)

Eliminate Waste, Save Time, Cut Costs – Introduction to LEAN

Do you want to improve how productive and profitable your farm is? Do you want to engage your team so they are motivated to eliminate waste? Do you want to understand what LEAN is and how it can be implemented on farm to improve productivity and profitability?

In this interactive workshop we will provide you with the process to start eliminating waste, saving time and cutting cost. You will also get to hear one farmer’s LEAN story, the benefits and challenges of implementing LEAN thinking on farm.

1.2 Media and Me
Chelsea Millar (Grassroots Media)Leigh Spencer

How do we influence public perception in a positive way? How do we tell our story more effectively?
Connectivity and communications have changed. We live in a fast paced, clickbait, fake news world,
where social media has become the battleground.
Through this workshop our presenters will demonstrate how to use this medium to connect to our customers and tell your story to an audience.
Chelsea Millar from Grassroots Media (@agwomanchelsea) will take you through how to conduct yourself on social media? Who’s Who of Social Media Platforms, and Hot tips for Facebook groups and pages, essentially how to milk Facebook!
Leigh Spencer focuses on Telling Your Story and will get you thinking! Leigh looks to challenge people from a psychological perspective around media content, putting people into a space where they’re better primed to take action intelligently and cohesively.
Both presenters will leave you with insightful takeaways to help you in today’s media landscape.

1.3 Me,myself and team
Ian Handcock

A team lives through its leaders and an important part of any team is the individual. Not understanding your why can lead to stress, anxiety, and unhappiness in a leader which flows through to the very team being led. 2019 is the year to disrupt habits and re look at how we think and do things.

Disruption is everywhere and life is moving fast with many opportunities arising all the time and with these opportunities comes stress. Stress from different angles and often new stresses that have not been experienced before.

Ian uses his farming background to compete in ultra-marathons and endurance cycling and in this workshop he explores how changing mindsets can change our lives.

This workshop is suited to leaders on farm to learn to assess stress and deal with it.


1.4 Would you like safety with that?
Tony Watson

The agricultural sector is one of New Zealand’s high-risk sectors.

Fatalities have been trending down however there are still too many injuries and fatalities occurring on farm. Over the last few years, farm related fatalities have accounted for around 38% of all workplace fatalities in NZ.

There is a need for immediate and sustained change in the way we approach safety on farm. A change in the way we think and a change in the way we do things.

This practical workshop is packed full of useful takeaways – things you can implement on farm straight away. Real things that will make a real difference for real people.

No more “she’ll be right” attitudes to safety.

No more “haven’t got time for this safety stuff/it’s too much paperwork”

No more preventable injury and deaths.

You’ll learn how to be part of the solution and how you can create a safety-culture on your farm – whether you are employee, manager, owner or visitor.

1.5 The Southern Dairy Hub –Virtual Tour

Come take a virtual tour of the southern region’s fantastic commercial scale dairy research resource – the Southern Dairy Hub.

This is your opportunity to hear how and why the Hub was set up and get a birds eye view of the property.  The workshop will provide an in-depth understanding of how the farm is being run and the research questions it is tackling on your behalf.

The research team will discuss the latest findings from current research projects in an interactive session with plenty of time for questions.

Session 2 Workshops

You can attend one workshop from the list of four


BrightSIDE is a new initiative to the conference this year, it aims to get our entry level farmers connecting, networking, challenged, empowered and informed about the tools available via future training, on-farm development and the many opportunities in the dairy sector.

BrightSIDE is a forum panel of speakers where you’ll learn about new opportunities in a changing landscape, get tools to manage your personal finances and gain understanding on how your daily on farm performance impacts your career

BrightSIDE is a great personal development opportunity, drive your development and stoke your fire.

  • Tony Robertson: “A successful career in dairy farming”

This is an inspirational workshop about the opportunities in the dairy sector, the importance of defining success, timing and attitude

  • Tom Hartmann from “Personal Budgeting”

Get your personal finances sorted

  • “Tune-up your Daily on-farm performance”

Nail every grazing, build yourself a reputation as grass manager that will open doors

2.1 Appetite for Discussion

Welcome to a new workshop format where you can interact with speakers with frank and open dialogue, dig deep into the knowledge and experience of sports coaches, a freshwater scientist, lateral thinking entrepreneurs, policy makers and immerse yourself with more leaders from diverse backgrounds.

Appetite for Discussion is not a presentation styled format but rather a conversation which is more intimate and lead by questions from you! This makes this workshop unique and provides an opportunity to really engage with the speakers.

In this workshop you will experience conversations with six guests out of the ten presented. You will get 15 minutes with each but due to time constraints you won’t have the opportunity to dialogue with all off them.

So get your Appetite for Discussion going and join in!

 Guests include:

  • Nicol Horrell (Environment Southland Chair)
  • Judd Flavell (Sharks Coach)
  • Justin Kitto (Freshwater Scientist)
  • Lloyd McCallum (ES Council)
  • Regina Bloxham (Southern Steele Coach)

2.2 Link locally, to sell globally
Conall Buchanan and Earl Rattray

This workshop is aimed at recognising the pivotal place New Zealand farmers hold, in both their communities, and our country’s economic foundations.  It covers our role as world leaders in the production of sustainable milk!

All true, but is that the current perception in NZ?   Come and hear from two leaders wanting to share their stories and dispel some myths, Conall Buchanan on community and environmental leadership, with Earl Rattray on the true value of NZ milk and its’ future place in the Global food chain.

Farmers have been leaders in their communities since the dawn of time! Conall will explore options open to you, and look at real examples in our sector, communities and in the environmental processes underway.  His experience farming in NZ and offshore will inform the presentation.

Earl will tell some of his story and lead into a discussion on world supply/demand of milk, price dynamics and what’s driving our current & future market outlook.

Delegates will leave this workshop;
– More informed about their great product and its’ place in the world going forward. 
– Understanding the important place they have in their own communities.
– With renewed pride in both, understanding how leaders in our communities can effect change and the future of NZ milk. 

2.3 Winning at Wintering
Dawn Dalley  Senior Scientist DairyNZ, Nick Tait, Environmental Specialist  DairyNZ ,Tony Dench Animal Husbandry Specialist, DairyNZ

Wintering in the South is now on everyone’s radar – farmers, politicians, the NZ public and international consumers of NZ dairy products so there has never been a better time for the dairy industry to act. You, more than anyone else, understand the complexities of aligning animal care, environmental, financial and societal expectations on farm, however as an industry this is exactly what we need to do. What does the wintering future look like for your farm and how will you get there?

This workshop will run as a panel session with each presenter giving a short update on the latest research on nutrient losses, animal care and public perception with regards to wintering, followed by a Q & A session to debate what it means for you. Delegates should leave feeling positive that options do exist for better wintering outcomes that will enhance our reputation locally, nationally and internationally.

2.4 Simplifying Spring

This is a practical session, aimed at all levels, challenging the norm of spring management and focusing on systems that are not only achieving great outcomes for staff, but stock and the bottom line too.

Tracey and Steve Henderson are going to lead an interactive discussion on how Ad lib calf rearing works on their farm. An example milk feeding drum will help delegates to see how simple and cost effective their setup is. With rearing 300 calves annually and having a young family, time is in short supply, so a simple and efficient system is key. Delegates will come away with a good understanding of the challenges and the big wins in Ad lib calf rearing, whilst also hearing key tips on how to cheaply grow big robust calves. A vet is also going to provide input.

Ben Worker will share his thoughts on how his spring management contributes to consistently achieving 475 kg MS/cow from a grass based system. Ben and his team use OAD milking combined with Ad lib calf feeding and simple feed plans to create a sustainable working environment for staff. An added bonus is that there is less stress on the cows and more time to focus on the important jobs outside of the cowshed. Attendees will come away with Ben’s top tips of how to rejig their plan in order to reduce stress, find more hours in the day, and ultimately improve their herds production and health.

Come along to hear from two passionate farming enterprises that have really simplified spring and are keen to share some of their people friendly systems they use on farms to help make spring time run smoothly.

Wednesday 26 June Timetable

9.00am – 10.00amKeynote address: Liam Malone
10.00am – 10.30amMorning tea
10.30am – 12.25pmSession 3: Workshop A
10.30am – 11.25amSession 3: Workshop B
11.30am – 12.25pmSession 3: Workshop C
12.30pm – 1.15pmLunch
1.30pm – 3.00pmSession 4: Workshop A
3.15pm – 4.15pmKeynote Address – The Yolo Farmer

Session 3 Workshops

You can attend working 3.1 or any two workshops from 3.2-3.5

3.1 Redefining career success
Lynsey Stratford (PeopleMAD) equity partners, Josh and Becs Dondertman , contract milkers

The linear progression pathway (manger, contract milker, sharemilker, farm owner) isn’t as clear as it used to be, but the dairy industry still offers amazing opportunities for career progression and success.

Come and hear about three of the different career pathways on offer (management, contract milking and equity partnership) from people passionate about the dairy industry and their career in it.  

Hear about how career “success” is different for everybody and how, with the right structure, dairy offers careers and opportunities which meet your individual drivers (whether that’s farm ownership, equity growth, learning and development or time with family).  

We’ll also hear from a farm owner about how they’ve adapted their structure to attract and retain the right people and how this strategy has benefited their business.  This session is suitable for anyone excited about a career in the dairy industry and attracting and retaining the right people for their business (new entrants to farm owners and everyone in between).


3.2 Techniv8 2.0

An over view of some of AgResearches current projects trialling new technologies.

Aimed at  anyone with an interest in innovative upcoming technology for use on the farm.


3.3 Who's the Boss?
Ben Allomes

As a sector, Food and Fibre, is potentially facing its most uncertain time since Rogernomics. The uncertainty this time, however, is not related to the removal of a direct market in the UK, rather it is about the recognition and reduction of a less direct subsidy – the environment and our people. As farmers, we have grown our businesses at the expense of the environment and the expense of our people. That is recognised now, and is being fixed, but how to we forge a path into our new future – our Dairy Tomorrow?

Changing economic and social pressures, coupled with an elevation in pressure from anti-farming groups and a definite lack of new people entering our sector mean that as farmers, we need to change the way we act and react to challenges if we want to survive and thrive in the new future.

So what are we doing about it? How have we changed on-farm to future proof the HR component of our business?

Come along to hear about what Ben, Nicky and Nick are doing in their business to establish a new future focused team structure that not only meets the needs of the business but also the needs of the individuals in their team.

3.4 Anti-microbial's under the microscope
Mark Bryan, VetSouth

Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) is a significant global threat. The finger is commonly pointed at agricultural use of antimicrobials as being a leading cause. In fact, NZ is the third lowest country for agricultural use of antimicrobials globally. However, can we do better?

Mark Bryan is the Chair of NZVA AMR leadership Group and has been instrumental in the movement in the vet industry to ‘stop AMR use in the maintenance of stock health”. It will be around this controversial target that the workshop pivots off.

With astonishing figures on where we are now, where we have come from and how that compares internationally. Mark will lead a discussion on where we are going, why we need to change and what strategies farmers are already thinking up and trailing as part of the Sustainable Farming Fund project; ‘20% by 2020’.

This session will appeal to delegates of all levels and is one not to miss if you are interested in lowering your anti-biotic use on farm

3.5 Tomorrows Herd
Ben Watson, Rachel Bloxham NZAEL and Simon Worth LIC

Breeding Worth (BW) is widely recognised as an excellent tool in the identification of the most efficient and profitable animals for the New Zealand dairy industry.

This session will cover how BW has morphed over time, how it has improved productivity and profitability on-farm and its on-going importance within the industry as new challenges emerge.

Ben Watson a passionate dairy farm will be presenting on “understanding your investment in herd improvement.”

Ben is the general manager of his family farming business which encompasses 1150ha over three properties in the Waikato and King Country.

The three dairy units milk a total of 1800 high genetic merit jersey and x bred cows using system two with strong emphasis on pasture harvested.

The Watson family business has always aimed to harness the largest possible return from the fact they have an elite herd of dairy cows. One herd is currently 167BW and 236PW and all three herds are in the top 5% for BW nationally.

“We also target double the national average return per Ms for livestock income”.

Ben started his farming career in Canterbury and then Southland before his current roles in the Waikato and King Country.  He has been awarded prizes from NZDIA in both Southland and Waikato.

Session 4 Workshops

You can attend one workshop from the list of five

4.1 Lets talk about gas

Carbon sequestration, long life gases, short life gases, carbon neutral, what does it all mean? Come listen to Sector experts explain some of the current government policy developments and extension activities in the NZ Agricultural sector. We will also cover what we already know about mitigating emissions and what further research is planned for the future.

This is an interactive, informative session where delegates will gain some base knowledge about greenhouse gases and policy developments, but more importantly, about what research is happening and what some farmers/groups are doing to try and lead the required changes.

4.2 Hope for the Future

4.3 Stronger Together
 Lloyd McCall, Raewyn Van Gool, Alistair Body, Ewen Mathieson, Craig Simpson (NZ Land Care Trust)

Freshwater is New Zealand’s hottest topic. In the current landscape, it’s difficult to separate environmental issues from the politics and public perception. We must adapt and navigate this landscape by leading the charge.

This workshop provides a panel of farmers from the Waituna, Pomahaka and Aparima catchments that have made the decision to step up and lead with passion and purpose in their catchments and community.

These farmers are dealing with catchment, river and estuarine issues, but with different media, public and political implications. The panel will share their lessons learned; How they began their journey to leadership, Their Catchment Story, How they rally a community together and Why you should be involved in some way.

Overarching this discussion are the huge opportunities ahead for New Zealand milk if we market a clean and sustainable product with a smaller footprint on the environment.

4.4 Nuffield Scholars present
Jason Rolfe, Simon Cook, Ryan O’Sullivan, Rebecca Hyde