Insights from the Congress Journey to New Zealand

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HQ Fonterra

The congress began at the HQ Fonterra, with an opening by none other than Miles Hurrell, followed by his senior leadership team consisting of Anne Douglas, Bruce Turner, and Andrew Kempson. They provided insight into how Fonterra is addressing challenges in the dairy sector and focusing on sustainable horizons. In the morning program, Professor Jacqueline Rowarth and Nicolas Lyons shared scientific perspectives, while Emma Higgins from Rabobank highlighted the financial aspects.

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The afternoon featured innovative companies located at the Waikato Innovation Park in Hamilton; Quantec, SpringSheep, and FarmMedix presented their innovations. In the next newsletter, we will provide a concise description of their activities.

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After this informative and engaging day, the second day included visits to various companies. We first visited Spring Sheep Farm by Joe Highet, following up on his presentation on the first day. Then we visited Morlands Farm by Pete Morgan, where we could see the application of the Halters collars in practice, followed by a brief visit to Whitehall Fruitpackers where we observed the cultivation and packaging of kiwifruits.

We wrapped up with an exhilarating Maori cultural extravaganza amidst the geothermal wonders of Te Puia Whakarewarewa!

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Wednesday was an informal day filled, starting with a brief tour around Roturoa Lake. We visited an impressive sanatorium originally built for war veterans, but unfortunately, it's currently closed for necessary renovations (NZ$15M). As we explored the vast forest, filled with redwood trees imported from California, we nearly lost our way—taking a wrong turn while our leader was out of sight!

The highlight of the day was undoubtedly our visit to Omaniafarm, a beef and sheep farm, which exceeded all expectations. Following an engaging sheep dog demonstration, we enjoyed a delightful homemade lunch with breathtaking views of the Roturoa lake.

Later in the afternoon, we flew to Christchurch. Today, we're looking forward to our visit to Lincoln University!

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𝗟𝗶𝗻𝗰𝗼𝗹𝗻 𝗨𝗻𝗶𝘃𝗲𝗿𝘀𝗶𝘁𝘆 𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀𝘁𝗰𝗵𝘂𝗿𝗰𝗵

A more educational visit at the LincolnUniversity NZ with key note speakers Hamish Gow  and sr lecturer Omar Al Marashdeh presenting followed by CEO Colin Glass telling about his DairyHolding's company! We met from our Silverpartner Barenbrug Holland BV Barenbrug Graham Kerr and Michael Hales, managing director of Barenbrug New Zealand.

We completed this informative morning with a visit to one of the 3 dairy farms form Lincoln university. Back in the bus for an hour drive to visit the Flemington farm during the trip some delegates gave a brief introduction about their farms or businesses. After the tour at Phil Everest's Flemington farm, we had a lovely, delicious BBQ sponsored by Rabobank New Zealand with local young farmers. Again an inspiring great day of the GDF Congress.

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𝗧𝗵𝗲 𝗳𝗶𝗻𝗮𝗹 𝗱𝗮𝘆 𝗼𝗳 𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝗰𝗼𝗻𝗴𝗿𝗲𝘀𝘀 𝗶𝗻 𝗡𝗲𝘄 𝗭𝗲𝗮𝗹𝗮𝗻𝗱.
We began early, heading to Pannett Dairies, owned by Willy Leferink. Caught up by a cold misty cloud, where we explored his housing farm, gaining valuable insights into his operations.
Next, we first had a tour on Andrew Macfarlane's Pencarrow farm and after that enjoying a picnic lunch on his premises. Our next stop was at Ruralco, a cooperative formed by farmers, before heading to Align Farms , where Rhys Roberts impressed us impressed by his data-driven and scientific approach to farming.  During our stay we witnessed robot-milking technology as well.

Our congress week concluded with a delightful farewell dinner at the Christchurch Club, providing us with a chance to reflect on the knowledge gained and relationships formed during this congress in New Zealand.

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