Celebrating the Kiwi way

Dave and Lisa Anderson with Robbie (2 ) and Pippa (4) are the fourth and fifth generation of Andersons to make their home at high-country station Bog Roy, on the shores of Lake Benmore, near Omarama. Photo by Ruth Grundy.
Dave and Lisa Anderson with Robbie (2 ) and Pippa (4) are the fourth and fifth generation of Andersons to make their home at high-country station Bog Roy, on the shores of Lake Benmore, near Omarama. Photo by Ruth Grundy.
The United Nations has declared 2014 the International Year of Family Farming.

Under the banner ''Feeding the world, caring for the earth'', it wants to get people thinking about how families and communities across the globe work their land to produce food.

Organisers say because consumers are increasingly distanced from the producers of their food, they want to raise awareness of family farms and the contribution they make to their communities and the economy.

New Zealand was founded on agriculture.

In the beginning farming families in this country produced food to sustain the ''mother country'' - Great Britain.

Today, our agricultural sector exports to the world.

New Zealand farming families escape many of the challenges faced by Third World countries where it is often the poor who live rurally and can struggle to produce food.

Farming families in many countries also lack freedom to determine what and how they will farm.

But there are shared concerns, such as succession issues, indebtedness, rural and urban tension, and caring for the environment.

It is also a year to celebrate the New Zealand way of farming - our ''No8 wire'' style - which has produced innovations which have been shared with the world.

This year, Courier Country will share the stories of our farming families, in all their diversity, celebrating the unique ways they have met the challenges and have made contributions to their communities.


INTERNATIONAL YEAR OF FAMILY FARMING
• In New Zealand the year will be overseen by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

• It is supported by more than 360 organisations globally and about 50 organisations gathered to support the New Zealand launch late last year.

• Organic Systems general manager Brendan Hoare is the Oceania representative and facilitator of World Consultative Committee to IYFF in 2014.

• Rural Women New Zealand is one of five members of the national steering committee - Marlborough dry lands farmer Doug Avery is New Zealand's IYFF ambassador. Events are planned for throughout the year.