New Farming for Profit programme supported

West Otago farmers have voted to run a Farming for Profit programme to replace the older monitor farm programmes.

Beef and Lamb New Zealand (BLNZ) extension manager for the southern South Island, Paul McCauley, said about a dozen farmers attended a meeting in Waikoikoi last Thursday to discuss what type of extension programme they would like to see in their area for the next three years.

''We got a feel from them for what sort of project they wanted and there was a show of support from people keen to go on a steering committee to kick-start it, which was great,'' Mr McCauley said. Those attending said they wanted a Farming for Profit programme, which would be run by BLNZ.

The programme runs a series of field days on farms.

''Members of the steering committee all know farmers who anecdotally do well [on a particular topic] and they will ask them to host a field day on their farm to show the other cockies how to do it well.''

He said BLNZ carried out regular surveys, which also indicated where individual farmers did well.

The steering committee will meet to plan topics for the next 12 months, which could include dealing with California thistle, environmental planning and health and safety planning.

''We are also going to advertise for a facilitator for the programme,'' Mr McCauley said.

The first field day is likely to be held in May.