Farm forestry still going strong

The South Otago Farm Forestry Association celebrates its 50th birthday next month.

One of the early members and newsletter editor Ken Stephens, of Kaka Point, said the event would be marked with the association's annual meeting in Balclutha as well as a formal meal at the South Otago Town and Country Club on May 8.

He said the branch, was launched on April 6, 1964, with about 20 members and included farm forestry and lifestyle block forestry owners.

''It was a new concept at that stage,'' Mr Stephens said.

''South Otago was quite a strong branch as there was a lot of land suitable for planting shelter, which became very important, not only commercially, but also for the environment, stock and crop shelter and erosion control.''

The branch had its own nursery, which grew seedlings for sale to members.

The following week, on May 14, the branch will host a Trees on Farms seminar, partly funded by the Sustainable Farming Fund, which will look at ''Opportunities for trees on all farms in your district''.

It will begin at Telford from 10am and there will be speakers on topics including native plantings.

Those attending will then visit Landcorp's dairy property near Owaka, which is managed by Peter and Helen Gilder.