Richard Strowger is continuing to lead North Otago Federated
He was re-elected for another year as president at the annual
general meeting on May 15.
Dairy section chairman Lyndon Strang was also re-elected and
has become the provincial vice-president.
Greg Ruddenklau is the meat and fibre chairman, with Hayden
Williamson and Christopher O'Malley helming the sharemilkers'
Clare Easton is secretary-treasurer.
Mr Strowger said branch membership continued to grow.
''It is good to see farmers supporting Feds, not just for
contracts and what they think they might receive but
understand the bigger picture that the unseen sometimes holds
the greatest risk to our business.''
In his annual report, he said North Otago farmers have had to
develop new skills to handle wet conditions.
They would now need to meet new regional council water
''I believe it is in our own best interest to do some testing
ourselves and track trends on our own properties.
''The wet conditions we are experiencing this autumn have the
ability to have a major effect on water quality through the
winter period. Please take the time to work through ways to
reduce run-off of nutrient as the plan sets clear
requirements for us to achieve.
''Some of our past methods will no longer satisfy the
requirements of [Otago water plan] 6A.''
Mr Strowger was concerned that Environment Canterbury's
approach favoured those who had already developed their
farms, while others could no longer do so.
''It also appears to push cows to be wintered higher up the
catchment in areas where nitrogen levels are lower, but of
course that nitrogen will then flow down the catchment and
into the lower catchment where nitrogen levels are already of
Some people from both regional councils seemed to think the
answer was simply putting cows on to concrete, he said.
''While it may appear to answer some questions the cost of
production, animal welfare and long-term sustainability are
yet to be answered.''
Mr Strang said the Otago water plan ''seems to be workable
for most farmers'' and the council ''open and willing to work
with farmers to get to the desired results''.
The challenge for the coming winter would be dealing with
mud, he said. It could not be discharged directly into
waterways, nor could sediment from worked or pugged ground.
''Mitigation measures need to be in place and a decent
attempt made to remove or reduce the problem,'' Mr Strang
''Our industry has entered a period where we are under a lot
more scrutiny both nationally and internationally. It is
important that our fellow Kiwis are proud of our industry and
support its controlled growth and value our contribution to
the national economy.
''To do this we must continue to make advances in the areas
of environment, animal welfare and food safety, constantly
looking for ways to improve systems and offer our customers
the highest-quality product with a great New Zealand-made
story to back it up.''