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Two new faces have been elected to the Federated Farmers Mid Canterbury provincial team.
Rebecca Miller and Nick Giera have taken on the roles of sharemilkers section chairwoman and dairy vice chairman.
They will join section leaders, including David Clark (provincial president), Chris Ford (dairy chairman), Joanne Burke (arable) and David Acland (vice-president and Meat and Wool chairman).
The positions were confirmed at the organisation’s annual general meeting held online via Zoom.
Mr Clark, re-elected unopposed, said in his president’s report that when he came into the role 12 months ago Mycoplasma bovis (M.bovis), freshwater regulations and climate change were topics of the day and carried imminent threats or impositions upon agriculture.
‘‘As a result of a global pandemic of coronavirus, it seems events have overtaken themselves and the issues of a year ago appear almost irrelevant. We are seeing possibly the greatest threat to human health since the 1918 Spanish influenza pandemic and the largest economic collapse since the Great Depression, all in the space of five months.’’
He praised the windfall funding of nearly $1million for the Hekeao Hinds Water Enhancement Trust’s managed aquifer recharge, ongoing concerns around Overseer and of ‘‘potentially tight levels of feed reserves’’ in need of careful planning and feed budgeting.
He also spoke of Federated Farmers’ continued involvement in the Ashburton district M.bovis advisory group, keeping up to date with information with key industry members on the progress of the response, and sharing details of cases where process was thought to be failing.
‘‘I acknowledge that while the overall goal might be beneficial in the long-term for the greater industry, the stress, disruption and financial toll on individual families and businesses is significant.’’
Submissions on the Essential Freshwater Regulations caused a lot of concern within Federated Farmers, among the farming community and out into the business sector once it became apparent about the size of the economic impact.
It was closely followed by submissions for the Zero Carbon Bill and then the Emissions Trading Bill.