Feilding Herald

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Thursday, September 3, 2015

Beef + Lamb New Zealand is a farmer owned and farmer led organisation that works on behalf of farmers to increase productivity and reduce costs through activities such as farm extension, research education and training.

This month, September, sheep and beef farmers can vote on whether to continue to support the collection of a levy on sheep meat and beef. It is this levy that enables the vital work of Beef + Lamb New Zealand to continue.

The Commodities Levy Act 1990 requires farmers to vote every six years to continue new levy orders. If farmers vote "yes" in this election it will enable Beef + Lamb NZ to continue its activities through until 2020. On the other hand, if farmers vote "no", then Beef + Lamb would be wound down and its programmes would discontinue.

In August, Beef + Lamb held a series of meetings around the country to outline the levy proposal.

Chairman James Parsons, chief executive Scott Champion and local farmer-elected directors went to the meetings.

In the Rangitikei meetings were hosted in Taihape, Taumarunui and Feilding and all were well attended.

For farmers and other interested parties who weren't able to get to a meeting, there is still an opportunity to participate in an interactive online forum on beeflambnz.com.

Beef + Lamb has an excellent reputation as an innovative, proactive and relevant organisation.

They are also strong supporters of women's development in Agribusiness. They support the very successful Escalator Programme which is run by the Agri Women's Development Trust.

More recently they helped fund the Understanding Your Farming Business (UYFB) Programme as a pilot initiative. Thanks to their foresight and support UYFB is now making a real difference in our rural communities by helping women to develop their skills as critical farming partners.

In fact Beef + Lamb's influence and contribution to the sheep and beef industry is extensive and they believe they are positioned to continue to deliver the successful and valued programmes that they have put in place over the past six years.

I would encourage you to vote if you're eligible. If you're not sure whether you're able to or not, you can ring 0800 233 352 to find out.

Voting closes on September 10.