|Report:||Special Purposes Tree Planting Seminar [PDF 319K]|
- 30 September 2004
To provide and facilitate up to date social, financial and environmental information to farm foresters - to improve and enhance sustainability of their farming operations.
The project was formulated by John Edmonds and Chris Perley, both highly respected NZ Forest Service extension officers, and then private forestry consultants, based in Otago. John was noted as leader of the longest running and probably most successful forestry discussion group in the country. Both men were members of the NZ Farm Forestry Association and saw the project as a vehicle for extending the ethic of the association to the farming population at large, particularly pastoral farmers - an ethic of combining trees with farming to afford economic and environmental benefits.
The initial work in the project was compiling and printing the 'Information Leaflets', a collation of accumulated wisdom within NZFFA on best farm forestry practices and basic information to assist beginners starting farm forestry practices. The 26 leaflets were written by a range of different authors with practical and expert knowledge and were mostly originally published in the Association's official journal NZ Tree Grower. The leaflets were printed in a digital format to allow for editing from time to time, and bound in a loose-leaf ring-binder folder to allow for insertion of updated leaflets or new leaflets in the series.
The first Seminar/Workshop was held at the Telford Rural Polytechnic in September 2002. Telford has continued to be associated with the project. Market research prior to this seminar identified the topics on which people most wanted information as being marketing and Alternative Species. Thus the North Island Workshop/Seminars held at Palmerston North, Rotorua and Puhoi in July-August 2003 continued the focus on these topics. Our subsequent discussions indicated a desire for the emphasis for succeeding events to be aligned more to special needs or features of the local region.
The range of topics in the core seminars included: Harvesting, Marketing, Supply Forecasts, RMA, Roading, Taxation, FSC Certification, Kyoto Protocol/Carbon Trading, Native Trees, Alternative Species (Redwoods, Eucalypts, Blackwoods, Cypresses, Douglas Fir), Regional Plans, Biosecurity, Training, Milling - not an exhaustive list, and of course, not all were coved at each seminar. Presenters included forestry consultants, MAF officials, regional council and district council personnel, Forest Research scientists, NZFFA officers, training providers and local and national business people. Having a mix of national experts, aware of the latest issues and trends, along with locals who had more intimate local experience, worked well.
Participating in this project, and the others we are involved with, has been a great thrill to the officers of NZFFA. In the past we have seen FRST funding steadily reduced for most of the avenues of research of interest to us. In contrast, the Sustainable Farming Fund has been a virtual beacon that has allowed a great deal of practical field-orientated research to proceed, along with an inestimable amount of technology transfer. A feature of the Fund is the sense of participation that it gives to end-users.
On behalf of Denis Hocking, Acting Project Manager.