Sheep and beef farmer Doug Avery and dairy farmer Zach Mounsey are the two winners of the 2015 Global Research Alliance on Agricultural Greenhouse Gases (GRA) – World Farmer Organisation Study Tour in Argentina later this year.
They were selected as winners by a panel including Minister for Primary Industries Nathan Guy and Associate Primary Industries Minister Jo Goodhew after giving presentations at Fieldays this year.
“The purpose of this study tour is to increase global understanding and engagement on agricultural greenhouse gas research,” explains Guy, adding that the two winners will have an important role as ambassadors for New Zealand in sharing environmental management practices that support sustainable productivity.
“This is an important part of New Zealand’s role in supporting the Global Research Alliance, which helps countries to understand, measure and mitigate the greenhouse gas emissions from their agricultural sectors.
“Last year New Zealand hosted a study tour for farmers from Poland, Argentina and Canada who visited New Zealand to study farm management systems and new practices that reduce environmental impacts.
“This year, Argentina has agreed to host farmers from New Zealand to continue this sharing of information and expertise.
“I’m proud of New Zealand’s leadership role in helping the world meet a growing demand for food in an environmentally responsible way,” says Guy.
A technical assessment panel of MPI staff selected the shortlisted applicants through work they submitted on their ability to communicate examples of on-farm innovation which support production and environmental objectives. The focus was on reducing greenhouse gas emission intensity and on approaches which have international relevance.
Doug Avery is a founder of the Resilient Farmer group and a Marlborough sheep & beef farmer based a Bonavaree Station. He sits on the Straborough Flaxbourne Soil Conservation Group that won the 2008 Green Ribbon Award. He was winner of the 2010 South Island Farmers of the Year (Lincoln Foundation), 2011 Marlborough District Council Farming Environment Award 2011, was 2012 NZ Land Care Ambassador and 2013 Landcorp Agricultural Communicator of the Year.
Zach Mounsey is a airy farmer and DairyNZ economist and Fonterra Networker.
He was Federated Farmers Otorohonga Chairman, was the New Zealand delegate for the Global Youth Ag Summit 2015 and is currently on the Kellogg’s Leadership programme.