5 Mar 2021

Championing Climate Change

From Country Life, 9:15 pm on 5 March 2021
No caption

Photo: Susan Murray/RNZ

Embracing climate change and seeing it as an opportunity is how a Bay of Plenty dairy farmer views the farming landscape.

Fraser McGougan (42)  is a fourth-generation farmer on 143 hectares of land near Taneatua and he's just been appointed the chair of the DairyNZ Climate Change Ambassadors group.

"If you embrace it and work with people who have the answers, it's neat," says Fraser.

He's a strong believer that it's the current generation's time to do the work and to give back to the industry and New Zealand.

"It's not about me, it's not even about our farm or about our region, it's about our country and place in the world, so having a bigger point of view .. and yeah, if I can make even a small difference and help enable people to make some choices which will enable us to be around for another million years, that will be awesome."

Fraser says there will need to be significantly more money put into research and development and technology.

"Capability needs to be ramped up, (it) definitely needs a lot of funding. There are a lot of ideas but you need to validate them,  you can't just try things and have them fail, you need some sound research and development behind things. Climate change wasn't at the forefront five or 10 years ago. Now it is and we will have things we need to do but research needs more funding."

There are 13 ambassadors spread throughout New Zealand. They range in age and also farm size.

Fraser is looking forward to holding webinars and a workshop on his farm where ideas the Climate Change Ambassadors group have been throwing around for the past three years, can be aired.