Friday, July 8, 2022

Declining attendance causes concern

The New Zealand Large Herds Association (NZLHA) executive committee will not be holding an annual conference this year.

The committee decided to cancel the conference because of the continuing decline in attendance over recent years.

“The last three years have seen a decline in numbers of delegates attending. This has had an impact on how we foresee our conference in the future, for not only the farmer but our sponsors,” association chairman Bryan Beeston said.

The committee has tried a number of different strategies to boost attendance and keep the conference current over the last few years.

“We have tried a name change, variety of speakers, young scientists, the length of the conference, the location, marketing, advertising, recruitment of committees, various surveys at the conferences, which we have had great feedback each time, yet the numbers attending decline with each year.”

Beeston said the way farmers network and communicate has changed since the dairy business conference’s inception in 1970.

“With the formation of Fonterra, bringing together 94% of dairy farmers into one company, discussion and debate were a big part of the conference with both overseas speakers and local directors alike.

“We are now running faster for a better bottom line and the next generation farm owners now network differently.

“We have had 43 years of great change within the dairy industry and it is time to move with the times,” he said.

The association is planning an executive meeting in February when the committee will discuss plans and strategies for the next conference in 2014.

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