Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Charting a course for Northland regeneration

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The Future Whenua Summit promises to be a beacon for sustainable and regenerative practices, says founder Zeb Horrell.
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In the heart of Northland, at the Ngawha Innovation Park from March 15-17, the Future Whenua Summit is set to unfold. 

This year, in partnership with Reconnecting Northland, the summit promises to be a beacon for sustainable and regenerative practices, offering a unique blend of educational and networking opportunities for the farming community. 

The Future Whenua Summit has evolved as a platform for discussing the challenges and opportunities within the rural sector, focusing on sustainable land management and ecological conservation. 

Born four years ago on a family sheep farm in Southland, the event has explored a wide range of topics associated with future focused land management. Past speakers have included former agriculture minister Damien O’Connor, Angela Clifford, Andrew Morrison, Julia Jones and so many more. We even had industry titans Joel Salatin and Zach Bush zooming in when travel was prohibited. 

The 2024 edition’s relocation to Northland is not just a change of scenery but a strategic move to engage directly with the region’s rich agricultural landscape and its community of forward-thinking farmers, organisations and land stewards. 

This year, the Future Whenua team are partnering with Reconnecting Northland underscoring a shared vision for a resilient and sustainable future. Reconnecting Northland are active in bringing communities, agencies and resources together to support thriving ecosystems across Te Tai Tokerau. 

Together, they are aiming to foster a deeper understanding of how innovative farming practices can not only boost productivity but also ensure the long-term health of our land. 

The summit will feature a lineup of eminent speakers, including experts in food systems, soil health, finance and bioregionalism, each bringing valuable insights into the practical application of regenerative practices. 

This year, the Future Whenua team are partnering with Reconnecting Northland underscoring a shared vision for a resilient and sustainable future, says Zeb Horrell.

One example of a theme at the summit is the exploration of syntropic agroforestry, a method that mimics natural forest systems to create more resilient agricultural ecosystems. This approach offers compelling benefits, including enhanced biodiversity, improved soil health, and increased carbon sequestration, aligning with New Zealand’s broader goals for environmental sustainability and climate change mitigation. Klaus Lotz will be sharing his experiences in developing NZ’s premier Syntropic farm, Permadynamics. 

The event will not only be a forum for learning but also an opportunity for farmers, researchers, and policymakers to share experiences, challenges, and successes. By facilitating this exchange, the Future Whenua Summit aims to build a strong community committed to adopting and advancing sustainable agricultural practices across NZ. Attendees will find a balance of information and experience 

The event implements a “pay what you think it’s worth” model for attendance, emphasizing the inclusive nature of the summit, ensuring that financial constraints do not hinder participation. This approach reflects a broader commitment to accessibility and community engagement, inviting all who are passionate about the future of farming to contribute to this vital conversation.

As we prepare for the Future Whenua Summit 2024, we invite the agricultural community to join us in Northland. Whether you are a seasoned farmer, an emerging entrepreneur in the agri-tech space, or a researcher dedicated to sustainable practices, this summit offers something of value for everyone. Together, we can chart a course towards a more resilient, productive, and agricultural future for NZ. 

For more information and to reserve your spot at the summit, please visit https://futurewhenua.co.nz/future-whenua-summit-2024/

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