Northland farmer, Matt Long has taken over as Federated Farmers Northland provincial president. Mr Long succeeds the previous provincial president, Denis Anderson who retired at the AGM earlier this month.
“It’s a genuine honour to lead the Federated Farmers Northland province into 2011,” says Matt Long, Federated Farmers Northland provincial president.
“Obviously the big challenge when I took up the position was the severe drought in Northland. Luckily that’s subsiding now.
“Where I am in Whangarei, we’ve had more than 180mm of rain since the end of last week. Fortunately that’s been working its way through the soil and not all flooding off, so that’s fantastic.
“It’s been warm here too, so the hope is for some relatively good pasture growth before winter sets which would be a huge relief for many farmers who have been struggling through the summer.
“However farmers will still be going into winter with low pasture reserves and coping with financial losses of hundreds of thousands of dollars, which will flow through to the wider community.
“But the weather isn’t the only issue facing farmers in the twenty-first century, with the big one obviously being the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS).
“Farmers need to work with all sorts of changes, whether it’s the weather or the Beehive. That’s why Federated Farmers is important for the farming community. The Federation handles the difficult side of local and national politics, ensuring member’s views and concerns are heard.
“In working together for the country’s best interests we need the strong national and provincial representation that Federated Farmers provides,” Mr Long concluded.
Background on Mr Long:
40 year old Matt Long farms on 255 hectares in Whangarei. The farm consists of 50 percent dairy and 50 percent sheep and beef. The farm has been in the family for 45 years.