Public invited to hill country farm field day

Rural community group Agricultural Communities Respecting the Environment (ACRE), with support from Horizons Regional Council, are inviting the public to a hill country field day to learn about what farmers are doing to care for the region’s land.

ACRE are hosting the Love Your Land event on Justin and Mary Vennell’s property near Rewa on Valentine’s Day, Thursday 14 February.
Justin Vennell says the day is a great opportunity for farmers and urbanites to come together and find out what’s being done to preserve and enhance land for generations to come.
“Our farm has been in the family for five generations and Mary and I are firm believers that it’s our responsibility to leave it even better than how we inherited it,” says Justin.
“However, the public don’t always realise what this means and all the great things the farming community are doing to achieve it. As members of ACRE we are opening our gates and saying come on in, come and see it first hand.”
Horizons land manager Grant Cooper says the Vennell farm has been part of the regional council’s Sustainable Land Use Initiative (SLUI) for 10 years and has implemented a wide range of works to mitigate soil erosion and improve water quality.
“Horizons is also keen to raise awareness of the hard work farmers put in to do their bit for the environment and upskill anyone who wants to implement land management works on their property,” he says.
“The day will include information about SLUI, integrating trees on farms, carbon farming and the Emissions Trading Scheme, the ins and outs of planting natives, and what you can do to improve environmental outcomes for the region. There will also be the opportunity to contribute to a wetland project at Vennell’s by planting natives alongside Hunterville School.
“Our staff will be on site and available to discuss the recently announced SLUI funding from the Ministry for Primary Industries that is available to our region’s landowners over the next four years. More information about this funding can also be sought by emailing our land team via”
Details for the day are as follows:

  • Meet at 101 Mangapipi Road West, Rewa for a 9am start.
  • Day will close at 2.30pm.
  • Please bring clean boots and appropriate clothing for being outdoors. 

For anyone interested in attending RSVP is compulsory to Juliet Chambers via email or phone 027 208 1534 for more information.

SLUI, New Zealand’s largest hill country erosion programme, covers over 500,000 hectares and works with more than 680 landowners. SLUI has been recognised in a Landcare Research report which assessed the impact of the programme on sediment levels in the region’s rivers in 2013. The closest scenario to how SLUI currently operates predicted that the annual sediment load in rivers will reduce by 27 per cent by 2043.