In our Mind the Gap function this week over 30 professionals working in agriculture addressed the effects of a growing divide between urban and rural New Zealand.
Data presented by Andrew Fraser of DairyNZ and Emma Higgins of Rabobank, illustrated an alarming lack of familiarity with the rural sector among urban New Zealanders.
Attendees discussed the problems the lack of familiarity was causing for a nation where close to half its exports were earned from the primary sector.
It is clear that the disconnection is affecting labour supply, regulations and cultural attitudes.
The areas identified for improvement were:
Deeper appreciation that primary industries underpin our economy, and remain the future of our economy, so need support
Pride in the intellectual, technological and cultural advantages of our agriculture over international competitors.
Understanding that most professional careers can be conducted in the primary sector.
Support and encouragement of those who want to work at any level of the primary sector.
The workshop was a joint effort from BlacklandPR and the Guild of Agricultural Jour