Working together to farm differently

We are working with farming groups around new Zealand now who want to learn to farm differently, tread more softly on the land and water, and look at alternative systems. Alison was on the Environmental Reference Panel for Pamu, then the head of environment – exploring new ways to farm, with lower emissions to land and water. Pamu are using our risk scorecard approach to assess environmental footprint across their farms now. We have all have worked with farmers across NZ and Alison completed her MSc in the Upper Waikato, with 25 farmers, they agreed to share their stories.

Current Projects and Affiliations

Working with Scion

Alison has two trial sites on her Hamurana Block which is looking into rapid establishment of native plantings.

Science, Research, Development - A focus on Native Regeneration at 1/5 of the cost per hectare: On my block at Hamurana, I am working with Scion on how to signficantly reduce the cost of native planting and converting vulnerable land to ngahere, assisted by advisors such as John Burke: See more of the story here

Alison is actively involved with, and a trustee on Community Restoration Trust- Tipu Wai which is a group of like-minded people from a variety of backgrounds coming together for a common cause; restoring, regenerating and rebuilding

Alison is working for the Community at Te Waikoropupu Springs, as an Expert Witness for Save our Springs, and local iwi, to protect one of New Zealands most precious Taonga:

Our Team is now working closely with farmers in the Coastal catchment from Okere Falls to Little Waihi Estuary at Pukehina. 34000 ha. Together with the Wai Kokopu society we helped raise $4.2 M of funding for behaviour change, clean up and find ways to tread lighter on the land. Fly our catchment - and check out our website here:

NEXT Fellowship - freshwater: Alison is working in the Little Waihi catchment alongside leading farmers - to replenish catchment health for future generations:

NZ Health Research Council, NZ Freshwater Leaders Group: Alison has been on policy advisory teams for advisory on policy. (2019-2020)

NZ River Voice Award: The Reo mō te Awa (River Voice) Award for an individual who has the raised the profile of rivers through compelling public commentary went to Alison Dewes. See her story here:

Waiotahe: Working with farmers in Coastal Bay of Plenty to better understand their business, their environmental footprint and how to make more while treading more lightly on the environment. 

Katikati and Queenstown: Working with farmers in sensitive catchments and service providers to take a more cohesive approach to integrated and adaptive catchment management - from inside the farm gate, linking tourism, food production, unique experiences, and being kind to the environment, while staying profitable. You cant afford to be green without being in the black  and we understand that.

Rotorua Lakes Catchment: We are working with farmers and the regional council bridging gaps and trying new things. We love innovative thinking, good business, sensible planning, and diversification. There are ways to make this happen, and our team works alongside farmers, helping them to think differently.

Greater Wellington:  Our work with farmers in this region is focussed on doing things differently(diversifying) with a lighter footprint(less pollution and less stress) and a new approach (novel systems) to farming. We can do things differently an we can do things better than we have done for the last four decades.

Landcorp: Alison was on the Environmental Reference Group for Landcorp - she then led the Environment team in Landcorp until 2020. We have explored how we farm within limits(that affect human health), and still make a good profit. 

Its okay to think differently, and its okay to try new things. Many farmers are diversifying and using more precision decisions as it improves the farm systems in sensitive catchments. 

Individual Clients: We work with farmers all around NZ, helping them understand their business - their footprint - their future and how to adapt to changing policies and times. We want to see farmers and their land less stressed, with pride in their farms, and making good money, every year.

Farming Profitably while protecting the environment: Alison has provided expert evidence in 6 regional and sub regional plans across NZ between 2013- 2017, showing how farming can be different, work inside limits, be profitable, and adapt to change. In the Hawkes Bay and Manawatu, our teams evidence was effective in changing the law. 

These leading farmers were filmed and co-funded by Sustainable Farming Fund project and Alison's MSc Thesis.

Colin and Shelly Guyton

Tomorrow's Farms Today - Reporoa

Graeme and Shelly Monk

Tomorrow's Farms Today - Reporora

Jeremy and Dianne Robinson

Tomorrow's Farms Today - Reporora

Euan and Sarah McKnight

Tomorrow's Farms Today - Reporoa


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