2024 SIDE Workshops & Field Trip

Monday 24 June
Optional Field Trip (bus trip to Lincoln University Research Farms)


Programme Title




Intergral Health Dairy Farm Project Ashley Dene Professor Pablo Gregorini will provide an overview of the Integral Health Dairy Farm Project, which seeks to develop a new way of dairying that meets the needs of farmers, animals and consumers alike. 
Low N Systems  LURDF Dr Racheal Bryant will provide an overview of the Low N Systems programme of research and discuss the associated farmlet trial comparing a ‘stacked’ mitigation dairy farm system to a conventional dairy system. 
SFFF Plantain Potency and Practice  LURDF

The Plantain programme, led by DairyNZ, focuses on using the grazing herb plantain (Ecotain®) to significantly cut nitrogen losses to freshwater and reduce greenhouse gas emissions from pastoral sectors. Research has revealed plantain's potential as a cost-effective tool for nitrogen mitigation, diminishing nitrate leaching and boosting nitrogen retention in soil. The programme seeks to further understand plantain's benefits at a farm scale, its impact on different New Zealand soils, and its effects on dairy products and animal health. By 2040, the initiative could save farmers around $1 billion and reduce nitrate-leaching by 15,000 tonnes annually. Partners include DairyNZ, MPI, PGG Wrightson Seeds, and Fonterra.

Eco Pond LURDF

‘EcoPond’ effluent treatment technology is being developed by Lincoln University and Ravensdown to help dairy farmers reduce on-farm methane emissions and reduce the risk of phosphate and  E coli. loss into water. Research results show that ‘EcoPond’ technology has the potential to reduce on-farm methane emissions by c. 5 to 7% and to significantly reduce the risk of Phosphate and E coli. loss into water. In collaboration with MPI, the technology is being refined and tested in the major dairying regions of NZ before becoming available commercially in the future.



Tuesday 25 June
Day 1 - Morning Session


Workshop Title

Workshop Type

Workshop Description


Managing a High Performance Team


Organised by:
Tracey Perkins

Panel Join Nick Edgar, CEO of NZ Landcare Trust, as he shares years of experience in leadership of a diversely skilled, high performing team in an environment faced with many challenges – politically, geographically and economically. Bridget Jonker will discuss a holistic way of working with high performance teams and Sam Gibson will discuss the concept that learning and development best happens when we are operating at 20% beyond our comfort zone. This session is focused on broadening ideas and sharing practical information that can be used within your team on and off the farm.


Drivers of N Loss to Water, and Mitigation strategies – changes implemented in the catchments of Hinds and Selwyn.


Organised by:
Jonathon Hoets


Sponsored by 

Interactive Workshop and facilitated Farmer Panel


The Hinds and Selwyn project was a collaborative program run with science solutions and farmers to farmer learning to understand mitigation strategies to reduce N loss. It ran for 5 years (2018-2023) working alongside a group of partner farms to find the best options to meet the required N reduction targets. At this workshop, some of the farmers involved in the project will share the learnings from the change journey over the last 5 years including the main changes implemented, the impact on N loss and profit and the required changes in farm management.If N loss is an issue in your catchment or a concern for you, this workshop will provide insight into the change required to reduce N losses and what are the implications for the productivity and profitability of your business.

  • Virginia Serra - Facilitator
  • Athol New - equity owner of Mayview farm
  • Terry Kilday - Camden Group
  • Mick O’Connor – Dairy Holdings Limited
  • James Booker – Southern Pastures 

Health, Safety & Wellbeing - the other side of policy.

Organised by:
Michelle Coates


What can happen when things go wrong on the farm? Come along to hear from a farmer who had a serious accident which started her passion for effective health and safety processes. Ryan from Onside will join us to show us some common trends and tips we can do to improve health and safety through the Onside app, and explain why it was created and how it is adding value to farmers.

Day 1 - Afternoon Session


Succession Planning - it’s a family affair

Organised by:
Tracey Perkins


Sponsored by 




Family is everything and it is precisely because of this that so often the proverbial succession planning can get kicked down the road by farming families!   

Come and join Chris Coughlan of Rural Coach at this session to learn:

  • why it's a journey not an event
  • why it's a family affair and the impact of family dynamics
  • the importance of reality - 'how many families does this farm need to feed?'
  • who you need on your team to help you on this journey and why it is a team

These conversations will be within a workshop session, followed by insights from farming families who are generously willing to share from their own experiences. This workshop is designed to be thought-provoking and informative, no matter where you are in your succession planning journey.

  • Chris Couglan, Rural Coach
  • Four farmers who have gone through the succession journey

Setting up a Successful Winter Grazing System

Organised by:
Will Perriam-Lampp



This session will cover winter grazing regulations, intensive cropping rotations, environmental, and soil borne disease pressures.
Hear from farmers who are mitigating winter grazing risks by using and considering all options and who are succeeding.
For every action there is a reaction - positive and negative. Hear from farmers with what they were doing previously and how they successfully winter graze now. Understand the factors in their systems that are making them consider change, and the economic pros and cons of those who already use or are considering other winter grazing options.

  • Fraser Tasker - Farmer
  • Jeremy Casey - Farmer
  • Adam Hardie - Farmer


Irrigation and Water Use Efficiency

Organised by:
Brad Fallaver


Interactive workshop with Q&A

Come to this session to hear from industry experts within the world of Irrigation.
Mike Bowler will discuss what new or upcoming technology you can use on farm to help with your water use efficiency.
Andrew Curtis will give you an insight into soil moisture monitoring, automated water budgeting software, and management tips and tricks for shoulder season irrigation to minimise nutrient loss.
Stephen McNally will present on what you as a farmer can do to get the best out of your equipment. This will be an interactive workshop where you will have the chance to ask questions.



Wednesday 26 June
Day 2 - Morning Session


Building the Most Resilient Cow for the Future – the challenges, opportunities and returns with respect to genetics.

Organised by:
Tony Finch


Sponsored by 



Join Livestock Improvement Corp. (LIC) & New Zealand Animal Evaluation Limited (NZAEL) to learn how they are working to help you breed more productive and efficient cows. Andrew Fear and Dr Melissa Stephen of NZAEL will discuss the importance of genetics and data to your farm, and help you determine the best genetics for your herd. A guest farmer will discuss their experience and learnings with herd improvement. We’ll finish off with presentations on current research on fertility,methane reduction and heat tolerance that could help us breed more resilient and climate friendly cows.

  • Andrew Fear - NZAEL
  • Dr Melissa Stephen -  NZAEL
  • Dr Lorna McNaughton - LIC

Unlocking your Potential for Growth

Organised by:
Abby Rawcliffe


Sponsored by 


If you have goals that you want to achieve, or things you want to do either on or off-farm, but you find yourself overwhelmed and struggling, join Loshni Manikam for a workshop to help you get the clarity and confidence you need to go after what you want.

You will walk away having learnt:
1. Why so many of us get stuck with our personal or professional goals (you’re not the only one).
2. Why it's not your fault that you get stuck, even when you really want to achieve something.
3. Tips to help you get unstuck that you can use straight-away.

This workshop is for you if you are a farmer (at any stage of your career), a rural professional … or anyone in-between.

Navigating the Ins and Outs of Contracts

Organised by:
Will Perriam-Lampp & Brad Fallaver



Reading and understanding contracts can be a minefield, especially when you are ready to take that next opportunity. Come and listen to farmers Kerry Burt, and Richard and Chrissie Wright who have had multiple contract milking or variable order sharemilking roles, and what they were looking for when they first started, their learnings and what they look for now. We will also be joined by MRB consultant Trevor Gee who helps liaise between the farmer and parties involved, who will share with us what he finds works well between them all.
  • Kerry Burt
  • Richard Wright
  • Chrissie Wright
  • Trevor Gee

Day 2 - Afternoon Session


Creating Value of Non-Replacements through Dairy Beef Programs


Organised by:
Jonathon Hoets


Sponsored by




What are your options for your non-replacements on farm? Customers and consumers are indicating that we need a more sustainable option for animals not staying within the dairy herd. Come along to the workshop to hear different options emerging and available through new beef markets.

We will hear from Alan McDermott from Pearl Veal about how he is working to expand his market and what the product is now compared to historic views. He will bring along one of his farmer suppliers to explain what is required.

Daniel Carsons from Miti will talk to us about his product and how he is working to create a whole supply chain system.

Pamu is changing its system with the goal of rearing 100% of its non-replacements. We will hear from Cameron Walker about dairy beef rearing, and Rebecca Hickson discussing dairy beef progeny tests. Come along to hear how they are working on delivering a calf wanted by calf rearers and beef finishers.


Taking your Career to the Next Level

Organised by:
Henry Norris



Are you eager to embark on the journey to financial freedom through self-employment? Join us for an empowering workshop where you'll glean wisdom from a motivational panel including two leading farmers, a rural banker, and a rural accountant. Discover the pathways to wealth creation and unlock the secrets to success. Prepare to be inspired as the panel highlights the possibilities and opportunities that lie ahead for you.

Preparing your Business for a Natural Disaster

Organised by:
Robin Hornblow


Sponsored by 



With major weather events becoming more common, how is your business placed to weather the storm? Is your insurance cover adequate for the worst-case scenario and how would you go about cleaning up after an event which has caused major damage and disruption to your home, farm and business?
Hear from industry experts and farmers which have been affected by a major weather event and how they went about the enormous task of cleaning up. 

Please Note: The views presented at SIDE are the opinions of the individual speakers and are not necessarily shared by the SIDE organising committee or supporting organisations. Given the general nature of some of the views and information presented at SIDE, and the fact that every participant’s individual circumstances are different, SIDE participants should not act solely on the basis of the material presented at the event, but should obtain specific advice according to their own circumstances.