Meetings go online in Covid era

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Cam Henderson . . . The Oxford farmer has racked up three years as provincial president. Photo: File

By DAVID HILL

Federated Farmers is looking to the future as it remembers the past.

After a challenging year, the North Canterbury provincial executive has decided to hold its 75th anniversary annual meeting online.

“With the country bouncing in and out of Covid restrictions, we weren’t too sure whether it was worth planning something on-site for our 75th jubilee, so we thought it would be better to keep it low key,” president Cam Henderson said.

“I think it will be remembered for other reasons, as it will be our first AGM by conference call and it’s in an environment where the whole world has changed.”

Normally, AGMs are held alongside an on-farm field day.

This year’s AGM was originally scheduled for May, but was postponed in the hope there would be more certainty later in the year.

It will now be held from 5.30pm on Friday, October 16, at the provincial office in Christchurch and will be livestreamed.

“We will look at having a cake for those who are on-site and we may look at doing something special to mark our 76th next year,” he says.

The North Canterbury provincial executive held its first meeting online last week and Mr Henderson wonders if this could be the way of the future.

“The AGM events are good for the regulars, but because we are a geographically diverse province, it’s not always possible for some members to take the whole day off-farm, so we need to move with the times.

“Even for executive meetings, it can be a challenge for those further from Christchurch if it takes them Christchurch for a 1meeting and then they’ve got to go home again, so it may be easier for members to get involved online.”

Freshwater regulations are a hot topic, so Federated Farmers national board member Chris Allen and Environment Canterbury councillor Claire McKay will be guest speakers.

Mr Henderson has completed three years as provincial president and is willing to complete his fourth, which means the province has seven months to find his successor.

Industry group annual meetings will be held online on Wednesday, October 14, with the dairy group from 1pm and the arable group and meat and wool group both from 7pm.

For login details for the various meetings, contact Linda Donnelly on ldonnelly@fedfarm.org.nz.