In a bid to tackle global food security challenges, twenty-eight farmers hailing from 12 countries across five continents are gearing up for the 2023 Rabobank Global Farmers Master Class (GFMC) in New Zealand. The highly anticipated event, scheduled from November 27 to December 6, is set to be an immersive 10-day experience filled with cutting-edge agricultural insights and collaborative learning.
The GFMC, established in 2012, has become a beacon for agricultural innovation, bringing together forward-thinking farmers who are committed to shaping a sustainable future for agriculture. The selected participants, representing Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Ecuador, Ireland, Kenya, the Netherlands, Peru, the United States, Zimbabwe, and New Zealand, have been chosen based on their innovative and environmentally progressive approaches.
The program boasts a content-rich agenda, featuring presentations from top agricultural thinkers, interactive workshops, and case studies. Participants will also have the opportunity to visit flagship agribusiness operations in both the North and South Islands of New Zealand. The event's diverse line up includes farmers engaged in horticulture, sheep and beef farming, dairy, and more.
Bruce Weir, Rabobank New Zealand General Manager for Country Banking, expressed excitement about hosting the GFMC in New Zealand, emphasizing the unique opportunity to showcase the country's outstanding agricultural practices and demonstrate why New Zealand stands as a global leader in farming best practices.
"The GFMC provides a chance for the New Zealand business to host fantastic farmers from across the globe, highlighting our country’s outstanding agricultural operations," Weir said. The program aims to push participants out of their comfort zones, fostering strategic planning, management skills, and innovative thinking to enhance productivity sustainably.
With a mix of familiar and unconventional agricultural sectors represented, including dairy, sheep and beef, floriculture, banana, and cocoa production, the GFMC promises to facilitate global connections and knowledge exchange. The participants will traverse both the North and South Islands, visiting notable agribusiness operations, such as Livestock Improvement Corporation (LIC) in the Waikato, Quartz Hill Station in Canterbury, and Forest Lodge cherry orchard in Central Otago.
As the sixth edition of the GFMC and the second in New Zealand, this year's event is poised to spark transformative conversations, forging new pathways in global agriculture.