Survey of rural decision-makers

Farmers, foresters and growers are being asked to help researchers understand what New Zealand’s rural landscape may look like in 10, 20 or even 50 years.

Landcare Research this month is conducting a nationwide Survey of Rural Decision Makers. It is the second time the on-line survey has run.

The first was held in 2013 when more than 1500 people participated. Organisers are hoping even more will take part this year.

Survey of Rural Decision Makers director Pike Brown said the survey aimed to help policy-makers, researchers and industry groups better understand the realities of how land management decisions are made at an operational level.

The survey – which takes about 20 minutes to complete – covers the dairy, sheep, beef, deer, pigs and other livestock industry through to arable, horticulture and wine-growing sector.

“This survey is quite different from other surveys that farmers, growers and foresters typically receive. There are a lot of thought-provoking questions on topics such as new technologies, farming goals, and plans for the future,” Dr Brown said.

“It focuses on how and what farmers are thinking, rather than counting the number of sheep they have.”

“The results of the survey will provide fine scale information about what’s happening in the primary sector. This will allow land owners, policy-makers and primary sector bodies to make better decisions about how to ensure economic productivity while sustaining natural resources for the future,” Dr Brown said.

The survey was developed in collaboration with subject-matter experts and given a thorough test-drive with a group of rural decision-makers last month.

To take part in the survey, go to the Landcare Research website here. The information provided will be anonymous and results reported in a way that individuals are not identifiable.

For the first 3000 responses Landcare Research will donate $10 to the Westpac Chopper Appeal, CanTeen, Maori Women’s Welfare League or Federated Farmers Adverse Events Trust. Everyone who takes part will be in the draw to win one of five $500 Prezzy cards.

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