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Beef + Lamb NZ Land & Environment Planning (LEP) Toolkit

Massey University and Beef + Lamb NZ

The problem: According to Beef and Lamb NZ (formally known as Meat and Wool NZ) a best practice toolkit to assist farmers in making their own formal environmental plans was lacking from the resources they supplied to sheep and beef farmers. The study investigated the development and the use of the LEP Toolkit in the Western North Island region.

Key stakeholders: Beef & Lamb NZ staff including product developers, extension personnel and farmer council members, AgResearch scientists, Regional Councils, Land Management Agricultural Consultants and sheep and beef farmers.

Timeline: In order to create the LEP toolkit Beef+Lamb NZ interacted with a senior scientist from AgResearch to develop a proposal for the Sustainable Farming Fund. In 2005 they obtained the funding and Beef+Lamb NZ contracted AgResearch to develop this toolkit. The first prototype of the LEP toolkit was developed in that same year. The LEP Toolkit is a guide to assist farmers to complete a recorded assessment of their farm’s land and environmental issues, and to develop a written plan to manage the issues. Various stakeholders such as farmers, scientists, an advisory council of farmers and regional council staff were involved in this development. During the following years the prototype went through a few iterations based on the stakeholders’ involvement and user feedback, which led to a ‘cold’ launch in December 2008. Monitor farms were used as the main promotion vehicle. Sheep and beef farmers were able to request the LEP toolkit through a website link and at monitor farm field days. However, Beef+Lamb NZ had limited further interactions with users and feedback mechanisms were limited. In 2009 Beef+Lamb NZ lost the wool levy and the momentum around the LEP toolkit faltered. In 2013 and 2014 Beef+Lamb NZ is rebranding and re-launching the LEP toolkit. This time they have included a Train the Trainer session and they have targeted farmer workshops in key areas to explain the use of the toolkit.  Better mechanisms are being developed to enable the capture of feedback on LEP use.

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