Landcare Research - Manaaki Whenua

Landcare-Research -Manaaki Whenua

Survey of Rural Decision Makers

Thursday 09 Jul 2015

 Farmers sharing information about farm management

Farmers sharing information about farm management

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’ time.

Throughout July Landcare Research is conducting a nationwide Survey of Rural Decision Makers. It is the second time the on-line survey has run, with the first held in 2013. At that time, more than 1500 people participated and 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. 

“It’s good to find that others are interested in the choices and decisions we are faced with. This survey really got me thinking about things and in the end I actually enjoyed doing it,” Mid Canterbury Federated Farmers grain and seed chair Joanne Burke said.

How to get involved

The survey is on-line and takes about 20 minutes to complete –a little longer for some and a little shorter for others.

The information provided will be anonymous and results reported in a way that individuals are not identifiable.

For the first 3,000 responses, Landcare Research will make a donation of $10 to relevant charities including Westpac Chopper Appeal, CanTeen, Te Ropu Wahine Maori Toko I te Ora - Maori Women’s Welfare League, and the Federated Farmers Adverse Events Trust. To say thank you directly, all respondents will also be included in a prize draw for one of five $500 Prezzy® cards.