The release of the Sustainable Dairying: Water Accord this week highlights the important role of talented people in delivering improvements in the environmental performance of dairy farming.
The report notes that the training and certification of nutrient management advisers hit a major milestone in the 2014/15 year with a total of 100 rural professionals completing the requirements for and achieving certification in the Nutrient Management Adviser Certification Programme (NMACP).
This was accomplished with the ongoing support and commitment of the Fertiliser Association of New Zealand and its member companies, Ballance Agri-Nutrients Ltd and Ravensdown Ltd. One of the Accord targets was that 50% of Fertiliser Association member company advisers would be certified by 31 May 2014, which was comfortably achieved.
Chief Executive of the Fertiliser Association, Philip Mladenov, commented that attracting, developing and retaining highly skilled and motivated nutrient advisers into the primary sector was a vital part of helping dairy farmers manage nitrogen and phosphorus losses from their farming systems, meet nutrient loss limits and pursue continuous improvement in nutrient use efficiency.
“We are pleased that the certification programme continues to attract more and more qualified people. We now have over 130 certified advisers working throughout the country, from Northland to Southland, with an additional 50+ people in the process of working towards certification,” he said.
The NMACP provides ongoing educational and training opportunities for certified advisers through its programme of continuing professional development. This allows certified advisers to improve their knowledge and skills and remain on top of new developments within the sector as they relate to providing nutrient management advice.
“For farmers, obtaining nationally consistent nutrient management advice of the highest standard is an important part of farming within environmental limits. With a certified adviser, farmers have the certainty of knowing that their adviser is professionally trained, well-experienced, and undergoes continuous improvement in order to remain certified,” said Mladenov.
Certification is open to all professionals who have the appropriate qualifications and experience.