Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Emerging leader takes up appointment with Ravensdown


Emerging agricultural leader Turi McFarlane, who was one of this year’s five prestigious Nuffield Scholarship winners, has joined Ravensdown Environmental based in Christchurch.

Having grown up on a small family sheep and beef farm on Banks Peninsula, Turi is now back in the district as a Senior Farm Environmental Consultant with Ravensdown.

His background is in combining farm systems and natural resource management, with a focus on enhancing the sustainability of New Zealand’s primary sector. Of Te Atiawa and Ngāi Tahu decent, Turi also has a keen interest in Māori agribusiness as well as the role Māori have in natural resource management.

Mark Fitzpatrick, Business Manager for Ravensdown Environmental, said Turi is a fantastic addition to the growing environmental team.

Turi’s expertise in farm environmental planning combined with his passion for sustainable farming practices means he is a perfect fit for us. We’re incredibly proud to have a Nuffield Scholar as part of the team and look forward to supporting him as he progresses.

Turi’s interest in agricultural systems and sustainable land management led to tertiary study at Massey University where he completed a Batchelor of Science with a double major in Agricultural Science and Ecology, followed by a Master of Applied Science at Lincoln University majoring in International Rural Development.

For the past two and a half years, Turi was a South Island environment extension manager with Beef + Lamb New Zealand.

As part of his Nuffield scholarship, Turi would like to explore how other countries identify and value ecosystem services to agricultural production – that is how the ‘benefits’ we receive from the surrounding environment are identified and valued.

“There is often significant emphasis on encouraging farmers to manage their natural resources sustainably and ensure they are compliant,” said Turi. “However, something that perhaps isn’t always clearly understood is how farmers can get a lot more from their farm environmental plans other than just compliance. I’m looking forward to working with farmers, particularly in Canterbury, to help them get the best value from their land with less negative environmental impacts.

“By considering the contributions ecosystem services make to agricultural production I believe it will be easier for farmers to make informed, truly sustainable farm management decisions.”