Irrigators’ group launches initiative to engage more people with farming

The Waitaki Irrigators Collective Limited (WIC) has today launched a new social media campaign aimed at getting more people engaged with, and learning about, farming in New Zealand.
Called “Ask a Farmer,” the initiative invites members of the public to ask farmers questions about anything to do with farming life.
Policy Manager for the Waitaki Irrigators Collective (WIC), Elizabeth Soal, said that there seems to be a widening gap between the rural and urban communities in New Zealand, and social media has great potential to help bridge that gap. “Our population is becoming increasingly urbanised, and that means that fewer young people get to experience life on a farm, or have a good understanding about where their food comes from” said Ms Soal.
“For some people, it might be that the only exposure they have to farming is what they see through their car window as they drive down the state highway. We want to change that, and bring farming life to them through digital social media channels” said Ms Soal. “How many people have driven down State Highway One behind a strange-looking piece of farming equipment and wondered “what on earth does that thing do?” Or driven past a field and wondered what the crop is growing in it? We want to answer those sorts of questions” she said.
WIC is well placed to answer all kinds of questions about farming, as its farmer members have a diverse range of land uses, including horticulture, viticulture, dairying, sheep and beef farming, cropping, and deer farming. “Irrigation water is also used for sports fields, fire-fighting, supplying town and domestic water, and recreation areas” said Ms Soal. “We want to let the urban community know about all of this, and hopefully bring a bit of humour to it, as well” she said.
The launch video can be found on the WIC Facebook page, and questions can be left in the comments section of the page or by following WIC on Twitter using the hash-tag #askafarmer.

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