In response to the challenges before the primary industry, the Institute has redefined its future focus in providing professional services to the membership over the next four years
Significant on-farm change has occurred over the decade which is expected to accelerate in the future as the uptake of new technological developments increases and farming practices evolve to improve on-farm efficiency and productivity under environmental constraints.
The skills and knowledge base of rural professionals servicing the farming community will continue to adapt to be able to effectively service the ever expanding needs of an increasingly sophisticated farming clientele going forward.
The Institute's membership base is also reflecting the changing demands for professional services on-farm as demonstrated by a larger number of rural professionals with specialised expertise joining the membership.
The Institute continues to grow in scale with membership numbers reaching 900 for the first time. In addition to this the Institute has 230 student members enrolled in agricultural related courses.
As the peak professional body for the rural profession, the Institute and our regional branches have an important role to play in building the skills and knowledge base of its members to be better able to provide professional services to their farming clients in new and developing areas within the primary industry.
We are also mindful of the need for the Institute and members to be informed and respond quickly to issues and events impacting upon the farming community.
The rural profession and the primary industry are faced with significant challenges, some of which includes:
- Building more resilient farming systems in farming businesses better able to absorb increased volatility in global commodity markets.
- The lack of integrators with whole farm systems knowledge represents a challenge to the primary industry.
- Ability for rural professionals to keep up with the technological advances and information platforms farmers are interacting with on a daily basis.
- Increasing farmer uptake of on-farm professional advice and recognise the value of such.
- Limitation of extension activities and pathways of research from universities and CRIs into the rural profession and the farming community.
- K eeping up to-date with increased compliance and regulatory requirements on farm (eg. environment, employment matters, health and safety, animal welfare, etc).
- Increasing need to have recognised career development pathways for rural professionals.
In response to the challenges before the primary industry and to cement our place as the peak professional body for the rural profession, the Institute has developed a four year strategic plan.
Under the strategic plan, the Institute's five strategic platforms will be:
- Thought leadership : Providing thought leadership to the rural profession and the primary industry that challenges existing paradigms and encourages debate
- Professional development : Expanding the skills and knowledge base of rural professionals in new and developing areas within the primary industry to meet the needs of an increasingly complex farming business
- Growing NZIPIM's branches : Building the scale and reach of NZIPIM's branches to provide business networking opportunities and deliver high quality events to the membership
- Career development : Supporting the career development of young rural professionals and those considering a career within the rural profession
- Building constructive partnerships : Building strategic partnerships with likeminded organisations that benefit and develop the membership base
To deliver upon the objectives outlined under each strategic platform, we are rolling out our annual business plan which continues to build on the gains made by the Institute over the last three years.
Whilst there are a number of challenges ahead, the Institute is well placed to provide business networking opportunities and information hub to enable members that expand their knowledge and professional skill base within primary industry.
The future looks bright for the Institute and rural profession. We look forward to your continued support of the Institute and encourage you get behind and attend branch events held in your region in the year ahead.