New courses help farmers put technology to work

Media Release - 7 June 2016

The Red Meat Profit Partnership is to launch a series of computer courses to help farmers put technology to work.
"On New Zealand farms, the computer is now as important as the quad bike," says RMPP General Manager Michael Smith.

"This work comes after the conclusion of a successful pilot programme that was held in 2015. We're offering new courses to help farmers get the most out of IT and computers, because that will allow them to make more informed business decisions."

Communication through email and online is becoming the norm in New Zealand and there are a range of useful templates and farm software that can save farmers time and money.

Mr Smith says when the computer courses were piloted, the farmers who attended realised they could be much more efficient and get out of the office earlier.

Nick Peacock, Manager of Otara Station, said: "Doing a set stocking plan and calculating stocking rates has become easy with knowing how to use Excel. Before it took me weeks to work it out, now it's only a few hours."

Course facilitator Rachel Joblin says there are always plenty of "ah ha" moments during class.

"Seeing a whole new world of possibilities open up for participants is really encouraging."

The "Getting Started" course, will be available from mid-June throughout the country. The course takes people through the first steps, including email and exploring the internet. The "Using Farm Data" course introduces people to spreadsheets and online farm management tools and software.

Mr Smith says that research has shown successful farming businesses are those that adopt relevant and useful new tools and technologies.

"Farmers who use IT to measure and monitor their results find it easier to use that information to fine tune their practices and increase profits."

Information on where and when courses are available is on the RMPP website

The RMPP is a Primary Growth Partnership programme working to help the red meat sector increase productivity and profitability.

RMPP is funded by 10 partners, including the Ministry for Primary Industries and private sector companies. It works with farmers and sector businesses to develop, test and introduce new ideas, new technology solutions and new ways of working.