Leading on from the Farmlands project in 2020, I partnered with Rose Challies from the Terra Nova Foundation to design a programme that would start to address farmer overwhelm.
Farmlands research led us to believe that farmers feel demonized by the city and that addressing co-understanding between farm and city was the first step to creating lasting change. The pilot was conducted in Canterbury with funding from MPI and is continuing to look for national growth opportunities.
Bridging the Divide – Project Summary
The Bridging the Divide project pilot came about following Dorenda Britten’s work on an Our Land and Water National Science Challenge project with Farmlands. She found that many farmers were overwhelmed and there was a need for more empathetic ways to help farmers feel valued and create a mindset for implementing environmental policies.
The Bridging the Divide pilot brought this idea to life, bringing together urban people who have considerable experience, expertise, wisdom, and time – with farmers, who are feeling the stress of facing some of the greatest challenges of our time.
This project aims to support farmers by enabling the sharing of wisdom and giving urban businesspeople the opportunity to learn the realities and challenges of farming; helping to bridge the divide of understanding between city and country.
The Terra Nova Foundation and Dorenda Britten implemented the pilot in Canterbury with support from the Ministry of Primary Industries. We are exploring the potential for a national roll-out. Demonstrating New Zealanders’ ability to support our key industries, whilst preserving our land and water for future generations.