A former President of Federated Farmers aspires to be the leader of the World Farmers’ Organization.
Katie Milne, who runs farms on the west coast, is a board member of the Rome-based advocacy group.
She is contesting the presidency, running against two other candidates – one from Canada and the other from France.
“I’ve been asked by several farmers from different parts of the world to seriously consider throwing my hat in the ring and that gave me the extra impetus to say why not, why not crack.
“You obviously see that I have something to offer by presenting the problems farmers face and what might be some of the solutions to some of the big, nasty problems the world is facing in relation to food and food production is.”
Milne said her background in ranching will be an advantage.
“We currently have a lot of pressure on livestock around the world from others who think we should just go plant-based to help climate change.
“The diversity that our farming systems, our food production systems need to have, I think is very clear. You can shift stock if there’s a problem and you can’t shift harvest, and if we go down a monoculture path in our food production system that relies heavily on crops only, we’re all putting ourselves at risk.”
Milne said the WFO has a lot of influence.
“They sit down at the right tables to talk about food systems, climate change and climate-smart agriculture. A whole bunch of things.
“It’s important that the farming voice is there so that the bigger picture is considered when people are designing and thinking about where farming needs to go in the future.”
Milne said if she were successful it would help NZ’s profile.
She said she should campaign for the position she needs to speak to farming groups around the world, equivalent to Federated Farmers.
The position will be voted on at the General Assembly of the World Farmers’ Organization, which will be held in Budapest from June 7th to 10th.