Federated Farmers is an interesting group. Their own literature would see them as a progressive organisation that seeks to unite farmers in an attempt to become more competitive on the world stage through the application of smart science. Their actions would indicate something else.

Earlier today Lance Wiggs pointed out a piece Fed Farmers had written that looks set to get the backs up of the uber-powerful US lobby groups. Lance has done a great job of dissecting the piece which, in essence, harkens back to a punch up in a rural primary school which, I suspect is a good analogy to use.

You see Federated Farmers is primarily about extending the status quo – lobbying for the protections of (in their eyes) the god-given right of New Zealand farmers to use the land as they see fit. And it seems, just like on the rugby paddock, when things go bad they resort to a good old-fashioned punch up.

My only contact with Fed Farmers was a few months ago during the initial discussions around the proposal to introduce factory farming in the Mackenzie Country. At the time I was interested in a number of Twitter and blog comments to a post I wrote lamenting the short sightedness of Fed Farmers’ approach.

After a little bit of digging I found out that the posts, written in a neutral tone but a little defensive of Fed Farmers approach, were in fact written by a Fed Farmers media person, under a false name and identity. I pointed out to the person at the time that:

noms de plume and dodgy cover stories are a bad look in social media land.. especially when your name comes up as the fedfarm media advisor….

Said commenter got a little defensive before shutting off any contact.
While this situation is different from that of a opinion piece that is little more than a pissing contest (and really they chose the wrong school yard bully to have a pissing contest with), it does indicate just how backwards an approach Federated Farmers have.
I said it then and I’ll reiterate it now – stunts like this are incredibly bad for the image of NZ Inc and we all have a duty to articulate that in no uncertain terms to federated Farmers.
Ben Kepes

Ben Kepes is a technology evangelist, an investor, a commentator and a business adviser. Ben covers the convergence of technology, mobile, ubiquity and agility, all enabled by the Cloud. His areas of interest extend to enterprise software, software integration, financial/accounting software, platforms and infrastructure as well as articulating technology simply for everyday users.


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