The Southern Dairy Hub proposal is on the way towards reaching its target, with over $530,000 of the $2 million required pledged to date.

Southern Dairy Development Trust Chairman Matthew Richards says over 210 farmers and a number of businesses have pledged their support towards the Hub proposal.

The Southern Dairy Hub proposal is a partnership between DairyNZ, AgResearch and the southern dairy farming community. It aims to be an innovation centre where ideas and concepts are tested that will benefit southern dairy farmers and the future of dairying in the south.

Mr Richards says the Trust has set itself a deadline of April 30 to secure pledges from the farming community of $2 million.

“We’ve got about seven weeks left to go. I’m getting extremely positive feedback from farmers when I talk to them about the Hub. They agree it is the way to go and it will be great for our region. We’ve just got to convert that sentiment to pledges of financial support.”

One farmer who has since pledged his support is Jon Pemberton, of Gore. “I have to admit I wasn’t into this proposal at all. I thought it was just another demonstration farm and it wasn’t until I understood the breadth of what’s being proposed and the benefits that I’ve changed my view.

“Knowing that it was more about getting numbers of farmers on board to support the proposal, as opposed to just asking for money made it an easier buy-in for me,” Mr Pemberton says.

To make it easy for farmers to pledge their support, a variety of payment options are available online at www.southerndairyhub.co.nz or by calling 0800 336 632.