2023 ODPG Conference | Waikato | APRIL 19 + 20

A packed Two-Day Organic Farming Conference & AGM with six knowledgeable speakers and two fascinating field trips. A chance for all those with an interest in organic, regenerative and biological farming to get together, learn together and share ideas. We hope you can join us!

(Please note that this conference has been relocated from the Hawkes Bay region to the Hamilton area of Waikato due to the difficulties the region is currently facing)


  • DR CHRISTINE JONES  |  Soil Ecologist
  • DR ANDREW SMITH  |  C.O.O Rodale Institute
  • MATT GALLAGHER  |  Asure Quality
  • JONO FREW  |  Natural Performance/Quorum Sense
  • PHILIPPA JAMIESON  |  Writer/Editor in the Organic Community
  • NIC CONLAND  |  Verdi (MRV)


  • Gavin Fisher’s Farm (Te Aroha)
  • Zealong Tea Estate (Hamilton)


At The Narrows Landing, near Hamilton Airport, we’ll be hosting a wide range of excellent speakers, headlining with renowned soil ecologist from Australia, DR CHRISTINE JONES. We’re looking forward to a video-conference with DR ANDREW SMITH, the C.O.O of the great Rodale Institute in Pennslyvania. MATT GALLAGHER (AsureQuality) will be discussing all things to do with his speciality of certification, JONO FREW (Natural Performance & Quorum Sense) will present on aligning farming with nature for the future, PHILIPPA JAMIESON (Writer/Editor in the Organic Community) is researching Meat and Milk: Fake vs Real for the conference, and NIC CONLAND’s (Verdi) presentation will be about calculating carbon on the farm. Katrina O’Connor will be present from the MPI NATIONAL ORGANIC STANDARD team to give us an update on progress with Matt Gallagher.

(Learn more about our speakers below.)

The day is fully catered at our wonderful venue – set in gardens and only 3km from Hamilton Airport – with morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea, and a delicious buffet dinner to take us into a sociable evening.

Our Annual General Meeting will take place in the evening between the presentations and dinner. All welcome.


We have two fascinating field trips planned, and we’ll be chartering coaches and organising packed lunches for a great day out. Delegates will be split into two groups to visit the destinations, and swap venues halfway through the day.

GAVIN FISHER was one of the original instigators behind the formation of ODPG. He has been farming organically for decades and the fruits of his labour are visible in every corner of his property.The cow races are bordered with trees of every description, fruit, nuts and medicinal varieties for the animals to graze adlib. Gavin is an inspirational caretaker of the environment. ‘Seeing is believing’. He himself would reverse that to ‘believing is seeing’. 

is widely regarded as a Waikato icon. It is the only commercial tea estate in New Zealand, producing 100% organic award-winning tea, and a world-leading destination for tea, art and hospitality. We have booked a behind the scenes tour to learn how Zealong grows tea organically in New Zealand, and much much more.



To the pressing worldwide challenge of restoring topsoil, soil ecologist Dr Christine Jones offers an accessible, inspiring perspective. For several decades Christine has worked with innovative farmers and graziers to implement regenerative land management practices that enhance biodiversity, nutrient cycling, carbon sequestration, productivity, water quality and community and catchment health. Following a highly respected career in public sector research and extension, Christine received a Community Fellowship Award from Land and Water Australia in 2001 for ‘mobilising the community to better manage land, water and vegetation.’ Three years later she launched ‘Amazing Carbon’ as a means to share her vision and inspire change. In 2005 Christine held the first of five ‘Managing the Carbon Cycle’ forums to promote the benefits of soil carbon. 

Over the past two decades Christine has gained international recognition as a speaker, presenting on ‘The Fundamentals of Soil’ at workshops, field days, seminars and conferences throughout Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Western Europe, Central America, USA and Canada.

For more information visit www.amazingcarbon.com

. . .

Dr. Andrew Smith oversees the research and farm operations at Rodale Institute and is passionate about growing the organic movement by providing science-based solutions to farmers and facilitating opportunities to expand the number of organic farmers and farmland across the globe. He has over twenty years of experience working in the organic industry as an agronomist, researcher, and farmer. While trained as an entomologist, his motive for entering the organic industry was to reduce the use of chemicals for food production that end up in our environment, food, and bodies. He now has the opportunity to support an amazing group of dedicated people working diligently on many projects to transform the food system and the way we farm to improve the lives and health of all people and the planet. He also continues to live and work on his own organic family farm.

. . .

Matt is the Organic Technical Manager at AsureQuality and has been with AQ for over 15 years, working in compliance and certification management roles across Horticulture and Organics. Matt is responsible for the Organics certifications across the AQ Organics standard, IFOAM, MPI OOAP, and various other market specific certifications including USA, Canada and Korea. Matt is currently the Deputy Chairperson on the Executive of the Organics Exporters Association, is a representation on the Interim Organic Sector Advisory Council and is currently
assisting the Organics Project Team with drafting of the NZ Organic standard.

Matt holds a Bachelor of Science and is qualified as a Lead Auditor with Exemplar Global (previously RABQSA.

. . .


Jono Frew has worn a few hats in his short but full life to date. Dairy farmer, Ag chem sprayer and agronomist (or as he likes to say a “contract killer”) Organic mixed cropping sheep and beef farmer, entrepreneur, Farm coach and consultant, public speaker,agroecologist, Mechanic, Engineer, bit of a bogan and a Father and Husband to name a few.

Jono has a very unique perspective on the world, especially when it comes to people,
farming and soil. He lives his life from the question: How do I create a world that works, aligned with Nature?

Jono is very passionate and believes we are on track to creating a status quo of food
production systems that regenerate the farmers, the soil, the animals insects microbes and plants, and the people that eat them, all while restoring the natural function of the planet as a by-product. Imagine that!!

Jono has founded Quorum Sense, Natural Performance Ltd, Symbiosis and the “Soils where it’s at Baby” group on Facebook and is working toward his dream of owning and operating a farm and raising his family while inspiring and educating others to powerfully navigate their own creative regenerative journey of discovery.

. . .

Philippa Jamieson is a freelance writer, editor and celebrant from Dunedin. Her involvement in the organic community stretches over 30 years, as a home gardener and consumer, and as the editor of Organic NZ (2008–2021). She spent three years wwoofing in New Zealand and Europe, and wrote about her Kiwi wwoofing experiences in her book The Wild Green Yonder (2007). In 2022 she was made a life member of the Soil & Health Association (publisher of Organic NZ magazine), and she currently chairs OANZ’s GE-free action group.

. . .
NIC CONLAND | VERDI (MRV) Director & Co-Founder

Nic has worked for over two decades across New Zealand developing natural resource management plans with performance mechanisms that provide feedback loops to measure ecosystem health and promote resource efficiency. Nic is a specialist in developing science based policy and planning instruments for communities and sees data as an integral component of this measuring and improving our eco-systems.

His work at Verdi NZ concentrates on climate-positive farming. Their vision is to help
farmers manage their carbon sequestration and provide a trustworthy and measurable way to neutralise their carbon emissions.

. . .

WE’D LIKE TO THANK OUR SPONSORS who were extremely patient while we hastily changed our conference location from the site of cyclone devastation in Hawkes Bay*. Our conference could not go ahead without them, and they will all be present:

. . .


  • access to all presentations
  • morning tea, lunch, afternoon tea, evening buffet on conference day
  • access to field trip venues
  • coach transfer between field trip venues
  • packed lunch

Be assured that our tickets have no hidden fees, so ticketing fees and GST are included in the price.

*We have added the ability on our ticket page to donate a small amount towards helping farmers and growers affected by the cyclone in Hawkes Bay. Any donations received will be given to the Farmers Adverse Events Fund : Cyclone Gabrielle.

Leave a Reply