Speakers at the environmental stewardship day. From left to right: Dr Pieter Swanepoel (Stellenbosch University); Wentzel Coetzer (Conservation Outcomes); Portia Phohlo (WDSP and Trace & Save researcher); Barbara Bieldt (Milk Producers Organisation); Sue Viljoen (WWF-SA); Phillip Terblanche (Trace & Save); Craig Galloway (WDSP and Trace & Save researcher). Photo By Impact Photography and Design Studio

It was so exciting to be part of the environmental stewardship day held by Woodlands Dairy and Trace & Save. I was most eager to interact and gain valuable information from well-known organisations such as World Wild Fund for Nature -SA (WWF-SA) as well as the Milk Producers Organisation (MPO) who were part of the day. It was very interesting to be surrounded by scientists who everyday research and try to find better ways to help farmers manage their farms better as well as advocates who are very passionate about nurturing the environment and making sure that it is preserved for future generations. I was fortunate to be one of the speakers who contributed towards helping to address the problems/challenges that farmers face on a daily basis.

One of the important take away points of the day was that this generation (producers, retailers, consumers) needs to understand and appreciate that they have in their hands the opportunity to ask questions, come up with solutions and create awareness across the world about why stewarding the environment is crucial. Contrary to popular belief, this responsibility does not only fall on the farmer, but also on the consumer.