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Neil Barr Farm Forestry Foundation

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The aim of the Neil Barr Farm Forestry Foundation (NBFFF) is to promote greater use of trees on farms. 

We do this by contributing funds to research, development, extension and education which advances the knowledge of trees on New Zealand farms or promotes their wise use. 

Applying for NBFFF funds

We encourage any individual or group with a project proposal within this broad remit to make an application. If you would like to discuss your proposal first, contact the NBFFF chairman, Patrick Milne patrick@cypress.co.nz, 0274 710224.

Will my project be eligible for funds?

If you have a project in mind which will in any way promote or enhance the wise use of trees on farms in New Zealand, you are welcome to apply for funding. 

The level of funding granted is flexible and will be determined based on the project scope and needs. We have funded projects ranging from a few hundred dollars to over $10,000. Examples include:

  • Student research projects

  • Relevant publications – from fliers to books

  • NZFFA Special Interest Group activities 

  • Other research and development. 

Talk to us first if you need further guidance.

Helping with other funds

We encourage you to consider using NBFFF funds to leverage funding from other providers e.g. MPI’s Sustainable Food and Fibre Futures (SFFF) or Forest Growers Levy Trust funds.

How to apply for funds

Applying for funds is easy – just complete the one-page application form and return to the NBFFF chairman: Patrick Milne patrick@cypress.co.nz

Download funding application form:

Application form (word doc)

Application form (PDF)

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Donating to the NBFFF

Would you like to contribute to the Neil Barr Farm Forestry Foundation funds? We welcome contributions. 

Please contact Patrick Milne (NBFFF chairman) to discuss making a donation, patrick@cypress.co.nz tel: 0274 710224.

We need to build our capital base

Currently, the most effective way to contribute to Neil Barr Farm Forestry Foundation, is to make a donation while you are living! NBFFF is a registered charity, and any individual donations entitle you to a 33.33% donation rebate. Trusts and Companies can also make donations, and if done right, effectively the whole amount is tax deductible expenditure (as long as Trusts or Companies have other income in the year). Making bequests from your Estate is also possible, but more likely will convey no tax advantage... that's why the best tax planning is to donate while you are alive!

Regular annual or monthly donations by automatic payment can also be set up. Donating goods is also possible – one example was the late Jim Pottinger's family donating his forestry books for auctioning at a conference on behalf of NBFFF. This was a great way of passing on valued forestry books to those most interested in them and raising funds for NBFFF as well.

Our new deed allows for more attractive pathways for donating money and being part of the Foundation’s decision-making processes, along with greater flexibility in how the funds are allocated. We ask you to think seriously about how you can help us in reaching the Foundation’s aim of promoting and encouraging the planting of trees on farms.

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Trustees

The trustees of the Neil Barr Farm Forestry Foundation are:

Patrick Milne  (Chairman) Forester, forest researcher and nurseryman 

Murray Downs  (Secretary) Chartered accountant

Nick Ledgard  Retired forest researcher with special interest in the high country

Denis Hocking  Farmer and farm forester

Harriet Palmer  Farm forester 

Graham West  Current NZFFA President - ex officio.

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History

The first branch of the national NZ Farm Forestry Association, the Lower North, was formed in 1959 and within 10 years there were 19 branches in existence – today (2021) there are 24 regional branches, plus eight Special Interest Groups. Discussions about raising funds for education and promotion were initiated in 1967, but it was not until 1984 that recommendation for an endowment fund was made by who else other than Neil Barr. By 1986, a trust deed for the New Zealand Farm Forestry Foundation had been drawn up and registered at no cost to the Foundation, thanks to considerable effort by member and lawyer, Mike Malloy. An inaugural meeting for the first trustees Neil Barr, Mike Smith, Peter Smail and Bruce Treeby was held at the Gisborne conference in 1989. Mike Smith was elected as Chairman/Secretary, a position that he held until 2005. He remained as Secretary for many more years. 

Neil Barr, the founding father of the NZFFA, started off the Foundation’s accounts with a donation of $100. The challenge was then for the trustees to increase this amount so that applications for funding could be met. By 1997 the sum raised stood at $128,000 and today’s investments are over $600,000. 

Neil Barr died on 1 January 1996. After considerable discussion throughout the farm forestry movement on a suitable memorial for him, it was decided at the 1996 Nelson conference to change the name of the Foundation to the Neil Barr Farm Forestry Foundation. Trustees at that time were Mike Smith, Bruce Treeby, Jim Pottinger, Geoff Brann and John Mackay.

Projects funded in the past

The first grant made by the trustees was to the Cypress Action Group in 1989. This group was the main interest of the Foundation during its initial years, as funds were limited and could not go much wider. By 1995, cypress work had been allocated $10,000. Lesser amounts went to the Acacia melanoxylon Interest Group Organisation (AMIGO), the Indigenous Forests Section for a handbook on indigenous forest production, and to eucalypt research.

Supporting research has traditionally been considered a major objective for Foundation funding. However research is expensive, and its results can be a long time coming, especially in forestry, with success far from guaranteed. The Foundation has therefore tended to lean towards projects which can pass on new knowledge and research results, and more directly lead to greater use of trees on farms. As a result, regular funding has gone into promotional items such as our stand at Mystery Creek and farm forestry books such as:

  • Neil Barr’s Growing Eucalypts for Milling on New Zealand Farms − $9,000 in 1998
  • Joll Hosking’s farm forestry book − $13,000 in 2000
  • Wardle’s Native Trees of New Zealand and their story on our indigenous trees − $5,000 in 2011.

The Foundation can also support localised research exploring or advocating the use of trees at the branch level, and encouraging members to seek answers to their own specific needs. We are very aware that meaningful research has to be conducted with rigour and attention to detail, which may not come easily to a layperson. Therefore we have supported Central Canterbury’s trial area at Silverwood near Darfield, and the mapping and labelling of a major 1970s to 1980s species planting including 67 eucalypt species at Milnethorp Park in Golden Bay.

Expenditure

Between 1998 and 2021 the Foundation has allocated funds to a total value of over $170,000 This has been in over 60 allocations, with some for the same project in different years. Allocations have ranged from $186 to over $30,000 (for one project – the NZ Dryland Forests Initiative – over several years), with a mean amount of just over $11,000. For more information about the Foundation’s expenditure, please see the full funding table here(insert hyperlink).

New Foundation Deed

In 2011 it became apparent that the original trust deed, then 25 years old, should be updated to meet modern day standards and to allow greater flexibility in fund raising and disbursement. In keeping with the original purposes of the trust, which remain relevant today, the trustees adopted the following mission statement - To promote and encourage the planting of trees on farms. This is to be achieved by supporting practice and research which may benefit trees in the landscape.

The future

After 32 years of existence, the Foundation has made a significant contribution to advancing the use of trees on farms. Enabling us to do this has been our success in building up a substantial capital sum from which future funds can be allocated. There remains a large untapped potential for the wider use of trees on farms. Therefore we would like to be able to support more farm forestry activity, and the level of applications over recent years indicates there is an increasing demand for such support.

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Projects funded 2007 – 2021

Year Title Purpose Amount ($)
2021 Paulownia dairy farm shelter Report on study delayed due to wet season 5,000
  Cypress trial pruning Prune Central Canterbury cypress trial at ‘Silverwood&rsquo 500
2020 Conference attendance To encourage young farm foresters to attend annual conference Unknown
  Uruwhenua Botanicals Contribution for publication of Philip Simpson’s book (‘Remarkable Plants of Aotearoa’) 3,910
  Acorn collection Oak Group trial to collect acorns from Eastwoodhill Arboretum 475
  Oak Group instrument Trig Instalments for GPS to map Oak Group trial 748
      10,633
2018 Redwood Special Interest Group heartwood study Determining quality of NZ-grown redwood heartwood 2,000
  Small wood harvesting systems School of Forestry student study 7,000
  NZ Dryland Forests Initiative project Field-day seminar 870
      9,870
2017 Small woodlot value Funding granted from Agmardt 5,750
  Small wood harvesting systems School of Forestry student study 7,000
  NZ Dryland Forests Initiative Marlborough field-day 1,000
      13,750
2016 Trees on Farms Series of nationwide workshops 2,500
  Mystery Creek Rental for stand 600

 

John Wardle’s book – ‘Woodside Proportion of publication cost 1,000
  NZ Dryland Forestry Initiative Trials of durable eucalypts - ongoing 2,500
      6,600
2015 NBFFF flier Promotion material for NBFFF 164
      164
2014 Forest certification Developing certification procedure for small growers 10,000
  Mystery Creek Rental for stand 600
  Eucalyptus nitenssawing study Quantifying/valuing graded product recover use in growth model 2,000
  NZ Dryland Forests Initiative Trials of durable eucalypts - ongoing 4,000
  Indigenous showcase NZFFA award to promote use of NZ timbers 1,000
  NBFFF flier Promotional material for NBFFF 142
      17,742
2013 Forest certification Developing certification procedure for small growers 10,000
  Mystery Creek Rental for stand 600
  Eucalyptus nitenssawing study Quantifying/valuing graded product recover use in growth model 2,000
  NZ Dryland Forests Initiative Trials of durable eucalypts - ongoing 4,000
  Silverwood trial Central Canterbury dryland research site. Hardwood coppicing for durable posts, Acacia dealbata silviculture mapping and monitoring site 2,500
      19,100
2012 Blackwood video To promote exemplary blackwood management 3,625
  Mystery Creek Rental for stand 690
  Eucalypt research packs Research seedling packs for planting nationwide at over 50 sites 1,500
  NZ Dryland Forests Initiative Trials of durable eucalypts 16,000
  Silverwood trial Central Canterbury dryland research site. Hardwood coppicing for durable posts, Acacia dealbata silviculture mapping and monitoring site 2,500
      24,315
2011 Market for speciality timbers Support for SFF project on establishing and developing market for NZ-grown special purpose timbers 4,000
  Mystery Creek Rental for stand 600
  McKean Pinetum Maintenance – damage fixing, pruning and thinning 2,000
  NZ Dryland Forests Initiative Trials of durable eucalypts 24,000
  NZ native tree book Loan towards publication and marketing Wardle book on NZ native trees 5,000
      30,600
2010 McKean Pinetum Maintenance – damage fixing, pruning and thinning 563
  Short rotation eucalypts Technique for cutting high value lumber from young eucalypt plantations 2,667
  Milnethorp Park, Golden Bay Map trees (range of species planted in 1970s) and record performance. GPS and tree tagging. 1,000
  Small stand certification Support into investigation into FSC certification for small growers 4,444
  Mystery Creek Rental for stand 500
  NZ Dryland Forests Initiative Trials of durable eucalypts 8,000
      17,174
2009 Mystery Creek Rental for stand 600
  Farm Forestry Model Support SFF application to assemble case studies of successful farm foresters and their farms 4,444
  Cypress durability Support SFF application to investigate natural durability of cypresses 1,778
  NZ Dryland Forests Initiative Trials of durable eucalypts 821
  D-fir Growers Manual Publication of manual (Piers Maclaren) 2,362
      10,005
2008 Massey student Use of funds from Western Farm Co-op to support an School of Forestry student in farm forestry area 889
  Special Council meeting Contribution towards costs of holding a Special Council meeting prior to 2008 national Conference 444
  Mystery Creek Rental for stand 600
  NZ Dryland Forests Initiative Support of NZ Dryland Forests Initiative involving natural durable eucalypts 4,444
      6,377
2007 Marlborough durable hardwood workshop Workshop on ‘Growing ground durable hardwoods for vineyard posts’ 1,800
  Alternative Species Development Initiative Support NZFFA with study of the alternative species genetics (stage 1) 2,828
      4,628
    TOTAL FUNDED (2007-2021) 170,958

Helping with other funds

We encourage you to consider using NBFFF funds to leverage funding from other providers e.g. MPI’s Sustainable Food and Fibre Futures (SFFF) or Forest Growers Levy Trust funds.

For example, we have co-funded the production of Eucalypt Action Group’s trials to test eucalypts throughout the country. We have also contributed to the NZ Dryland Forests Initiative over several years to help with their research and development programme focusing on durable eucalypts.

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