One of DairyNZ’s Board of Directors for eight years, Mr Allomes was elected by dairy farmer levy payers in 2011, as one of five farmer-elected directors. Since then, the Woodville-based dairy farmer has played a key role contributing to the governance of DairyNZ and provided key support around a range issues, in particular around people and talent.
DairyNZ chair Jim van der Poel credits Ben for his contribution to the board and his tireless advocacy for dairy farmers.
“Ben is a leader in his own right and we will particularly miss his passion for people and the younger generation. He really represents the next generation of leaders which are coming through into governance roles and we understand as a board, after eight years with us, he is ready to move onto new things, while extending the opportunity onto other farmers,” said Jim.
“He has been a real asset on our board and we thank him for the contribution he has made. Ben will continue to play a leadership role going forward in the sector, I’ve no doubt about that.”
Mr Allomes was motivated to be part of the DairyNZ board, to give back to the sector.
“My wife Nicky and I have got a lot out of dairy and I really wanted to give back and repay that through governance,” said Mr Allomes. “It’s been such great experience. I will miss the diversity of the board and working with them, debating and discussing things. I really want to thank the management team and all the amazing people I’ve worked with along the way.
“I’ve learnt a great deal through the role, particularly through the width and breadth of DairyNZ. You’re in a unique position to see the things DairyNZ do and the scope of things the organisation works across still blows my mind, to be honest. Our industry would be lesser if it weren’t for DairyNZ’s role in so many things.”
During his time on the board, Mr Allomes said had noticed a change in the sector which he hoped would eventually shift, encouraging farmers back to their innovative roots.
“Dairy farmers have built a successful industry based on innovation and being open to change. But we’ve had our values tested and challenged by our communities – farming is in our DNA, it’s part of us and when our personal values are tested and challenged it affects us,” said Mr Allomes.
“But we got ourselves here through innovation and change, and we need to continue with those strengths rather than focus too much on protecting what we have. Change got us to where we are now, let’s focus on that positive change.”
Mr Allomes encourages other farmers to look at standing for the board.
“We all have a passion for farming and unique skillsets and strengths. If you have passion and a skillset, with an interest in governance, that lines up nicely to give the board a go if you have an interest in governance,” said Mr Allomes.
“Dairy farmers have been involved in industry good for decades – we formed DairyNZ, it’s our organisation, we have a responsibility to influence its direction.”
Mr Allomes farms in Woodville with his wife Nicky and four children. After attaining a degree in Applied Science, Natural Resource Management, Ben twice reached the grand final of the National Bank Young Farmer Contest and, with Nicky, won the New Zealand Sharemilker of the Year title in 2008.
He is chair of the Dairy Industry Awards Trust, was the DairyNZ representative on the Primary ITO partnership group and was a 2015 Nuffield Scholar.
In 2018 Ben and Nicky won the Innovative Employment Practices Award and Minister's Award at the Primary Industries Good Employer Awards.
From here, Ben plans to spend more time with his family, on the farm and looking at new opportunities. “I am an active relaxer, I don’t sit down for long.”
2019 DairyNZ elections
This year, elections will take place for two farmer-elected directors on the DairyNZ board – with Mr Allomes and Elaine Cook both retiring by rotation. Mr Allomes is not standing for re-election. A second election is taking place for a Directors Remuneration Committee member.
All these positions are open to all farmers paying a levy on milksolids to DairyNZ.
Ideal candidates are strategic thinkers, have farm systems understanding, combined with previous governance and leadership experience.
Nomination applications open on 12 August 2019.
For more information visit dairynz.co.nz/director-elections
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