DairyNZ chairman Jim van der Poel said the 2017/18 season was another big year for dairy farmers, with great progress made in developing farm systems for the future.
“We as a farming community are committed to farming within environmental limits and maximising value from our pasture-based farming systems. This is what continues to be our competitive advantage,” said Mr van der Poel.
“By continuing to improve our sustainability, we are safeguarding the dairy sector’s future.”
Mr van der Poel said the Dairy Tomorrow strategy launched in 2017 is now central to the sector’s future progress.
“It has six commitments which encompass the environment, resilient businesses, producing high quality nutrition, animal care, great workplaces and growing vibrant communities,” says Mr van der Poel.
“Dairy Tomorrow has helped everyone in the sector think about the future and direction we need to take.”
The strategy’s commitments are the basis of DairyNZ’s investments and next season, DairyNZ will invest $6.1m into projects which aim to protect and nurture the environment. This is alongside $53.7m for research and projects into supporting competitive, sustainable and resilient dairy farm businesses, and $7.5m into establishing dairy farms as great workplaces with talented people.
DairyNZ invests dairy farmers’ money into a wide range of programmes including research and development to create practical on-farm tools, leading on-farm adoption of good practice farming, promoting careers in dairying and advocating for farmers with central and regional government.
The 2017/18 season also highlighted the importance of biosecurity to the sector, as Mycoplasma bovis affected routine practices on dairy farms nationwide.
“This year Mycoplasma bovis has had a real impact on our dairy farmers and DairyNZ has been providing support to help farmers manage its implications. As we move toward eradication, M. bovis will continue to be a significant focus,” said Mr van der Poel.
At today’s meeting, two new members on the DairyNZ Board of Directors were announced.
An election saw Jacqueline Rowarth voted in as a new farmer-elected director and Jo Coughlan ratified as a new board-appointed director, replacing Barry Harris who retired today from DairyNZ’s board after 11 years.
Results of several AGM resolutions were also announced, including a new Directors Remuneration Committee member, dairy farmer John Gregan, and new director remuneration levels.
For more information on DairyNZ’s Annual Report, future investment priorities and AGM results, visit dairynz.co.nz/agm.
Two new directors for DairyNZ
Farmer-elected director Jacqueline Rowarth brings a wealth of science, agribusiness and policy experience to the role.
“When I was 16 years old, I wanted to save the world. This belief has never been far from mind. I’ve always had a passion for sustainable food production and look forward to working with DairyNZ in their work to help dairy farmers achieve this vision.”
Jacqueline was the first chief scientist for the Environmental Protection Authority. Other roles she has held include Professor of Pastoral Agriculture at Massey University and Professor of Agribusiness at Waikato University.
She has 35 years’ experience as a soil scientist, with a research focus on managing the productive environment (nutrients and greenhouse gases). In 2011 Jacqueline invested in a family-run dairy operation in Tirau.
Board-appointed director Jo Coughlan brings considerable experience to DairyNZ and is excited to be joining the team.
“I grew up on a sheep and crop farm in Mid-Canterbury and married a Southland farmer, but have lived in Central Wellington for more than 20 years where we have raised our six children. I feel I can bring both an urban and rural perspective to the DairyNZ board.
“I’m excited to be a part of a sector that, while facing challenges, will continue to play a key role growing the New Zealand economy and is focused on creating a better future for our children.”
Jo has some 20 years’ experience in senior public relations, government relations and communications roles. She is currently managing director for Silvereye Communications which works with a wide range of public and private sector clients across diverse industries.
Jo was a Wellington City Councillor and Chair of the Economic portfolio for six years. She has a range of board experience including Chairperson of Wellington City Life Education Trust, a Board member of Positively Wellington Tourism and a national Board member of the Life Education Trust.
Senior communications and media specialist
Ph 027 836 6295