Federated Farmers, the largest rural advocacy organization in New Zealand, has announced the election of Wayne Langford as its new National President.
Langford, a 40-year-old dairy farmer from Golden Bay, expressed his gratitude and acknowledged the responsibility that comes with leading such an influential organization.
"It’s a huge honour to be elected to lead Federated Farmers, but I’m certainly feeling the weight of responsibility that comes with it," Langford said.
Langford emphasized his commitment to bringing his own style and approach to the role while respecting the organization's long and proud history of serving the sector for 124 years.
Acknowledging the challenges ahead, Langford highlighted changing regulations, rising on-farm costs, high-interest rates, and profit squeeze as major concerns for farming families.
"There’s no denying that times are tough, but we can’t let fear, negativity or frustration divide us at the very moment we should be coming together to find pragmatic solutions that will work for farmers and rural communities."
Despite the tough times, he stressed the importance of unity and finding pragmatic solutions that work for farmers and rural communities. Federated Farmers' role in forging a path forward involves building strong relationships, credible farmer representation, and grassroots connections.
Joining Langford as Vice-President is Colin Hurst, an experienced South-Canterbury mixed arable farmer and former director for the Foundation for Arable Research.
Hurst expressed his excitement about the organization's direction under Langford's leadership, emphasizing the need for positivity and practical problem-solving in the face of challenges.
The recent Federated Farmers Annual General Meeting saw a significant turnout, indicative of the organization's health and engagement.
The re-election of Sandra Faulkner, Mark Hooper, Toby Williams, and Richard McIntyre to the Board ensures continuity and experience within the organization. Additionally, David Birkett, a North Canterbury Arable Farmer, joined the board as the Arable Chair.
Langford and his team at Federated Farmers are determined to stay positive, encourage collaboration, and nurture the potential of emerging young leaders within the organization.