DairyNZ welcomes experienced farmers to its board

DairyNZ appoints Cameron Henderson and Jim van der Poel to its board

The below is from a media release sent by DairyNZ.

DairyNZ’s Board of Directors today welcomed a new dairy farmer member, Cameron Henderson, and saw current chair Jim van der Poel re-elected at the organisation’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Te Awamutu.

DairyNZ chief financial officer Robyn Marsh said Cameron Henderson and Jim van der Poel will play a key role as directors representing farmers on the board.

“Cameron and Jim are motivated and driven dairy leaders who will have an important role supporting the leadership and direction of DairyNZ, and dairy farming in New Zealand,” says Robyn.

"We would also like to acknowledge all the farmers who were candidates this year. It is great to have that level of commitment and engagement to serve the sector.”

Cameron and Jim are two of five farmer-elected directors along with three board-appointed directors on DairyNZ’s board.

DairyNZ chair Jim van der Poel also acknowledged and thanked departing board member Colin Glass, who didn’t seek re-election, for his significant leadership on DairyNZ’s board.

“Colin made an outstanding contribution, with his expertise and support for the past six years being invaluable – particularly through a period of massive change in the sector. We wish him well with his next ventures.”

At the AGM, Mary-Anne Macleod was confirmed as an appointed director for another term, while Robbie Byars was also elected unopposed to the Directors’ Remuneration Committee.

Jim also discussed the challenging and busy year farmers have faced, including inflation and regulation issues, while highlighting some of the successes.

“There is no doubt it has been a challenging year but, despite this, our farmers remain committed to delivering for their teams, families, animals and land. We produce world class products and should be incredibly proud of that,” says Jim.

“DairyNZ is working with farmers to help them manage the current economic climate, so our sector can work through current cost pressures and continue producing high-quality products long-term.

"We will also continue to work hard to find fair and practical solutions on issues that matter, advocacy on your behalf, including a solution to emissions that is better for farmers than the Emissions Trading Scheme.”

The AGM also covered some of the latest science DairyNZ has underway to support farmers long-term, including plantain and NZAEL.

DairyNZ’s chair will be confirmed at the next board meeting, in two weeks’ time.

For more information on DairyNZ’s Annual Report, visit dairynz.co.nz/agm

Successful candidate bios:

Camerson Henderson – Swannanoa

Positive, progressive and pragmatic. This is the approach I take on farm, in sector leadership, and what I will bring to DairyNZ.

Together with my wife Sarah, two young kids and our awesome farm team, we milk 750 cows on 240ha near Oxford, North Canterbury. We also lease a further 250 ha for dairy support and arable.

I have worked in various roles for many years to improve outcomes for farmers. Starting with my time at Fonterra in supply chain strategy, then later at DairyNZ as a farm systems developer. I have served as provincial president for Federated Farmers and advised on regional policy with Environment Canterbury.

Nationally, I was the only working farmer on the He Waka Eke Noa steering group and now sit on the board of Ballance Agri-nutrients.

I am excited about the future of dairy, but we must have practical and science lead solutions, on farm and in policy. DairyNZ has a lead role in delivering both but needs to be better connected with its levy payers, listening not lecturing, and being more strategic about when to represent farmers and when to lead farmers. With Colin stepping down, it is vital an equally positive, progressive, and pragmatic South Island voice remains at the DairyNZ board table.

Jim van der Poel – Ohaupo

As a director and chair of DairyNZ it is my commitment to ensure DairyNZ continues to deliver world-class science, research, extension and policy.

DairyNZ must continue to play a key role in supporting farmers through these tough times. We have been in tough times before and together we can get through this downturn.

DairyNZ must continue to be the organisation that plays an important role in helping all farmer groups and dairy organisations to work together. We are all part of the same rural communities and so must continue to find solutions to our challenges that work for the whole community.

DairyNZ plays an important role in helping farmers through todays and tomorrows challenges to make sure our farmers continue to be world leading in their production systems and animal welfare practices. Environmental stewardship is, and will continue to play, an important role for farmers. DairyNZ has a critical role in ensuring standards that are set deliver the outcomes required but are also practicable and workable.

My commitment is, to continue in my role in DairyNZ, to work in the best interests of farmers to help ensure regulations meet those objectives. To also ensure farmers are supported in incorporating those targets into their future farming systems, whilst maintaining the viability of their farming operations.

With New Zealand needing dairy and the contribution it makes to the economy more than ever, I believe it is our opportunity to show how much good work so many farmers are doing, will continue to do, and how proud they are of their farms, their families and their communities.