Sunday, May 29, 2022

HL Rowarth re-elected to DairyNZ board

DAIRY farmers have re-elected Jacqueline Rowarth to DairyNZ’s board at its livestreamed annual general meeting…

ANOTHER GO: Jacqueline Rowarth will rejoin DairyNZ’s four other farmer-elected directors and the board-appointed directors.

DAIRY farmers have re-elected Jacqueline Rowarth to DairyNZ’s board at its livestreamed annual general meeting.

DairyNZ chair Jim van der Poel says the board is looking forward to Rowarth rejoining them for the next three years, during an exciting phase as the board oversees the delivery of the new DairyNZ strategy for farmers.

Rowarth will rejoin DairyNZ’s four other farmer-elected directors and the board-appointed directors.

Van der Poel also announced the resignation of Jo Coughlan as an independent director, for personal reasons and to focus on other commitments.

“Jo’s public relations expertise has been invaluable during her term on the board, especially as we have put a greater focus on meeting the needs of our farmers and telling dairy’s story to the public,” Van der Poel said.

The meeting highlighted dairy’s achievements during a busy and often challenging year.

“Dairy continues to play an important role in New Zealand’s economy as covid-19 continues to affect our communities. Every Kiwi is benefiting from dairy’s contribution to our country,” he said.

That contribution amounted to an estimated $40 billion.

“Covid-19 has also affected farmers beyond the farm gate, exacerbating staff shortages. DairyNZ has been strongly advocating for immigration policy changes to help address this issue,” he said.

“We were pleased to see that thousands of dairy workers can now apply for residency, following some hard work by DairyNZ, Federated Farmers and farmers to push the urgency of migrant workers being able to settle in New Zealand.” 

Van der Poel says another of the year’s highlights had been The Vision is Clear campaign sharing stories about the work farmers are doing nationwide to protect the environment and seeing this shift people’s perceptions of dairy farmers.

The campaign had been seen by 1.7 million New Zealanders and 63% of those people now felt positive about the industry, up from 43% in 2018.

“We need to continue to tell the story of what’s really happening on farms,” he said.

The meeting also covered the latest science DairyNZ has under way to support farmers to improve profitability and reduce their environmental impact.

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