Monday, February 26, 2024

Unsung heroes of Waikato Farmers Trust celebrated

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Booklet sets out 80-year history of philanthropic body that owns Hamilton landmark.
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The story of one of Waikato’s least-known philanthropic entities has been published, covering 80 years of providing support to rural initiatives.  

A Short History is the story of the Waikato Farmers Trust, a charitable organisation that provides support to individuals and community initiatives throughout rural Waikato.

The trust emerged out of the Waikato Federated Farmers and today is a contributor to rural initiatives, including the Life Education Trust, Graham Dingle Foundation, Rural Youth and Literacy Trust, House of Science and several other rural industry and environmental awards programmes.  

Waikato Farmers Trust chair Conall Buchanan said documenting the story of the trust and its visionary leadership over the years was a valuable exercise. 

“The Tower at 169 London Street is a recognisable landmark of Hamilton’s urban infrastructure, but it’s also our anchor asset and has enabled us toprovide financial support for rural communities, education initiatives and leadership development,” Buchanan said.

Extensive interviews, archival research and invaluable support from Hamilton City Libraries brought the stories to life.

“It’s a story of foresight, tenacity and sheer hard effort over the years by many individuals and communities,” he said.

“The history of the trust and how it came to be wasn’t well known, even among our farming community. 

“We’ve recorded the trust’s establishment, the challenges it has faced, the contributions of so many and the ongoing charitable outreach we are committed to providing.”

The 52-page publication showcases the changing landscape, describes the impact of policy, procedural and political change, and reinforces the role both Waikato Federated Farmers and the Waikato Farmers Trust have played, and continue to play, for the benefit of Waikato’s rural community.

“The trust has ambitious plans to continue to support rural Waikato and we’re in a strong place to do so,” Buchanan said.

“Understanding our past helps us to chart our future.

“We owe much of what we’ve been able to achieve to those who had the foresight to establish this trust so many years ago. This history ensures their efforts are acknowledged.”

Complimentary copies have been sent to all Waikato Federated Farmers members.

Copies of the publication are available for purchase at a cost of $10 via the Waikato Farmers Trust.

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