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Two farmers elected onto DairyNZ board

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Two dairy farmers, Tracy Brown and Elaine Cook, were elected onto DairyNZ’s Board at its Annual General Meeting (AGM) held in Hamilton on Tuesday, October 22.

The Waikato-based dairy farmers are two of five farmer-elected DairyNZ directors and three board-appointed directors who contribute to DairyNZ’s strategy and priorities on behalf of dairy farmers.

DairyNZ chair Jim van der Poel welcomed the directors and recognised the role they will play in the dairy sector going forward.

"I welcome Tracy Brown and returning director Elaine Cook to the board," said Mr van der Poel. "These directors will play a key part in setting the future direction of DairyNZ.

"As dairy farmers we have always evolved and we are on the cusp of the next phase. We are in a period of increased innovation to build and empower New Zealand dairy farms to be profitable businesses in the most sustainable way."

This year’s AGM focused on DairyNZ’s highlights and key activities during the 2018/19 dairy season - which for DairyNZ included the investment of $67.8 million dairy farmer levy payer funds into six key areas driven by the sector’s Dairy Tomorrow strategy.

Key investment includes research and development into farm systems and environmental sustainability. "Next season, DairyNZ will invest $6.9m into projects which aim to protect and nurture the environment. Within this, DairyNZ has invested significantly in research and on-farm studies. Thanks to this work, we now know forage crops, such as plantain, greatly reduce nitrogen loss from soils. And that protecting wetlands and critical source areas are key, among many other results."

DairyNZ chief executive Tim Mackle shared key work areas for the industry good organisation which included work in Mycoplasma bovis, climate change and numerous research projects.

"The Tararua Plantain Project launched in 2018 is a new approach to fast-track solutions through simultaneous research. DairyNZ scientists are working with local farmers on this project, which capitalises on research findings from our Forages for Reduced Nitrate Leaching programme which identified that New Zealand-bred plantain cultivars reduce soil nitrogen (N) concentration under cows’ urine patches," said Dr Mackle. "This allows plants to take up a greater proportion of N, reducing N leaching.

"In 2018/19 DairyNZ also completed stage one of Dairy Action for Climate Change (DACC). This 18-month work programme includes commitments to build capability of rural professionals through training courses, raising farmer awareness and undertaking greenhouse gas pilot case studies on dairy farms."

At Tuesday’s meeting, results of several AGM resolutions were also announced. These included the ratification of long-time board-appointed director Helen Anderson for one year, and a resolution on director remuneration.

For more information on DairyNZ’s Annual Report, future investment priorities and AGM results, visit

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