Barbara Kuriger Nat candidate for TKC

April 7, 2014

National party members have selected Barbara Kuriger, who was the inaugural Dairy Women of the Year, as its candidate for Taranaki King Country.

 . . . Mrs Kuriger said she was honoured to receive the nomination to contest the seat.

 “It’s a tremendous privilege to be able to contest the seat for National and for Taranaki – King Country communities,” said Mrs Kuriger.

 “John Key and National are delivering real opportunities for regional New Zealand. I will be working hard to ensure our communities keep a strong voice in National at the election.”

 Barbara is a shareholder and Director of 3 family owned farming businesses.

 Focused succession planning has created the opportunity for Barbara to transition from full time farming to follow her passion for the Agribusiness industry into the roles of governance, coaching, and leadership.

 In 2012 she was awarded the Inaugural Dairy Women of the Year which came with a Fonterra scholarship to participate in the Global Women’s Breakthrough Leadership Program, from which she graduated in September 2013.

Barbara is currently on the Board of Directors for DairyNZ, Dairy Training Limited, Primary ITO, New Zealand Young Farmers, Taratahi Agricultural Training Centre, Te Kauta, Venture Taranaki Trust, and the Dairy Women’s Network. She is Chair of the Primary Industries Capability Alliance.

She is highly regarded in the agricultural industry and is seeking more opportunities to collaborate with other industries to promote regional growth. 

Barbara is a sought after speaker for conferences and events both within New Zealand and internationally, and is involved in many community activities. She is also a regular columnist with the NZ Farmers Weekly and does regular opinion pieces on radio.

There’s more on her website.

Rural electorates are supposedly more conservative but members in TKC have, like those in Waitaki (held by Jacqui Dean), Rangitata (Jo Goodhew) and Selwyn (Amy Adams)  in earlier years, selected a woman in a safe blue seat.

Anyone reading her biography will realise that she was chosen on her merits and has the skills and experience to make a positive difference to her electorate, in parliament and for the country.


Rural round-up

January 14, 2014

 Three vie for award’s top spot:

A Northland woman among three finalists for the 2014 Dairy Woman of the Year Award is helping train other women to take on leadership roles in agricultural organisations.

Whangarei farm accountant and 2013 Northland Ballance Farm Environment Awards supreme award winner Charmaine O’Shea is vying for the Dairy Woman of the Year Award with Waikato veterinarian Joyce Voogt and Hauraki Plains farmer Julie Pirie. They were individually interviewed by a judging panel consisting of Dairy Women’s Network Trust Board chairwoman Michelle Wilson, Global Women managing director Faye Langdon, Fonterra leadership and talent director Janette Rosanowski, DairyNZ strategy and investment portfolio manager Jenny Jago and 2012 Dairy Woman of the Year award winner Barbara Kuriger. This year’s winner will be announced at the Dairy Women’s Network annual conference in Hamilton on March 19. . . .

Irrigation nominations sought:

Entries close at the end of this month for IrrigationNZ’s ‘Innovation in Irrigation Award’ in association with Aqualinc. The prestigious award, which comes with a $2500 prize, celebrates, encourages and promotes innovation within New Zealand’s irrigation industry.

Previous recipients include the North Otago Irrigation Company in 2012 for its ground-breaking Environmental Farm Plans which guide shareholders in good management practice for irrigation, riparian, soil, fertiliser and effluent use.

Fielding-based Precision Irrigation won the award in 2010 for its variable rate irrigation systems which more effectively target water application through the use of GPS. . .

The impact the dairying ‘revolution’ is having on New Zealand, the consequences, and the prospects - Rodney Dickens:

There is nothing new about the current high dairy export prices in that the current levels are similar to earlier peak levels in 2007/08 and 2010/11.

The left chart below shows the ANZ dairy commodity price indices measured in NZD terms and world price terms.

The much higher world prices than NZD prices in recent years reflect the negative impact of the high NZD.

In world price terms current prices are well above the levels that existed prior to 2007, with this related to a large extent to increased Chinese demand that was revealed in a Raving that looked at the massive impact China is having on a wide range of NZ commodity exports and tourism. Based on the 7 January Fonterra auction results, dairy product prices in USD terms remained high (right chart). . . .

Why should farmers and ranchers invest time in advocacy? - Agriculture Proud:

Last week, I posted an article from Forbes that is very accusatory of modern global agriculture. It’s like a laundry list of activist claims used demonize modern agriculture practices. We could spend time angrily responding to articles like this, but defensively reacting to accusations like this aren’t getting us very far. Hence my emphasis on the importance of being PROactive in reaching out, answering questions, and sharing our story with audiences willing to listen.

Part of that proactive response includes farmers, ranchers and members of the agriculture community investing time in reaching out and engaging. Often when I propose this investment to various ranchers groups across the country, I get either a blank stare or a response similar to this: . . .

Top ram’s DNA revived 30 years on - Sally Rae:

Offspring of a Romney ram, owned by Otago stud breeder David Robertson, will go through the sale ring in Gore tomorrow.

Aurora 105-84 might be long gone, but his genetics live on three decades later, thanks to what was initially a practice exercise in artificial insemination for Mr Robertson’s veterinary surgeon son.

Mr Robertson, who farms at Palmerston and is a third-generation stud-breeder, admitted it was an unusual situation. . . .

International year of family farming kicks off in Australia:

The National Farmers’ Federation and its members have hailed the start of the new year, encouraging all Australians to join with them in celebrating the International Year of Family Farming during 2014.

NFF President Brent Finlay, a family farmer from south east Queensland, said family farms remain the heart and soul of agriculture in Australia.

“Ninety nine percent of Australian farms are family owned and operated – and this year, the United Nations-declared International Year of Family Farming, gives us the opportunity to celebrate the enormous contribution these farmers make,” Mr Finlay said. . .


Rural round-up

June 8, 2013

Rules more of a worry - Marty Sharpe:

Farmers are more concerned about the economic and regulatory impacts from climate change than its physical and climatic effects, a study has found.

The study, by University of California PhD candidate Meredith Niles, involved 313 farmers in Hawke’s Bay and 177 in Marlborough.

Niles found that:

- When it came to concerns for the future, farmers were “very concerned” about more economic and policy matters such as regulation, higher fuel and energy prices, new pests and diseases and more volatile markets. . .

Meat consolidation is happening already – Tim Fulton:

The number of New Zealand sheep meat exporters using European lamb and beef quota in the past decade has fallen on the back of mergers, financial failures and new tactics. Tim Fulton reports.

A shake-up of meat processing has been churning away for years with barely a farmer involved, New Zealand Meat Board figures indicate.

The evidence for this, if not the explanation, is in the annual record of companies granted access to European sheep and goat meat quota – and also in the pattern for quota-linked United States beef and veal.

In 2003 the tally of our sheep and goat meat merchants in Europe could fill a sheet of A4 paper, listed alphabetically from Abco Meats to Wrightson. . .

Farming through future eyes - Sue O’Dowd:

Taranaki farmers planning the transition of their farms to the next generation can get help at a forum later this month.

A scheme that provides training for farmers in areas like governance, transition planning, financial systems and establishing health and safety programmes will be explained at a seminar in Hawera on June 20.

It is being hosted by the Taranaki branch of the Institute of Directors, and speakers will include 2012 Dairy Woman of the Year Barbara Kuriger, of New Plymouth, and Bay of Plenty corporate farmer Trevor Hamilton. . .

No deal likely for Feds, Transpower - Richard Rennie:

Despite Horticulture NZ reaching an agreement with Transpower over power line buffer zones on growers’ properties, Federated Farmers is not intending to follow the same path.

The grower group has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Transpower agreeing to work with it on issues of access and land use under lines and pylons.

The memorandum follows long-running conflict between growers, farmers and Transpower as it seeks to adjust council district plans to ensure buffer zones exist around transmission infrastructure.

The conflict has been most intense in Western Bay of Plenty, with the issue about to be heard by the Environment Court. . .

Appointment of CEO At Deer Industry NZ:

Deer Industry New Zealand (DINZ) is pleased to announce the appointment of Dan Coup as its new chief executive.

DINZ Chairman, Andy Macfarlane, noted that Coup, currently Trade and Economic Manager at the Meat Industry Association (MIA), has a unique background, combining an honours degree in genetics and molecular biology with an MBA. Together with his experience at MIA dealing with trade and market access issues, he is well-positioned to leverage off the outstanding work completed by outgoing chief executive, Mark O’Connor. O’Connor departs after 13 years to run his family-owned investment business. . . .

‘Mantis’ and ‘Shrimp’ the new farming robots in Oz:

Moving carefully along a row of apple trees, two of Australia’s newest agricultural workers check if the fruit is ripe or the soil needs water or fertilizer.

Meet “Mantis” and “Shrimp”, agricultural robots being tested to do these tasks and more in a bid to cut costs and improve productivity in Australia’s economically vital farm sector, which exported the U.S. equivalent of $38.8 billion of produce in 2012.

Australia is one of the leaders in the field and, with a minimum wage of about $15 U.S. an hour and a limited workforce, has a big incentive to use robots and other technology such as unmanned aircraft to improve efficiency. . .


Rural round-up

June 2, 2012

Munro puts lid on thankless task to disestablish Wool Board - Jonathan Underhill:

May 29 (BusinessDesk) – Wool Board Disestablishment Co has made its final report, having met its 2003 target for distributions in a decade-long process that left chairman Bruce Munro vowing never again to be involved in such a thankless, poorly paid task.

The directors of DisCo will resign and unrestricted access to the shell will be transferred to NZAX-listed Wool Equities, the company established to preserve and use some $300 million of tax losses for the benefit of growers. . .

Annual challenge for South Island Farmers ‘Good for Business’

Farmers who have won the annual Lincoln University Foundation South Island Farmer of the Year Award say winning the competition is good for business.

The prestigious annual award is open for entries for 2012 and previous winners say that entering brings more than prestige and prize money – it makes a difference for their farm’s bottom line too.

The aim of the Lincoln University Foundation South Island Farmer of the Year competition is to reward farmers whose work showcases the best of what can be achieved in farming. It is more than being a ‘good farmer’, it means operating in a way that shows leadership, innovation, efficiency and sustainability. . .

Fertiliser Quality Council Pleased With Podcast Response :

The Fertiliser Quality Council (FQC) is really pleased with the response to the webcast launching the program New Zealand Needs Fertiliser and Plants Need Food. It is a short, sharp educational program aimed at correcting the myths over fertiliser use.

FQC chair Neil Barton said that the immediate response of 361 full views, plus a few on Facebook, was great news for the fertiliser industry. In addition the vast majority watched the program right through.

“For too long we have had the self-styled environmental disciples perpetuating myths about fertiliser and its use,” Neil Barton said. “We now have a science-based program refuting that. The fact that almost 400 New Zealanders decided to watch the launch of the program, including a motivational address by Prof Rowarth from the University of Waikato Business School, is most heartening. . .

New board member elected to NZYF Board at Conference Week

Young Farmers from all over New Zealand spent a week in Dunedin last week for the TBfree New Zealand Young Farmers National Conference. Conference delegates went on a bus trip, took part in workshops, supported their favourite Contestant in The National Bank Young Farmer Contest and the also attended the 2012 Annual General Meeting.

 The AGM was held at Dunedin’s College of Education and two board members were elected – both roles were for two year terms. Twenty five year old Dunsandel dairy farmer Cole Groves was re-elected after sitting on the board for the past year. Twenty eight year old dairy farmer Cam Lewis from the Opiki Club was also elected. Previously Mr Lewis has worked as a rural banker and completed the Kellogg Rural Leaders Programme in 2009 as the youngest participant ever.

Mr Lewis will join Mr Groves and the two other elected members on the board: 31 year old Chairman and potato grower Paul Olsen who is from the Opiki Club and 30 year old sheep and beef farmer, Vice-chairperson Vanessa Hore from the Upper Manuherikia Club. Several other board members make up the NZYF board: Contest Chairman Bevan Proffit, Co-opted Board Member Sarah von Dadleszen, Strategic Partner James Christie, Strategic Partner Barbara Kuriger and NZYF CEO Richard Fitzgerald. . .

Fund makes outdoor access easier

Twenty-two projects designed to improve access to the outdoors will receive funding through the New Zealand Walking Access Commission’s Enhanced Access Fund.

Fifty organisations applied for a portion of the $230,000 made available in this year’s funding round. The contestable fund contributes to the Commission’s goal of free, certain, enduring and practical walking access to the outdoors.

Commission Chief Executive Mark Neeson said 2012 grant recipients came from all over New Zealand, from the Brynderwyn Ranges in Northland to Mataura in Southland. Projects that will receive funding range from new tracks and boardwalks to bridges and signage that makes existing access easier to find. . .


Barbara Kuriger first Dairy Woman of Year

March 24, 2012

Barbara Kuriger has won the inaugural Dairy Woman of the Year title.

Recognised for her dedication to the industry, Barbara Kuriger was the award’s honoured recipient. As Dairy Woman of the Year, Mrs Kuriger was awarded a scholarship on the prestigious Women in Leadership 12 month course run by Global Women, which is valued at $25,000. The scholarship is sponsored by Fonterra Milk Supply.

There were six finalists named in the awards including: Barbara Kuriger, Katrina Knowles and Shona Glentworth – all from Taranaki – and Raelyn Lourie of Westland, Justine Dalton of Hawkes Bay and Mandi McLeod of Waikato.

Barbara Kuriger and her husband, Louis, own and operate a dairy farm in New Plymouth. She plays a key part in the business and is known for her leadership contribution – at not only a local level but also on a regional and national level.

Michelle Wilson, Chair of Dairy Women’s Network, said that Barbara represented the type of leadership the Dairy Women’s Network wants to foster.“The judges saw in Barbara a real demonstration of leadership by example. She exemplifies the Dairy Women’s Network values of innovation, commitment, inclusiveness, credibility and integrity. Barbara displays an absolute passion for all people involved in the dairy industry,”she said.

With a history of over 25 years in the industry, Mrs Kuriger’s knowledge runs deep. As the first woman regional director of LIC she sets the bar high.  Along with other such leadership roles as the DairyNZ directorship, she has encouraged women to aspire to take active roles in determining the future of the dairy industry. Her involvement with the entrepreneurial investment, Taranaki Growth Spurt, has also encouraged women to look outside their existing careers and farms for further challenges.

Mrs Kuriger has demonstrated a significant contribution on her own farm that can be seen in the variety of awards she and her husband have won over the years. Her successes in other key leadership roles outside of the family farm, both within the dairy and agriculture industry, are well known in her community. Among those successes is her role in dairying and agricultural education, which has proven to be a key area of influence in creating opportunities within the industry for learning. Her direction in helping industry promote and celebrate positive role models through the Dairy Industry Awards has been significant as well.

In addition to her role in dairying, family is important to the new award recipient. She is a mother of three and grandmother of two. An important theme for Mrs Kuriger is families working together within the industry. She inspires others to pursue this type of ideal by leading through example. Her own family and their partners have joined her and her husband to work alongside each other in the dairy industry.

Mrs Kuriger has proven herself over and over to be an exceptional and passionate leader in the dairy and agriculture industry. At the heart of her passion is helping the people involved in it. Her continued roles along with her long-standing leadership in the Dairy Industry ensure the industry continues to have positive role models and leaders for the future.

The Women in Leadership course begins in September 2012 and will give Mrs Kuriger 12 months of exposure to globally focussed women in leadership roles across the business sector. 

As sponsor of the $25,000 scholarship, Steve Murphy, General Manager Milk Supply, said, “Fonterra congratulates Barbara as the winner of the 2012 Dairy Woman of the Year Award. Her passion is commendable and it’s great to see her leadership acknowledged through this award. We wish her the best of luck with her place on the prestigious Women in Leadership course and look forward to working with her in the upcoming year.”

The judging panel for the award consisted of the Dairy Women’s Network chair, a representative of DairyNZ, a representative of Fonterra and a representative from Global Women.

It’s great to see her achievements and dedication to the industry recognised in this way.


Gallagher gains lifetime achievement award

September 29, 2011

Bill (now Sir William) Gallagher made his first electric fence in 1937.

How he did it and the development of his business makes inspirational reading.

He has made a significant contribution to farming, business and New Zealand in general. The  New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards Trust has recognised his contribution to the dairy sector, in particular by presenting him with a Lifetime Achievement Award.

Trust chair Barbara Kuriger says SWilliam is ir known as one of New Zealand’s most astute businessmen and chairs the successful Hamilton exporter of animal management, fencing and security systems, Gallagher Group.

“We selected Sir William for this award as he has taken a proud and iconic New Zealand company and succeeded internationally. He is also viewed by the trustees as an outstanding New Zealander and a fine example to current and prospective business people.

“His company’s contribution to New Zealand farming systems has been huge.”

. . . In presenting the award, Mrs Kuriger said: “Sir William is a natural leader, whose communication skills and business influence is nationally and internationally recognised. He has created a work environment that encourages personal empowerment and independent thinking.

“A true entrepreneur, he has a sense of urgency and controlled risk taking, which is supported and managed by the positive team he works with.”

She said Sir William’s major skill was his ability to communicate across language and social barriers with an emphasis on ethics and integrity in his professional and personal dealings.

“Sir William has a strong and active commitment to the environment he lives and works in – he is a major sponsor of the Rescue Helicopter, Waikato Stadium, Mounted Police, Gallagher Family Hospice, Gallagher Hockey Centre and the establishment of the Performing Arts centre at Waikato University.”

There probably isn’t a farm in New Zealand which doesn’t use electric fences and Galaher’s electric fencing has also been one of New Zealand’s export success stories.

NZDIAT’s lifetime award is well deserved recognition of not only what Sir William has done but the way he has done it.


1 new 2 returned in DairyNZ election

October 22, 2009

Sitting directors Alistair Body and Barbara Kuriger have been returned in elections for the industry good body DairyNZ’s board.

Kevin Ferris, a Te Awamutu dairy farmer, who also owns a farm in Southland and he is a Fonterra Shareholders Councillor, took the seat created by the retirement of long-serving board member Jim van der Poel.


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