Ballance Agri-Nutrients Chief Executive, Larry Bilodeau, was last night named 2014 Vodafone/Federated Farmers Agri Businessperson of the Year while the late Alistair Polson was named 2014 Agri Personality for 2014.
“With Te Radar as the perfect Master of Ceremonies, Federated Farmers was honoured to not only recognise all major agricultural award winners, but the two people who have emerged first among equals,” says Bruce Wills, Federated Farmers President whose term comes to an end at the conclusion of the Federation’s 2014 conference.
“It was bittersweet that we honoured the memory and outstanding contribution made by the late great Alistair Polson in making him 2014 Agri Personality of the Year.
“What made the night poignant was that his wife Bo accepted the Award on his behalf. Alistair was not only a great President of the Federation but defined selfless public service.
“Our 2014 Vodafone/Federated Farmers Agri Businessperson is Ballance Agri-Nutrients Chief Executive Larry Bilodeau.
“While the judging is done separate of us, I wish to pay tribute to the outstanding calibre New Zealand has in our rich agribusiness and agriservices environment. They were Dr. Paul Livingstone QSO of TB Free/OspriNZ, Lindy Nelson of the Agri Woman Development Trust and Farmlands Co-operative Society Ltd Chief Executive, Brent Esler.
“All are outstanding leaders.
“Larry, as Chief Executive of New Zealand’s largest fertiliser supplier, has led the co-operative’s evolution from one focused on fertiliser to one meeting the complete farm nutrient needs of our primary industries.
“We have truly outstanding talent in farming and these awards recognise and celebrate them. Something Te Radar noted as the primary industries need to recognise success more,” Mr Wills concluded.
Giving the award to Alistair Polson posthumously is a reminder of the importance of honouring and showing our appreciation of people when they’re alive.
I hope it gives some comfort to his family to know how much his contribution to agriculture, his community and New Zealand, are valued.
Larry Bilodeau might not be well known outside farming circles but his leadership in Ballance has been outstanding.