People crucial in ag success

26/07/2013

The importance of people and their knowledge is being recognised by new award for the Lincoln University Foundation’s South Island Farmer of the Year competition.

Chairman Ben Todhunter says the foundation is pleased to introduce, with the support of the Bank of New Zealand, a $5000 cash prize to the competition for best use of human resources.

“The BNZ Human Resources Award is one of four new categories we have introduced to the competition, in addition to the main prize of a $20,000 travel/study fund,” Todhunter says. “Each of these categories recognise how multi-skilled agricultural business has become to maintain New Zealand’s leading edge as a world class producer.

Todhunter says the award was created to recognise the importance of human resource management in a farm business, including the crucial role people play as innovators and creators and passers on of knowledge; and the contribution to business success that is achieved through strong and effective relationships, internally and externally.

The stereotypical farmer is a man alone. But even one man, or woman, businesses depend on good relationships with the people who service and supply the farm and bigger operations can’t succeed without good relationships with staff.

BNZ head of Agribusiness, Richard Bowman, says an award highlighting the importance of recognising and sharing the skills that sit behind New Zealand’s agribusiness sector is an important addition to the competition.

“The value of the products produced here is well understood, but just as important is the knowledge, techniques and skill that produces those products.

“New Zealand leads the world in farming methodology and process, but the commercial value of those skills is often undervalued, both within the sector and across the wider economy,” says Mr Bowman.

Mr Bowman says that passing on that intellectual property is a critical part of industry succession planning.

“Developing human resource management processes designed to pass knowledge to young farmers and identify talent will ensure New Zealand’s agribusinesses continue to thrive and lead our country’s export growth.”

Mr Bowman also commented that the skills represented in the competition are themselves a latent export opportunity.

“There is real commercial value in our methodology and knowledge in international markets, which represents a significant export opportunity for the sector.

“An on-farm attitude recognising and fostering skills and IP will allow this opportunity to be more fully enjoyed.”

Todhunter says the Lincoln University Foundation South Island Farmer of the Year competition creates a process where others in the industry can learn from the experiences of the finalists and eventual winner, supporting the spread of knowledge for the betterment of the industry as a whole.

“Farmers who win the BNZ award,” Todhunter says, “will have demonstrated real skills in maximising their people resource to promote business success and grow industry knowledge.”. . .

The overall winner will have demonstrated that they are in the top echelon of agricultural producers, that the farm business is sustainable and that they have developed, or are in the process of developing, a new approach or approaches, either inside or beyond the farm gate, that will enhance their farming activity.

Other new prizes are the Lincoln University award for technology and innovation; the Silver Fern Farms ‘Plate to Pasture’ award for consumer focus and the Resource Use Efficiency award for excellence in sustainable resource management.

Nominations and/or entries for this year’s competition have opened and close on August 1.

There’s more information on the competition, including how to nominate someone for, or enter, it here.


Rural round-up

21/10/2012
Landcorp pursues dairy growth:
 
Landcorp Farming expects substantial further growth in last year’s record dairy production, through the joint venture with Shanghai Pengxin of China and enlargement of established dairy complexes including Wairakei Estate in the central North Island.

Subject to the outcome of legal proceedings in the Supreme Court, Landcorp and Shanghai Pengxin intend forming a joint venture company, Milk New Zealand Farm Management Ltd, to operate the farms and explore other opportunities for growth in dairy production in this country. . .

BNZ Appointment Reflects Growing Importance of Irrigation Projects:
 

Guy Ensor is on a mission to support some of the most critical infrastructure developments New Zealand will see this decade. He has been appointed BNZ’s first national manager, water and irrigation. The position has been established in recognition of the growing significance of the national freshwater resource.“Our long-standing relationship with the agricultural sector has made us acutely aware that the sustainable management of New Zealand’s freshwater resource is absolutely critical to New Zealand’s future,” says head of agribusiness, Richard Bowman.

“All New Zealanders have a common interest in ensuring the country’s freshwater lakes, rivers, aquifers and wetlands are managed wisely. Guy’s specific combination of experience will ensure BNZ contributes to that,” he says. . .

 
Research unit going 50 years: Annette Scott:
The Lincoln University-based Agribusiness and Economics Research Unit (AERU) was established in 1962. Its key objective was to better integrate research in respect to the place of agriculture in New Zealand. The core mission of the AERU is to exercise leadership in research for sustainable well-being with researchers working together to produce and deliver new knowledge.AERU operates as a semi-autonomous research centre at Lincoln University providing research expertise to a wide range of organisations in the public and private sectors.

Research is focused on economic, resource, environmental and social issues with the unit also co-ordinating some of the external research undertaken by academic staff from other Lincoln University faculties. . .

 
A country a day for Peterson:
 
BLNZ CHAIRMAN Mike Petersen is in Europe this week on a whistle-stop visit to farming leaders in seven countries in just eight days.

It’s an annual event, meeting officials from the European Commission in Brussels, and farming leaders in Ireland, England, Scotland, Wales, France and Germany.

“Europe is such an important market for sheepmeat and increasingly for beef. I will meet EU officials to talk about our expectations of the sheepmeat quota. It’s no secret we’ll be well under with quota – about the 80% mark – well below where were three years ago when we were 98%,” he says.

 
Woman survives ramming by 650kg steer: Caroline King:
 
A woman repeatedly rammed by a 650-kilogram steer walked away from the attack with no broken bones after the heroic actions of her boss.Tania Kiely was tagging steers at a farm at Decanter Bay, Banks Peninsula, about 12.30pm on Monday when the steer attacked.

Kiely, 40, was only a couple of metres away from the animal when it charged.

“I was pushing them up into the race at the time.

“I remember it looking at me,” she said.

“It put its head down and ran at me. . .

 

The social impacts on snow on farmers – Terri Russell:

Making new friends is one way Southland farmers can cope with the stress of snowstorms, new research says.

Farmers were hit hard during the September 2010 snowstorm when about one million lambs died in the south and milk production was disrupted.

A research team from the University of Canterbury and Lincoln University have looked at ways that Southland farmers can better prepare for a similar event.

Lead researcher Zachary Whitman said findings so far showed a significant social impact on farmers. . .


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