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Deb Gee | Conference Secretariat


+6427 606 1810 



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20 – 22 MARCH 2020




Cam owns and operates a 750 cow dairy farm near Oxford, North Canterbury. With degrees in engineering and finance, he has worked in a range of dairy industry roles including time with Fonterra and DairyNZ. Alongside overseeing farming operations, Cameron currently commits much of his time to the Waimakariri Zone Committee in setting local environmental limits and to representing farmers as North Canterbury Federated Farmers Provincial President. “All farmers will benefit from adopting the latest innovative practices on the farm and encouraging others to do the same. The faster we can encourage farming to evolve, the less regulatory and public pressure we will have to endure”. Finding the factors that increase the speed of innovation adoption among farmers is a key interest for Cameron. A trainee in music, golf, snowboarding, flying and Te Reo, Cameron enjoys learning and giving anything a go.


Ben was raised on his family’s Wairarapa hill country sheep and beef cattle farm. He is now based in Wellington working for Beef + Lamb New Zealand as a senior analyst, still near the farm and often back home to work. After working in research and conservation roles in New Zealand, USA and Panama, Ben completed his PhD investigating eco-system services. Ben worked for the Ministry for Primary Industries in biosecurity policy before joining Beef + Lamb New Zealand. With New Zealand’s agriculture export-focused, improving the diversity of markets can help to minimise volatility and maximise highest value outcomes. There are markets that have traditionally used sheep products that maybe under-utilised by New Zealand. Ben is interested in researching this during his scholarship.


Corrigan lives in the small rural community of Golden Bay with his wife Ruth Guthrie and their two sons Wylie (8) and Tim (6). He is a partner and manager of the family’s dairy farming business alongside his parents and brother Sam. Corrigan is a graduate of Massey University with a Bachelor of Applied Science, was a former Consulting Officer with DairyNZ and Farm Consultant with FarmRight in Canterbury. Alongside managing their 400ha dairy farming business, Corrigan has several off-farm roles. He is Chair and Independent Director of the South Island Dairy Development Centre (SIDDC) which operates the Lincoln University Dairy Farm. He is also Deputy Chair of the DairyNZ Dairy Environmental Leaders Forum, an initiative to foster and strengthen environmental stewardship and community leadership amongst New Zealand Dairy Farmers. Farming practices that strengthen the integrity of the food produced is something Corrigan wants to better understand. “Farmers and growers are under a lot of pressure currently, with changing expectations around how food is produced.  I am interested in what impact this pressure has on the minds of those producing the food, and what are the opportunities to better take control of how we think while under pressure.”


Hamish is a 5th generation intensive arable farmer from Methven in the South Island. Hamish is married to Melanie and they have three daughters. Prior to a farming career, Hamish graduated Lincoln University with B COM Ag in 2000 and then spent 4 years with Ravensdown Fertiliser as a field officer based in Ashburton. With his brother and parents, they farm 500ha of arable crops specialising in small seeds. Outside of farming and family, Hamish is involved in several industry organisations. He is also active within Federated farmers and represents the Herbage seed growers section in Mid Canterbury and within that on the management committee for the Seed Quality Merchants Association, a board that oversees the seed certification scheme on behalf of MPI. Hamish is also involved with the Foundation for Arable Research on the Mid Canterbury Arable Research Group and the Research and Development Advisory Committee. Outside of work he has become a council member on the Ashburton Scottish society representing the Ashburton Pipe Band. Farmers over the years have become dependent on a vast array of synthetic agrichemicals as a means of controlling weeds, pests and diseases and as a result, increasing yields across the board but this is being challenged and Hamish hopes to study the regulation that is being introduced in Europe and the implications for NZ.


Hamish, wife Jessica, three children, Lucy (5) Margot (3) and Jonty (1) farm Bluff Station a 13000 ha High Country property in Marlborough, South Island, NZ. He completed an agricultural degree at Lincoln University NZ, economics at Cambridge University (UK), and worked with the New Zealand Merino Company, before returning home to farm in 2008. Hamish has been managing the farming operation including sheep, cattle and a recent diversification into beekeeping and honey production. He is also on the governance board for the Post Quake farming group helping with recovery from the November 14 Kaikoura Earthquake and a production science group for the New Zealand Merino Company. Hamish has a real focus on people and relationships and is planning to investigate how the differences in environment, education and culture have shaped the values of our consumers and employees. Recognising and understanding how these values have been formed and vary between culture and generations is key the success of our marketing efforts being a small export-led country. He aims to search out those organisations in our key export markets for wool, meat and honey which are engaging consumers and understand what is making them successful.



With over 20 years’ experience in New Zealand’s aquaculture industry, Andy Elliot has a strong background in the commercial development of new species, breeding programmes and related agribusinesses. He was one of the Nuffield scholars for 2018. Andy works for Wakatū Incorporation, a Māori-owned organisation at the top of the South Island. His current role as Research and Business Development Manager has focused on launching a new business unit, AuOra, an export business which has been set up to partner with companies interested in the supply of high value consumer nutrition and health products.


Andy lives in Nelson, with partner Bec and their three boys. He is passionate about New Zealand’s opportunity to add value to existing production and believes that we are under-utilising and under-selling our current production, “we need embrace an environment of less volume, but at the same time strive to gain a lot more value. This can happen through a focus on health, high value nutrition and food ingredients and by changing our business models to become more reactive”.


Simon, is a third generation kiwifruit grower from Te Puke. Simon along with his wife Katey, and three daughters, grow both green and gold varieties of kiwifruit and have recently planted their first Avocado trees. Simon also owns and manages a kiwifruit contracting business, Ranfurly Orchard Services, which just recently won the supreme award at the Te Puke business awards. Simon has governance roles on a number of Kiwifruit industry organisations. After completing a management degree at Waikato University Simon spent four years in Auckland working in various supply chain roles. After re-evaluating their future, Simon and Katey moved to Te Puke where Simon and his father started a kiwifruit contracting business. They also bought their first small kiwifruit orchard giving them an opening to the industry.


Central Otago based, Kate is an Executive Director of Landpro Limited, a planning and surveying company she jointly founded in 2007. Kate recently founded GroundHQ, an environmental advisory firm focused solely on the agriculture, food and fibre sector, providing expertise in agriculture, science, regulation and policy and agricultural technology to foster environmental excellence within agri-busines, and to help create agri-environmental frameworks at a regional and national level. Before this, Kate and her husband Scott were managing a 200ha dairy farm at Roxburgh. Kate is passionate about the primary industries and the environment, and works across a broad range of sectors, including dairy, sheep and beef, horticulture and viticulture. Kate has extensive irrigation experience, including as the project manager for the Manuherikia Catchment. Kate’s Nuffield project was Enabling Better Environmental Outcomes in Agriculture, and focused on identifying pathways to help the agriculture, food and fibre sector within New Zealand move towards monetising sustainability and setting a long term strategic plan for the sector. Kate and Scott have three sons, George (9), Ted (5) and Henry (4), who enjoy the benefits of living so close to Lake Dunstan as well as to the southern ski fields from their home in Bannockburn.


A background combining farm systems and natural resource management drives Turi McFarlane’s passion to enhance the sustainability of New Zealand’s primary sector. Of Te Atiawa and Ngai Tahu decent, Turi also has a keen interest in Maori agribusiness. Turi grew up on a small family sheep and beef farm on Banks Peninsula and now finds himself back in the district with wife Jessie and their three children Ezra, Micah and Sarai, working with Ravensdown, as Senior Farm Environmental Consultant. His interest in agricultural systems and sustainable land management led to tertiary study at Massey University where he completed a Bachelor of Science with a double major in Agricultural Science and Ecology which was followed by a Master of Applied Science at Lincoln University majoring in International Rural Development.


Solis hails from near Port Chalmers, Dunedin and brings a mix of academic and industry experience having completed a Bachelor in Agricultural Science at Massey in 1996, a Masters Degree in Applied Science then a PhD in the epidemiology of Johne’s disease in New Zealand dairy herds. He joined the New Zealand Deer Industry as Project Manager for their newly established national programme against Johne’s disease. After ten years, the industry has achieved substantial success. He seeks to lead New Zealand agriculture toward genuinely sustainable farming systems from an energy and emissions perspective and received an Agmardt Leadership Award in 2014 which allowed travel to the US and visits to energy experts.