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Sir Dryden Receives Accolade

Sir Dryden Receives Accolade

Dairy industry heavyweight Sir Dryden Spring was last night recognised for his long and invaluable contribution to the industry from those in the Matamata Piako district that he represented throughout much of his dairy industry career.

Sir Dryden was presented with a Holden Lifetime Achievement Award during the Hauraki Piako regional final of the Fonterra Westpac Dairy Excellence Awards in Matamata last night.

Former New Zealand Dairy Group and New Zealand Dairy Board Director Tony Wilding of Matamata says Sir Dryden's strong leadership is his foremost trait, a trait that has been evident throughout his involvement in the industry.

"He definitely has visionary leadership," Mr Wilding says. "He was a leader for over half the 30-year period that he was a director in the industry."

Sir Dryden, who now lives in Matamata, is a former Chairman of the New Zealand Dairy Board and New Zealand Dairy Group. He became a director of New Zealand Dairy Group at the young age of 33.

"He started his dairy industry career as a sharemilker at Walton, so he really was one to come up through the ranks."

While sharemilking, Sir Dryden became involved in the sharemilkers' sub-section of Federated Farmers and soon after became president of Waikato Federated Farmers.

"His contribution has probably spanned more than 40 years."

Mr Wilding says Sir Dryden is known for his passion in driving the dairy industry away from its reliance on commodity and quota returns.

"When he became the Dairy Board chairman we were trying to get the business to move away from its reliance on Europe and focus on adding value to consumer products. He was very passionate about that."

He says Sir Dryden was also instrumental in trade reform, notably ensuring agriculture was on the agenda for the Uruguay round.

"What we achieved there can be attributed to the efforts of people like Sir Dryden who pushed hard to get agriculture seriously considered to try and achieve a level playing field for our agricultural exports.

"He was also the sort of guy who would turn up at our local farmer meetings and recognise peoples faces and names. I think farmers appreciated that."

The Holden Lifetime Achievement Award has been introduced to the Fonterra Westpac Dairy Excellence Awards to recognise outstanding contributions from those in and servicing the dairy sector.

The awards have the support of Dexcel and are sponsored by Fonterra, Westpac, Pioneer, RD1, DTS, Livestock Improvement, Ravensdown and Fegan and Co.

The awards are being run in seven regions, with the winner of each region progressing to the national final. Tickets to the regional dinners can be purchased by phoning 0800 273 759 or online at www.dairyexcellenceawards , where information on the awards can also be obtained.

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