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Southland farmers to feature at Dairy Summit

Southland farmers to feature at World Dairy Summit in Mexico

Leading agribusiness lender Rabobank recently announced Abe and Anita de Wolde from Southland as the winners of the 2008 World Dairy Summit competition. The de Woldes were awarded the grand prize of a trip for two to travel to Mexico City to attend the World Dairy Summit which will be held from 11-14 November.
The de Woldes’ entry was drawn from more than 1900 entries received from dairy farmers throughout New Zealand. Rabobank created the competition to provide the opportunity for a dairy farmer to enhance their knowledge of the global dairy industry at the summit.

Mr and Mrs de Wolde are based in central Southland north-west of Invercargill. Abe and Anita immigrated to New Zealand from Holland in 1990 and now run a large dairy farming operation in Southland owning three dairy farms, an equity share in a fourth farm and two other dairy support blocks. Their home dairy operation consists of 1355 hectares of land and has produced approximately 900,000 kilograms of milk solids in recent seasons.

The competition win continues Abe and Anita de Woldes’ recent run of success, the couple having also been awarded the 2007 Lincoln University Foundation Farmer of the Year title in November last year. They won the prestigious title for demonstrating excellence in innovation, efficiency and sustainability in their dairy farming practices.

Mr de Wolde said they are thrilled to have the opportunity to attend the summit and that the event will give them a fantastic opportunity to learn more about dairy industries in other parts of the world. Mr de Wolde said he and Anita are always looking at ways of improving their operation and that networking with dairy industry participants from around the world is bound to generate new ideas.

The World Dairy Summit, held annually, attracts speakers from 80 countries and more than 1000 delegates. This year’s event is the 29th World Dairy Summit with the event having been held once before in New Zealand in 2001. New Zealand will be well represented at the event including Rabobank’s Senior Dairy and Animal Protein analyst, Hayley Moynihan.

Upon learning that Abe and Anita were the winners of the competition, the World Dairy Summit organising committee extended an offer for the de Woldes to speak at the Economics and Policies session. Mr de Wolde has agreed to provide a brief presentation on New Zealand dairy farming sustainability practices.
Ms Moynihan said that, as the de Woldes have dairy farming experience in both Europe and New Zealand and with their efforts to create a sustainable farming operation having already been acknowledged as best practice, their presentation is likely to be of great interest to summit delegates.


Rabobank New Zealand is a part of the international Rabobank Group, the world’s leading specialist in food and agribusiness banking. Rabobank has over 110 years’ experience providing customised banking and finance solutions to businesses involved in all aspects of food and agribusiness. Rabobank has a AAA credit rating and is rated one of the world’s safest bank by Global Finance magazine. Rabobank operates in 43 countries, servicing the needs of more than nine million clients worldwide through a network of more than 1500 offices and branches. Rabobank is one of New Zealand’s leading rural lenders and a significant provider of business and corporate banking and financial services to the country’s food and agribusiness sector. The bank has 29 branches throughout New Zealand.

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