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New president for Federated Farmers Marlborough


29 May 2014

New president for Federated Farmers Marlborough

Federated Farmers would like to welcome our new Marlborough provincial president, Greg Harris, who is replacing Gary Barnett, following their Annual General Meeting.

“Greg has been a part of Federated Farmers for 20 years and is well versed on the issues surrounding the Marlborough region, having stepped up from the provinces’ Meat & Fibre Chairperson role,” says Bruce Wills, Federated Farmers National President.

“I would like to thank outgoing provincial president, Gary Barnett for his service to the province and Federated Farmers; he has been an integral part of the Federation.

“We are in a year of change within the Federation, with leadership changes throughout the organisation both nationally and provincially, Greg is an incredibly passionate advocate for the farming community and I know he will do a fantastic job,” said Mr Wills.

Mr Harris farms on his family farm, Mount Adde, in the Awatere Valley, predominantly a hill country operation with sheep and beef breeding programs and vineyards.

“I am third generation on this property, and have strong ancestral links to farming,” says Greg Harris, Federated Farmers Marlborough provincial president.

“I have grown up with a great empathy for animals and passion for good custodianship of the land. This is an integral part of being a farmer and I think people are starting to understand that again, with food security, environmental and animal welfare issues becoming more topical lately.

“Farming in Marlborough is incredibly unique in its diversity. We have one fifth of the nation’s coastline, and are a micro climate producing a vast majority of New Zealand’s exports. We grow 73 percent of the country’s wine, we are the heart New Zealand’s aquaculture, fifth largest forestry producer, and have a diverse livestock farming contingent, with both a strong high country (wool), and sheep and beef production, and a dairy presence. We do a lot in our corner of the South Island.

“My main goal in my role is to maintain a balance and remain objective whilst advocating on behalf of our Marlborough members. There is a lot going on in our province and it is critical that the Federation communicates well on this, showing leadership within the community. If we collaborate together we can achieve better outcomes.

“In local government everything comes down to common sense – which is a matter of consulting the right people. Federated Farmers Marlborough is working closely with the council on its Coastal Policy, High Country Land Reviews, and Land and Water Plan.

“Looking at the big picture, my belief is that rather than focusing on feeding the world we should focus on the quality and integrity of our product – and we need to celebrate and market that produce better.

“Finally, I would like to thank Gary Barnett for his energy and contribution to the province. He has been an excellent provincial president, and I am pleased he is going to continue his involvement with Federated Farmers as Marlborough’s Treasurer,” concluded Mr Harris.

About Greg Harris – Greg farms sheep and beef on his third generation hill country family farm. Past Beef & Lamb monitor farmer, Regional Finalist for the National Ewe Hogget competition, Regional Finalist for Lincoln Foundation Farmer of Year and Marlborough Farm Environmental Awards.

Greg runs both Corriedale sheep and an Angus cattle Stud breeding programs here on the 800Ha property.

A Qualified Carpenter having previously worked in the building and construction industry, before being awarded a then Meat Board travel scholarship to study agriculture abroad - Returning 14 years ago to manage the family operation and development programs. Since then Greg has continued his studies and has had brief trips over seas with the Royal Agricultural Society of the Common Wealth, as an NZ Agriculture Representative looking at other agricultural economies.

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