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DairyNZ reshapes senior roles

DairyNZ reshapes senior roles

DairyNZ has appointed David McCall to a new role of general manager of research and development as part of a plan to more closely integrate its research work with the products, tools, resources and services developed for farmers.

DairyNZ chief executive Tim Mackle says the change will see DairyNZ's research and development teams merge into one new group from this month. The new appointment follows last month's retirement of DairyNZ's chief scientist, Dr Eric Hillerton.

"It is timely with Eric leaving to re-think the role of the research leadership position. We also have a new industry strategy with some ambitious targets and we need to think about how to organise ourselves to best deliver those for farmers. I'm keen to see greater integration because one of the dairy industry's key strategic objectives is to research and develop innovative technologies and solutions to meet the current and future needs of dairy farms.

"That's a crucial area of work for us and one that DairyNZ is leading for the industry. We need to be the best at delivering the results of our own and our partners' research. We want to help farmers make good decisions and apply new knowledge on farms. This new role will help us do that."

Dr McCall has been general manager of DairyNZ's development and extension group since 2007. His professional training is in agricultural economics and management, with a PhD in the area from Massey University. He was a farm systems scientist at AgResearch until 1998 and then spent eight years in business development and managing technology company start-ups and investments for Celentis Limited.

"David brings a strong and practical background in farm systems research and economics to this new role - and I think it will be a powerful combination to link that experience directly with leadership of our research expertise. He's already led a lot of work for us on how to farm within environmental limits and drive productivity," says Dr Mackle.

DairyNZ's regional extension manager Craig McBeth will also step up to a new role of general manager of extension and engagement as part of the changes.

Dr Mackle says he wants to improve the flow of research through to farmers.

"Our engagement with farmers has always been strong - but it needs to be even stronger going forward given the challenges dairy farmers and the industry face.

"Extending our engagement and boosting the adoption of new and existing technologies and knowledge is crucial to our success. So this new role that Craig is taking on will become a part of my senior management team too.

"He will have responsibility for defining our strategy for increased farmer engagement. Craig has a lot of relevant experience including a Bachelor of Agri-science from Massey University and more than 20 years of experience in the rural banking sector. He was general manager of rural banking at ASB before joining DairyNZ in 2011," he says.


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