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Anderton full of praise for Young Rural Achievers

Hon Jim Anderton

Minister of Agriculture, Minister for Biosecurity, Minister of Fisheries, Minister of Forestry
Associate Minister of Health,
Associate Minister for Tertiary Education,
Minister Responsible for Public Trust

Progressive Leader

17th November 2006 Press Release

Anderton full of praise for Young Rural Achievers Award

In Christchurch at the Royal Agricultural Show, the Minister of Agriculture, Jim Anderton, was on the judging panel for the New Zealand Young Rural Achiever Award for 2006.

He described the awards as "a showcase for our up and coming rural leaders," adding "highly qualified and highly motivated men and women have a future in our land-based industries. Those of us who have the opportunity to spend time working with the primary sectors know the opportunities and rewards are there. But we live in an urbanised society; Communicating the potential of our primary industries is a challenge. So I acknowledge the work of the Royal Agricultural Society and the Canterbury Agricultural and Pastoral Association."

Anderton talked of some outstanding past achievers in the rural sector: "Bill Gallagher was just 26 when he produced his first commercial electric fence, in 1937; William Goodfellow is less well known but in 1909, at the age of 29, he formed the Waikato Dairy Company. He helped to shape our dairy industry in the twentieth century; Bill Hamilton of Hamilton jet boat fame was just twelve when he constructed his first water wheel, in 1911. The wheel drove a small generator that lit the family homestead at Ashwick (near Fairlie) and operated a lathe; James Wattie was appointed manager of Hawkes Bay Fruitgrowers Limited in his mid twenties. He established his first canning factory at the age of 32, while New Zealand was still in the depths of the depression."

The Minister spoke of the drive and determination of those young achievers as having shaped New Zealand's primary industries and economy and said today's finalists were an important part of the future. "These awards are about fostering a new generation of Bill Gallaghers, Bill Hamiltons and James Watties. "

Mr Anderton acknowledged that there are key players in the primary sector promoting industry leadership and skill development to younger workers, and he emphasised the importance of those efforts, "The pathway to retaining our title as innovators in primary industries depends on bringing through new leaders."

Addressing the four 2006 finalists, Mr Anderton offered his congratulations, "There has to be an ultimate winner, but you can all deservedly be called young achievers. I look forward to meeting you over the coming years and to the difference your leadership will make to New Zealand."

The winner of the Young Rural Achiever Award for 2006 is Olin Greenan, a contract milker from Taupiri.

The other finalists were Catherine Lyall, an agribusiness manager from Invercargill; Dallas Amalfitano, a farm manager from Timaru; and Steven Knight, a vineyard manager and finance manager from Blenheim.


ENDS

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