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Governance Plays A Vital Role In The Future Of The Primary Sector

Ballance Agri-Nutrients is a co-operative owned by over 17,000 farmers and growers, and is a leader in driving sustainable productivity within New Zealand’s primary sector.

“We are pleased to announce that we have appointed our first Associate Director, Will Grayling, into an 18-month role focused on building governance experience,” says Duncan Coull, Ballance Chair.

“To understand how boards set and drive organisational strategy and vision, you need experience and training.

“We’ve created an opportunity for an associate to get involved in primary sector governance and learn through doing by being around the board table.

Will, a previous Young Farmer of the Year award winner, is based in Ashburton. Will and his wife Kim milk 3,300 cows across 830ha. Their equity partnership business model also incorporates a 50/50 share milking structure.

“I love farming, it’s physical work that is also mentally challenging. I’m proud to be a dairy farmer and I want to give back to the sector and my community,” says Will.

“Ballance is an excellent example of the importance of co-operatives within the agricultural industry. How they respond to the ever-changing environmental needs of running a farm today, will set the future direction for all their shareholders.

“I want to be part of that future direction setting, helping contribute at Ballance and also by bringing these skills back and applying them to local challenges, turning them into opportunities.”

Will has experience in consultancy, management and ownership in the dairy industry, with a particular interest in large scale farming. He has been on the board of irrigation co-operative, Barrhill Chertsey Irrigation (BCI), and he has also held a range of voluntary positions in community organisations.

There were a number of high calibre candidates interested in the Associate Director role, a good sign for the future of co-cooperative governance.

“It is one thing to learn about being a board member, another to be around the table making decisions that can impact a sector for many generations. We wanted to provide the boardroom experience needed to be a skilled director,” says Duncan.

“Being a director is a valuable, rewarding and interesting way to contribute to the future of any sector or community. It is well worth the time of boards to invest in and attract a pipeline of talent through Associate roles like this one,” says Duncan.

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