News and Events

Farmlands celebrates team members’ success

The Farmlands Awards earlier this year were an opportunity to pay tribute to the Farmlanders that work hard to help our shareholders around New Zealand every day.

Awards were handed out to Farmlands team members and teams, with an even spread of winners from across the country.

Although only some of the awards went to teams, even the individual recipients paid tribute to their own team members and colleagues for their success. “What really stood out at the Farmlands Awards was the way the recipients recognised their success was due to the contributions of their team members, which was great to see,” Farmlands Chief Executive, Peter Reidie says.

“Our Farmlanders work hard every day putting the future success of our shareholders at the centre of everything they do. While they don’t do it for recognition, it’s great to be able to acknowledge their efforts at our Farmlands Awards.”

Branch of the Year – Farmlands Invercargill
One point was all that separated the top two all-round stores at this year’s Farmlands Awards – and after 2 years of being runner-up, Invercargill has taken the top spot.

Farmlands Invercargill won the Branch of the Year, narrowly defeating the Huntly and Rotorua stores to take the big trophy home. “Getting runner-up for the last 2 years – every dog has its bone,” Invercargill Business Manager, Peter Thompson says. “I was just rapt for the team, they’ve worked really hard for the last year. They put a lot into it.”

The award is judged across a wide range of criteria, from performance to the store’s Health and Safety record. It is also an acknowledgement of the shareholders who have supported their co-operative and local team. Peter says the trophy, which is sitting proudly on display near the store counter, has generated a lot of interest from shareholders and customers. “They’re rapt their local store has won it. It’s a win for Southland really,” Peter says.

Keith Stockman Memorial Award for Retail Salesperson of the Year – John Blick
A particularly special and poignant moment was the introduction of an award that pays tribute to an instrumental Farmlander we tragically lost last year.

The inaugural Keith Stockman Memorial Award for Retail Salesperson of the Year was a fitting tribute to the man affectionately known as Stocky, who was Area Manager for Farmlands’ Western North Island region.

Blenheim Salesperson John Blick was the first recipient of the award, which was presented by the Stockman family, who came down from Taranaki to attend the awards ceremony. “It was a humbling experience and a bit of a shock,” John says. “To be the first person honoured with that is quite a special thing in its own right. It reflects the hard work of everyone in the store here as a team – it’s not just me.” John says though he never met Stocky, he had heard a lot about him and was honoured to be presented the award by his family.

Stocky always strived to be better for our shareholders, which was why this award in his memory is so fitting. He was a leader in every sense, someone who called it as he saw it and was respected, admired and to this day, sorely missed.

Field staff winners
Several of our field staff received recognition for their achievements over the past year.

Richmond’s Alena Griffith was awarded the Technical Advisor of the Year, while Marton’s James Abbiss was named our Technical Field Officer of the Year. The awards are given to the Technical Advisor and Technical Field Officer who have the highest percentage sales growth across specific parts of Farmlands’ business in their areas of work, along with multiple other performance criteria.

Alena says she is passionate about horticulture and constant learning, and loves working with fantastic people, staff and growers. “What a privilege to win this and be part of an amazing team.” James says he wasn’t expecting the award and it was humbling because there were so many other Farmlands staff who did a great job. He has been in the job for about three years. “I love meeting new people and understanding their farm systems.”

 Meanwhile, Invercargill Technical Field Officer, Jess Peter became our Emerging Technical Advisor/Technical Field Officer of the Year for her first 12 months with the co-operative. “I was pretty stoked and surprised to win. I do have a really good team behind me – it wasn’t just an individual effort, it was a wider team effort,” she says.

 As a TFO Jess says she enjoys meeting a wide range of shareholders, visiting their farms and getting to know more about them and how she can help. Penny McLean was awarded our Card Account Manager of the Year, while Energy (formerly Fuel) Account Manager of the Year went to Kaylene Haines. Phil Gavin received the Energy (formerly Fuel) Territory Manager of the Year Award for his role looking after the Upper South region. Nutrition Specialist of the Year went to Megan Hardy. Libby Nuttall, who many shareholders would have interacted with, was awarded our Contact Centre Employee of the Year.

CEO Leader of the Year – Harriet Cameron
Central South Island Sales Manager Harriet Cameron leads by example and has the sales figures to back it up. That is why she was named CEO Leader of the Year at the Farmlands Awards. The award is given to someone who demonstrates true leadership within the co-operative, meets the challenges and works to make situations better.

That is exactly what Harriet has been doing as Farmlands goes through its journey from good to great. With new systems being implemented as part of the Braveheart Programme, Harriet has been encouraging others to embrace it because she knows its success rests with every person in the business.

 “Farmlands is on a journey and embracing the new systems and the ‘Farmlands way’ is crucial to our success. We have a great support network around us to ensure all of our people have the resources and training to learn and adopt the new technology,” Harriet says.

She says in an industry going through significant change, it is a privilege to have a Board and senior management team with a leading vision, which will allow the cooperative to deliver a greater level of service and value to shareholders.

“I am extremely humbled to receive this award. I feel fortunate to work alongside some exceptional leaders in our business who are extremely passionate about our industry and who work together to lift each other up.” Preparing to make a difference every day, her passion, loyalty and knowledge of Farmlands were just some of the reasons Harriet picked up this award.

Farmlander of the Year – Trevor Halkett
One of our major awards was given to someone who prefers to stay behind the scenes but plays an instrumental role within the cooperative. Communications Manager Trevor Halkett was named Farmlander of the Year, an award given to a member of staff that epitomises living the Farmlands values.

One of the reasons Trevor received the award was because he identified a need within our business to get key information out to staff more effectively. So, on top of his other day to day duties he comes in early to compile and send out morning communications to staff – which isn’t easy given how diverse the business is.

“Our team is on shop floors, on the road or even standing in a paddock, so from a communications perspective we need to be innovating and trialling new methods to find the right balance,” he says. Trevor says the award was “extremely humbling” and he credited the people he works with daily. “They provide me with the tools and feedback to do my job and if not for that, I would not have been up there in a Magpies jersey, looking like a stunned mullet, receiving an award.”

Support Person of the Year – Kate McLachlan
Her positivity, infectious energy and willingness to go the extra mile are just some of the reasons Kate McLachlan was named our Support Person of the Year. Described as a passionate Farmlander and always coming up with ideas to improve our cooperative, Kate was presented with the award for her work behind the scenes – much to her surprise. “I was completely shocked. Anyone who knows me knows I am rarely, if ever, lost for words,” she says.

Kate is a Change Advisor, working as part of the Braveheart Change Management Team where she has developed strong relationships with a large range of staff.

“I have such a hardworking and supportive team who should have been up there with me and I am so lucky to work with such amazing Farmlanders around the country every day,” Kate says. Two other people in the Braveheart Team were voted by their colleagues to receive awards. Pahiatua Business Manager Sonia McKay was named Kilt of the Year for her work ensuring our people have the skills and knowledge to work with our new systems and processes. Stephanie Murray, Assistant Business Manager of the Palmerston North store, was awarded the Change Clansperson of the Year for helping everyone understand Braveheart and the changes it is bringing.


Farmlands Awards

Kilt of the Year:
Sonia McKay (Pahiatua)
Change Clansperson of the Year:
Stephanie Murray (Palmerston North)
Card Account Manager of the Year:
Penny McLean (Christchurch Wairakei Road)
Farmlands Energy Account Manager of the Year:
Kaylene Haines (Christchurch Wairakei Road)
Farmlands Energy Territory Manager of the Year:
1st Phil Gavin (Upper South), 2nd equal Nigel McFadyen (Bay of Plenty) and DJared Tointon (Central)
Technical Advisor of the Year:
1st Alena Griffith (Richmond), 2nd John McGinlay (Blenheim), 3rd Arnie Haydon (Whakatu)
Technical Field Officer of the Year:
1st James Abbiss (Marton), 2nd Abby Henderson (Winton), 3rd Tim Orlando-Reep (Huntly)
Emerging Technical Advisor/TechnicalField Officer of the Year:
Jess Peter (Invercargill)
Contact Centre Employee of the Year:
Libby Nuttall (Dunedin)
Nutrition Specialist of the Year:
1st Megan Hardy (Upper South), 2nd Hadley Searle (Waikato), 3rd Roger Dettling (Western)
Health and Safety Excellence Award:
1st Pete Yeoman (Te Awamutu), 2nd Greg Pollitt (Dunedin Seed), 3rd Andrew Marsh (Feilding)
Branch of the Year:
1st Invercargill, 2nd Huntly, 3rd Rotorua
Keith Stockman Memorial Award for Retail Salesperson of the Year:
1st John Blick (Blenheim), 2nd Stephanie Murray (Palmerston North), 3rd Jenny Greenwood (Leeston)
Support Person of the Year:
Kate McLachlan (Christchurch Wairakei Road)
CEO Leader of the Year:
Harriet Cameron (South Island Central)
Farmlander of the Year:
Trevor Halkett (Christchurch Wairakei Road)


Store Category Awards

Animal Health and Dairy Management:
1st Darfield, 2nd Blenheim, 3rd Rangiora
General Farm Merchandise:
1st Te Puke, 2nd Richmond, 3rd Invercargill
1st Gisborne, 2nd Darfield, 3rd Richmond
Pasture and Horticulture:
1st Blenheim, 2nd Gore, 3rd Darfield
Retail Nutrition:
1st Rangiora, 2nd Balclutha, 3rd Putaruru
Bulk Nutrition:
1st Opunake, 2nd Invercargill, 3rd Ashburton
1st Wanganui, 2nd Opunake, 3rd Morrinsville