News and Events

Perseverance pays off for new Farmlands Director

A connection to farmers, farming and the co-operative model compelled Central Otago’s Dawn Sangster to run for election for the Farmlands Board of Directors.

Dawn Sangster.Although unsuccessful in the 2017 Director Elections, she had strong support which encouraged her to put her name forward for the vacancy created by Joe Ferraby’s retirement in 2018. “It really was a case of hard work and perseverance paying dividends,” Dawn says.

A Director and farmer of a 12,000su, 2,870ha Maniototo sheep and beef family farming business, Dawn is an experienced Director and strong advocate for the cooperative model. She has been an elected Director of Alliance Group Ltd since 2012 and is a shareholder in other leading co-operatives.

A Chartered Member of the New Zealand Institute of Directors, Dawn is also Chair of the Community Trust of Maniototo and is a former Beef + Lamb NZ Farmer Councillor and John McGlashan College Board member.

She is the winner of the 2012 Institute of Directors Otago-Southland Aspiring Director Award and has a B.Ag Com (Farm Management) from Lincoln University.

Dawn says Farmlands’ co-operative business model and its importance to their farming business drove her desire to join the Board.

Dawn believes that Farmlands “should be a very important part of every farm business”.

The opportunity to provide cheaper inputs and make farming businesses more successful and sustainable was a testament to the co-operative model.


“The local Farmlands store always goes the extra mile and I enjoy the relationship with the staff. I’ve visited a lot of stores – particularly in the last 2 years – and I am heartened that they care about the shareholders. It’s a great culture to have,” she says.


“It is now close to 6 years since the merger between CRT Co-operative and Farmlands. There is a commitment to business transformation and culture changes so there will be plenty of challenges and opportunities.”

Dawn says it is an interesting time to be a Director for the co-operative and she is looking forward to it.

“Farmlands is a big business in the scheme of New Zealand companies,” she says. “After a robust election process, I feel very privileged that the shareholders voted for me and would like to thank them for their support.”

Dawn believes her connection with farmers and knowledge of what shareholders want and expect will add value to the Board. “Being a Director of Alliance for the past 7 years has expanded my governance skills, particularly with regard to large co-operatives and trading in a competitive environment.”

Dawn encourages shareholders to contact her if they want to have their say on the co-operative’s performance. “Feedback is a gift and if people want to talk to me, I’ll always listen to how Farmlands could be better.”