Two new faces for Farmlands Board

Farmlands’ shareholders have voted two new Shareholder Directors on to the Farmlands Board.

Dawn Sangster and Gray Baldwin join re-elected Director Rob Hewett on the rural supplies and services co-operative’s Board of Directors.

Farmlands Chairman, Lachie Johnstone congratulated the new arrivals to the Board of Directors, as well as thanking the other candidates who put themselves forward for election.

“Our shareholders have the opportunity at each Director Election to influence the way we go about bringing new skill-sets and ideas to our Board table,” Mr Johnstone said.

“The calibre of candidates in this year’s election has meant that, while we are losing significant experience following the retirements of Joe Ferraby and David Jensen, we are also welcoming shareholders who know their business, know our business and bring a considerable measure of expertise and experience to our board table.

“We need the strongest possible pool of future leaders to continue to grow our business and the primary sector as a whole.”

Central Otago-based Dawn Sangster is a Director of her family company, which comprises three sheep and beef properties, one of the largest Angora flocks in New Zealand and a portfolio of residential property investments. Mrs Sangster has served on the Board of Alliance Group since 2012, is Chair of the Community Trust of Maniototo and is a Chartered Member of the New Zealand Institute of Directors.

A South Waikato dairy farmer, Gray Baldwin has held a range of senior management and executive roles for companies such as BNZ, Carter Holt Harvey and Summit Quinphos, where he was CEO. He has held a Director position on the Board of LIC since 2012 and after 9 years of service, recently retired from the Board of Ballance Agri-Nutrients.

Rob Hewett currently holds several governance positions, including Chair of Silver Fern Farms and Independent Directorships with Turners and Growers Global, Hilton Haulage Ltd and Pioneer Energy Ltd. Mr Hewett is a sheep, beef and forestry farmer who has farmed in the Clutha District since 2002.

Mr Johnstone says the Shareholder Director Election process had shown that the pool of rural governance candidates is developing real depth – a matter of special interest to the Farmlands Board.

“As a co-operative, we have been proactive in fostering new leaders in rural governance. We are now into the second cycle of our Board Observer programme, where an aspiring director has the opportunity to shadow the Board of Directors for 12 months,” Mr Johnstone said.

“We have also developed the award-winning To the Core programme alongside Silver Fern Farms and planning for the second intake of this programme is underway.”

Farmlands Shareholder Directors retire by rotation each year. This year two of the three Shareholder Directors retiring, Joe Ferraby and David Jensen, did not seek re-election.