DairyNZ chief executive Dr Tim Mackle says the joint decision three years ago to eradicate Mycoplamsa bovis was a difficult call.
Laurence has 20 years experience in dairy sector and has worked in NZ and elsewhere in hands-on advisory and training and development roles.
He will lead four consulting officers who work with dairy farmers in Taranaki.
“A big part of our focus is getting to know farmers and ensuring we help build and improve their farm business,” he said.
“Initially I’ll be getting to know the team and then adding value for farmers -- getting out to meet them and helping them respond to challenges and opportunities.”
They will advise farmers on new technology, best practice and good business management.
Laurence started in the dairy sector in 1999 when he worked part-time for Massey University farms while studying.
“I love the dairy sector,” he said. “Working for Massey introduced me to getting up at 4am and milking cows, research and the broader industry interactions.
“Of course, you get to deal with good people. I would happily spend all day talking to farmers.”
Laurence was most recently an area manager for Fonterra and previously a consulting officer in Northland for DairyNZ’s predecessor Dexcel and manager of a large dairy operation in Manawatu. He ran a training and development farm in Sri Lanka for Fonterra.
“New Zealand is in an enviable position. What we’ve got compared to other countries is massive. We have advantages developed by hard work and ingenuity,” he said.
His parents live in Waitara.