Thursday, 25 June 2020 13:22

New Feds arable chairperson

Written by  Staff Reporters
The new chairperson of the Federated Farmers Arable Industry Group, Colin Hurst (left), pictured when Agriculture Minister Damien O'Connor presented him with the 2019 'Arable Farmer of the Year' Award. The new chairperson of the Federated Farmers Arable Industry Group, Colin Hurst (left), pictured when Agriculture Minister Damien O'Connor presented him with the 2019 'Arable Farmer of the Year' Award.

Colin Hurst is the new chairperson of the Federated Farmers Arable Industry Group.

Federated Farmers says Hurst brings wide experience and an acknowledged reputation for hard work, tenacity and leadership to the role.

Hurst, the 2019 ‘Arable Farmer of the Year’, was elected at the group’s AGM on Monday for a three-year term. 

He replaces Karen Williams, who is vice-president elect of Federated Farmers of New Zealand.

As well as following his interest in science and innovation driving improved production and a lighter environmental footprint, Hurst says he is keen to lift the profile of the arable sector among consumers and fellow farmers. 

Sales of arable production and spending generated by the industry contributed $863 million to GDP in 2018.

"Most people know we produce cereal grains used in bread and a host of other staples, and all the malting barley needed by our brewers, but we also grow the pasture seeds essential to our livestock farmers, not to mention brassicas and other feed crops, and seed production for domestic and international markets," says Hurst.

The arable industry’s export receipts were forecast to hit $260 million in the financial year just ended, a 10.2% increase.

Colin has farmed at Makikihi, South Canterbury since the mid-eighties with his family. It’s a 700ha mixed arable farm, including 250ha of irrigation, growing mostly autumn wheat, grass seed, plantain seed, radish seed, forestry, with heifer grazing, dairy wintering and beef cattle finishing.

As well as serving Federated Farmers at national, regional and branch level, Hurst has worked for the South Canterbury Rural Support Trust, the Arable Industry Group’s Herbage Seedgrowers Subsection, United Wheatgrowers and the Foundation for Arable Research.

He has been an advocate for farmers around the Seed Quality Management Authority table, on the Fertiliser Quality Council driving the development of a physical standard for fertiliser, and at a multitude of local authority planning and hearing processes.

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