Friday, 08 April 2022 13:55

New Ravensdown chair to focus on pathways to progress

Written by  Staff Reporters
Ravensdown's new chair, Bruce Wills. Ravensdown's new chair, Bruce Wills.

Hawke’s Bay sheep and beef farmer Bruce Wills has been elected the new chair of Ravensdown.

He replaces John Henderson who retires from the board on May 31.

Wills, a former Federated Farmers president is excited about the recently evolved strategy of the co-operative which is sharpening its focus on improving farmers’ and growers’ environmental and productive performance.

Wills was voted in as a Ravensdown director in 2015, working closely with Henderson who has been a director since 2004 and chair since 2014.

“It’s been an eventful seven years on a Ravensdown board that, alongside the staff and management, have worked tirelessly towards a vision of smarter farming for a better New Zealand,” says Wills.

“I am passionate about Ravensdown’s role as the nutrient leaders in the areas of science, supply and solutions for an agsector striving for more sustainable ways forward.”

Wills was awarded the Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2021 for services to agriculture and the environment. He is also chair of the Primary Industries Training Organisation, the QEII National Trust, ApicultureNZ and the deer industry primary-growth partnership.

“I’d like to acknowledge the incredible work of John Henderson who has been a stalwart leader in the sector, a shrewd director and a far-sighted Chair of the co-operative. Thanks to his efforts, guidance and accomplishments over the years, Ravensdown is well placed to serve its shareholders and move forward on the next stage of its journey.” 

Henderson has been scheduled to retire from the board last September, having reached the maximum term of a shareholder-elected director but was asked by his fellow Board members to continue for a further 12 months to provide continuity as new chief executive Garry Diack took the helm.

Henderson says he is particularly proud of Ravensdown’s focus on the science and technology behind its nutrient expertise.

“In my time as chair, the issues confronting the co-operative, its farmers and growers have changed dramatically. With considerable foresight, diligence and hard work, our team is confronting this challenge and establishing themselves as trusted advisors and chosen partners in the agsector,” he says.

“Increasingly, Ravensdown solutions will assist the agsector in dealing with greenhouse gas emissions, water quality and productivity management - all for the sake of current and future generations.”.

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