Federated Farmers have elected Wayne Langford, a 40-year-old dairy farmer from Golden Bay, as the organisation’s new national President.
“It’s a huge honour to be elected to lead Federated Farmers, but I’m certainly feeling the weight of responsibility that comes with it,” Langford says.
“Federated Farmers are the largest rural advocacy organisation in the country and farmers are looking to us for strong leadership as they try to navigate their way through an increasingly complex world.
“Farmers can expect to see me bring my own style and approach to the role while also honouring the long and proud 124-year history of an organisation that’s served our sector so well.
“We’ve got some big challenges ahead of us with changing regulations, rising on farm costs, high interest rates, and profit squeeze putting pressure on farming families.
“There’s no denying that times are tough, but we can’t let fear, negativity or frustration divide us at the very moment we should be coming together to find pragmatic solutions that will work for farmers and rural communities.”
Federated Farmers have an important role to play in finding a pathway forward through strong and trusting relationships, and credible farmer representation that is well connected at the grassroots level, Langford says.
Langford is joined by experienced South-Canterbury mixed arable farmer Colin Hurst, a former director for the Foundation for Arable Research, as Vice-President.
“Our organisation is in great health with a huge turnout to our AGM this week, certainly the largest I’ve seen in all my years with Feds, and the day was full of really positive discussion,” Hurst says.
“I’m really excited about the direction our organisation is heading under Wayne’s leadership, and I think we’ve got the right mix of people sitting around the table to set the organisation up for success.
“Although it can feel tough at times, farmers need to stay positive and keep working toward practical solutions to the challenges we’re facing.
“New Zealand farming has a really bright future ahead of us, and we have some amazing young leaders coming up through our ranks at Federated Farmers. We just need to stick together and keep talking through the tough stuff.”
Sandra Faulkner, Mark Hooper, Toby Williams, and Richard McIntyre were all re-elected to the Board.
North Canterbury Arable Farmers David Birkett joins the board as Arable Chair.