New arable chair for Federated Farmers

Rural Exchange 08/07/2018

Federated Farmers has a new board member as a result of elections held during last week’s national conference in Wellington. 

Karen Williams is their new arable chairperson.

She takes over from Guy Wigley, who stepped down after three years as arable leader, as the first woman to lead the Federation's arable sector.

Mrs Williams runs her own consultancy business specialising in agri-environmental issues, which will come in handy in her new role.

She says her involvement is premised by her desire to "help farmers and the agri-sector to better engage with local, regional and central government to ensure they are more environmentally and economically sustainable".

In 2017, Mrs Williams played a key role in securing government funding to develop a future focussed cropping strategy for the Wairarapa.

These efforts say her named the inaugural Federated Farmers Arable Industry Group ‘Biosecurity Farmer of the Year’.

Despite an annual contribution of at least $750 million to GDP, New Zealand’s arable sector tends to fly under the radar for many people. Karen wants to see that change.

"I’d like to increase our presence in Wellington, talking to government and reminding them we are an important sector with a lot to offer," she says.

Watch the full interview with Karen Williams above.

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