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Judging the NZ Arable Awards this year is a diverse group of industry experts with a shared passion for celebrating success in the arable sector.

Guy Wigley

I farm near Waimate in South Canterbury with my wife Kathryn.

We farm 510ha intensive cropping. Over half the farm is in wheat with the balance in Grass seed and Oil seed rape.


I studied B.Ag Sci at Lincoln and Oregon State University. Worked in both USA and UK in Agriculture and retail.

Long term in farmer advocacy/representation. South Canterbury Provincial President Federated Farmers Chairman of the Arable Industry Group and Board member Federated Farmers NZ. Current Director United Wheat Growers and Director of the Foundation for Arable Research.

I am passionate about the Arable Industry. I believe the Arable Awards are a great way for the Industry to recognise our successful People and the Awards function is an excellent opportunity for all parts of the Arable Industry to celebrate what we do.

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Mariana Andreucci

I’m from a small rural town in the Southeast of Brazil. I graduated in Agronomic Engineering and did a MSc on forage and animal production in Brazil. This was followed by a PhD in crop physiology at Lincoln University. After that, I spent 3 years at CSIRO in Toowoomba working on wheat physiology and modelling and then 2 years at Agresearch working on pasture modelling. Today I’m back at Lincoln University working on arable crops with a focus on crop physiology and modelling to adapt management practices to benefit NZ mixed and arable systems.

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Nick Pyke

Actively involved in and leading primary industry applied research and development (fruit, crop and pasture research) in New Zealand for over 35 years, including as the founding Chief Executive Officer of the Foundation for Arable Research and led the organisation for over 20 years.


In governance roles is chair of AGMARDT, chair Darfield Seed Ltd, chair Auld distillery Ltd and on the board of Pāmu (LandCorp farming) and Cropmark Seeds. A co-founder and director of Leftfield Innovation. Leftfield Innovation is working with farmers and the food industry to capture and create value within agri-food Aotearoa through diversified sustainable land use transformation based on the market requirements and optimising the performance within the value chain. Co-founder and Director of Ag Innovate NZ facilitating farmers and businesses to identify and develop new business opportunities.


Professor Jacqueline Rowarth 

Jacqueline Rowarth has a Bachelors degree in Agricultural Science with honours in Environmental Agriculture, and a PhD in Soil Science from Massey University. She has worked in research, education and management with Agresearch, Lincoln University, Unitec in Auckland, The University of Melbourne, Massey University, University of Waikato, and the Environmental Protection Authority. In addition, she has held Government-appointed governance roles on the boards of Crop and Food Research, AGMARDT and New Zealand Fast Forward. She is currently a farmer-elected member of the Board of Directors for DairyNZ and of Ravensdown Co-operative Ltd., a producer-appointed Director for Deer Industry NZ, and a Director of NZ Animal Evaluation Ltd. She also holds the role of Adjunct Professor at Lincoln University.


Jacqueline is a Past President of the New Zealand Institute of Agricultural and Horticultural Science, and of the New Zealand Grassland Association. In 2008 she was awarded Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to Agricultural Science, in 2009 she was given the inaugural award of Agricultural Personality of the Year by Federated Farmers and in 2010 she was selected as the Agricultural Communicator of the Year by the Guild of Agricultural Communicators and Journalists. Jacqueline is a frequent contributor to public debate in the media and remains committed to dispelling the myths that surround food production.


Syd Worsfold 

Born and farmed in Greendale all my life. Electoral committee and director of United Wheat Growers for 30 years including 5 years Chairman. Initiated the NZQA Grains programme in the 1990s. Previous arable council Fed Farmers Vice Chairman. 3 years also member of committee which set up FAR and director for 8 years. Wheat Industry Research representative, 20 years including Chairman for 4 years. Represent Wheat growers on various other committees for arable farmers. Also initiated UWG Wheat Awards 1990s. 

Extremely proud to be honored Arable Farmer of the year 2018 and Wheat Grower of the year 2019. 

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David Birkett 

Overview: Arable farmer from Leeston Canterbury, 200ha irrigated cropping farm with a focus on seeds production, 10 different crops and some livestock integrated into the system. 20 years of soil focused system design to create a low input high output cropping system. Using regenerative techniques where ever possible in the rotation and looking to provide a structured approach to regen ag. Involvement in governance at national and local level as well as research at the field level.



Past Chair Foundation Arable Research 2012-2018

FAR Board 2010-2019

Inaugural Chair Seed Industry Research Centre 2018-2020

Vice Chair Federated Farmers Arable Section (Seeds)

New Zealand Seed Authority Committee

Founding Member Ellesmere Sustainable Agriculture Inc.

Past Board Member Quorum Sense

2022 NZ Arable Farmer of the Year

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John Morgan 

John Morgan leads the New Zealand Food Innovation Network in the South Island.  This Network is part of a national food and beverage export growth initiative.  The Southern Centre has a pilot scale food factory located at Lincoln University which opened for business in early 2016.  Come January 2023 it has aided 180 clients complete more than 400 projects.


John has worked in industry in management and business development roles for more than 30 years, the past 15 in the food industry.


John holds an Agricultural Science Degree from Lincoln University and a Masters of Business Administration from the University of Western Australia.

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Michael Hales 

Originally from a sheep and beef farm in Hawke’s Bay, Michael has been involved in the agribusiness sector for over 20 years.  Michael has a Bachelor of Business Studies with majors in agribusiness and marketing from Massey University and has worked in a variety of farming environments in New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the Middle East.


On graduating from university Michael worked for Northland Dairy Company, a legacy company of Fonterra.  He was marketing manager for Rabobank as it established itself as a major player in the rural banking market in New Zealand.  More recently Michael held senior roles for the multinational agro-chemical company Syngenta, based in Sydney.


He began working for Barenbrug in 2010 as Marketing Manager.  In mid-2017 Michael assumed his current position of Managing Director.  In addition to his role at Barenbrug, Michael is also the president of the New Zealand Plant Breeding and Research Association and president of the New Zealand Grain and Seed Trade Association.

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Ian Mackenzie 

BAgSci Lincoln College

Nuffield Scholar

Farms Akaunui; a multi-generational, diversified, irrigated arable, lamb fattening, dairy, tourism and contracting business, SE of Ashburton.

Held a variety of agricultural industry governance roles including Chair of Arable section FFNZ and was national spokesman for water and the environment for the National Board of FFNZ. With Rab McDowell and David Ritchie, drove the formation of FAR and was an inaugural director. 

Served on various ministerial advisory committees, commercial boards, charitable and community organisations. Reluctantly elected to the Canterbury Regional Council (Ecan) 4 years ago. 


Terry Copeland 

Terry Copeland is the Chief Executive of Federated Farmers, having been in the role since August 2018. This role is responsible for 70 staff who provide the delivery of advocacy and policy development on behalf of farmers, continuing the development of the benefits of membership for 13,000 Federated Farmers members and for influencing rural leadership and community resilience.


For the previous five years, Terry was Chief Executive of New Zealand Young Farmers whereby he rejuvenated this next generation membership organisation into a talent attraction provider to the Primary Industries, specialising in school engagement and career focus as well as showcasing agricultural excellence to the wider New Zealand audience.


From May 2021 to February 2023 Terry chaired the Food & Fibre Leaders Forum Chief Executive Group, 13 primary sector organisations with key issues of commonality to support engagement with Government Ministers.


For most of Terry’s career, he spent more than two decades in the wine industry working on wine quality improvement and developing key export markets. Terry has also been a highly respected and experienced international wine judge since the late 1990’s.

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Brian Leadley 

Rachel and I farm a 450 ha irrigated farm at Dromore just North of Ashburton. Having a passion for Arable farming, I enjoy the challenges of producing grain and seeds for the domestic and export markets. Our crop rotation varies slightly from year to year as we produce a wide range of seeds to match market opportunities, this compliments our keen focus on producing milling wheat for the New Zealand Mills with 25 to 30 percent of the farm planted in wheat annually. Our cropping rotation is also complimented by lamb finishing.


I have always enjoyed opportunities to meet and work with the many people involved in agriculture. My off farm involvements, starting from Young Farmers has over the years led into many other organisations such as Ashburton A&P Association, FAR, Federated Farmers Arable Industry Group and working through the ranks of United Wheat Growers. These involvements have provided opportunities to work in many industry commitments and working groups, the Arable Awards being one. The Awards dinner is a fantastic occasion for industry people to gather and socialise together while recognising and celebrating the achievements within our industry.


Karen Williams 

Karen farms a 450ha mixed cropping, beef, and lamb finishing property in the Wairarapa with her husband Mick.  They are past Supreme Winners for the Wellington Region in the Ballance Farm Environment Awards, and Karen is a graduate of the Agri-Women’s Development Trust’s ‘Escalator’ Programme.  Karen received the Biosecurity Farmer of the Year Award in 2017 for her work on the pea weevil biosecurity incursion, and the couple won the Environmental and Sustainability Award at the 2022 New Zealand Arable Awards.


Karen currently works as the National Rural Propositions Manager at FMG where she brings a farmer and grower perspective to the Mutual.  Karen is the former National Vice Presidentand Arable Industry Chairperson for Federated Farmers New Zealand.


Karen has a Bachelor of Arts (Geography) degree and a Master of Resource Management from the University of Otago, and previously worked developing policy and plans for local authorities.  Karen is driven to help farmers and the agricultural sector to better engage with government and key stakeholders to ensure rural communities remain strong, vibrant, economically viable and environmentally sustainable.

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Anna Heslo

Communications and Events Manager, Foundation for Arable Research

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Edward Luisetti

Managing Director, Luisetti Seeds


Colin Hurst

National Board Member, Federated Farmers New Zealand

South Canterbury Arable Farmer

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Alison Stewart

Chief Executive Officer, Foundation for Arable Research

Ivan Lawrie

General Manager Business Operations, Foundation for Arable Research

Murray Kelly

Research and Development Specialist, PGG Wrightson Limited

Greg Anderson

Managing Director, Northington Partners

Andrew Olsen

Chief Executive Officer, Rural Contractors New Zealand

Angela Clifford

Chief Executive Officer, Eat New Zealand 

Co-Owner, The Food Farm

2022 Arable Awards New Zealand Food Champion Winner

Alick Elliot

General Manager - Marketing & IP, PGG Wrightson Seeds Limited

John Caradus

Chief Executive Officer, Grasslanz Technology Limited

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