New Zealand has a new sheep breed, shown last week at the Canterbury A&P Show.
Gilbert is looking forward to his presidential year after a long association with Canterbury A&P.
“I’ve been on the Canterbury A&P committee since 2002 and chair of the dairy section since 2007. Now it’s my turn to take the top job and it’s an honour to follow in the footsteps of many great presidents.
“I love showing and I’m looking forward to adding to the history of the association and doing my bit for those who share my passion.”
Raised on a dairy farm in Ellesmere, Gilbert married schoolteacher Anne in the 1980s and they bought a 180ha dairy farm in Winchmore. Last year they bought an additional dairy farm -- 176ha in Rakaia.
Their three sons work in the dairy industry: Michael runs the new block at Rakaia, Nick works the Winchmore farm and Luke works for Semex New Zealand.
Gilbert first began showing calves at primary school and has been showing Holstein Friesian cattle at Canterbury, Ellesmere and Ashburton A&P shows for nearly 40 years.
He is proud his three sons have inherited his passion for dairying and showing: all three are senior judges for at least two different breed societies.
“It means a lot to have had my sons so heavily involved in the show with me over the years. Obviously youth are the future of events like ours and it’s heartening to see so many great young people get stuck in at the Canterbury A&P Show, especially in the cattle section.”
Overseeing the family business and his presidential duties will make for a busy year for Gilbert; he has board meetings, sub-committee meetings, general committee meetings, association events and working bees over the next 12 months.