Tuesday, 11 July 2023 07:55

Time for new generation to take over - King

Written by  Sudesh Kissun
Outgoing LIC chair Murray King says it’s been a fantastic journey and a most enjoyable one. Outgoing LIC chair Murray King says it’s been a fantastic journey and a most enjoyable one.

Outgoing LIC chairman Murray King says the time is right to pass the baton to the next generation.

King, who steps down from the role later this year, has chaired the farmer-owned genetics company for 11 years. He joined the board in 2009.

But King's connection with LIC goes beyond his board tenure. He served on the Shareholders Council and worked as a LIC AB technician before that.

"It's been a fantastic journey and a most enjoyable one," he told Dairy News.

"We are a genetics company, and every generation is better than the last one. So, if you believe in genetics I should get out of the way and let the next generation come through."

King says that LIC has been around for ove 100 years and done a lot for the dairy industry.

"I think we often forget how much we have achieved. Year by year we think we are not making progress but in the long term if you look at it, we are doing things now you wouldn't have thought possible many years ago," he says.

He points out that 20 years ago, LIC was inputting data manually, herd records were sent backwards and forwards after herd texts for input into Minda. These days, farmers have apps on their mobile phones.

"Farmers are working around the paddock and making decisions on the spot, looking at animals and entering dates - that stuff is quite revolutionary," he says.

Real advances have also been made with herd testing.

LIC collects about 11 million milk samples from farms every year and until now the samples have been manually tested. The tests, done four times a year on farms, help farmers judge the performance of each cow and also test the disease status of each animal.

LIC has been doing the work for the last 50 years. After many years of trying, LIC installed robots to do the task two years ago.


LIC collects approximately 11 million milk samples from farms every year.

"Now robot automate the weighing and sampling process at our Hamilton and Christchurch laboratories," says King.

King pays tribute to LIC's workforce for their passion in serving farmers and the dairy industry.

"At the end of the day, it's a team effort. It's more than one person."

King has dairy farms in North Canterbury and Nelson and won't be sitting idle - there's work to be done on the farms. He is also a cornerstone shareholder in Appleby Farms Ice Cream and serves on the board of Waimea Community Dam Ltd, Waimea Irrigators and Cawthron Institutes.

Corrigan Sowman, a farmer director on the LIC board, has been appointed chair-designate and will succeed King at the conclusion of the annual meeting.

Chief executive David Chin said King's long-serving contribution will leave a lasting legacy at LIC and in the wider dairy sector.

More like this

Illustrious lives up to his name

An elite Holstein Friesian bull, Farside M Illustrious S3F, has been inducted into the "Hall of Fame", an honour exclusively reserved for animals that have delivered a significant contribution to the dairy industry.

Herd production performance soars

New data released by LIC and DairyNZ shows New Zealand dairy farmers have achieved the highest six week in-calf rate and lowest notin- calf rate on record.

Helping heifers grow

Dairy farmers can easily track the performance of their replacement heifers and ensure they reach their genetic potential.

Next generation of DNA testing

Herd improvement co-operative LIC is combining its DNA parentage testing and genomic evaluation services into one convenient service to help farmers identify their highest genetic merit animals.


Editorial: Fonterra's U-turn

OPINION: Speaking at the Chinese Business Summit in Auckland last week, Fonterra chief exuecutive Miles Hurrell revealed that his phone was running hot over the weekend.

A winner's view

Kingi Smiler, the chair of Wairarapa Moana ki Pouakani (WMI), said after winning the Ahuwhenua Trophy he was both elated and relieved and added it was a tough competition being up against Whakatohera Māori Board.

Farm 4 is number one!

A dairy farm near the settlement of Mangakino has won the prestigious Ahuwhenua Trophy for the top Māori dairy farm for 2024.


A good start

The final Global Dairy Trade (GDT) auction for the 2023-24 season augurs well the forecast milk price for the new…

Labour eyes rural votes

Labour Party agriculture spokesperson Jo Luxton is on a mission to win back rural sector votes.

Machinery & Products

Tractor, harvester IT comes of age

Over the last halfdecade, digital technology has appeared to be the “must-have” for tractor and machinery companies, who believe that…

» Latest Print Issues Online

Milking It

Well done Kotahi!

OPINION: Fonterra's decision to join forces with other primary sector exporters and launch a supply chain collaboration, Kotahi, is paying…

» Connect with Dairy News

» eNewsletter

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter