Fonterra's board is getting some kudos for listening to shareholder concerns as it works on a new capital structure.
William Robertson received his prize at the special annual awards dinner for the top achievers in agriculture at the university, attended by about 150 students, lecturers and guests including sponsors. The guest speaker at the function was Kate Stewart, who completed her Bachelor of AgriScience (Agriculture) in 2017 and now works for DairyNZ as a consulting officer in the Lower North Island.
Roberston, who has just completed a Bachelor of Agri Commerce majoring in international agribusiness, was presented with his award by Richard Greaves, area manager of Farm Source for Central Districts.
Robertson has always been passionate about the dairy industry. This started as he grew up on a small dairy farm at Ohaupo in the Waikato. He says dairy is a very interesting industry full of good people and where everyone is down to earth. He says it’s always been a part of his life and would be very hard to leave. To that end, he’s got a placement on Fonterra’s business graduate programme and will be off to Auckland to continue his love of dairying.
“Fonterra is a going to be interesting. I am going into the big city environment from Palmerston North and it’s going to be exciting to take that next step and see where it goes,” he says.
Robertson says while the dairy industry faces many challenges, he sees it as an exciting place to be. He says dairy farmers work hard every day and do a good job dealing with the challenges they face on a daily basis. But he says it’s unfortunate that dairy farmers continue to be maligned by some people.
“You have got to work within the dairy industry to understand and appreciate it. The hours are long the environment can be stressful. The last things that people who work in the industry want to do is to hurt the industry and they are really passionate about. They are in there for the best and they really want to get involved and help it succeed,” he says.