Friday, 06 June 2014 10:00

Farmers mourns Alistair Polson

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FEDERATED FARMERS is mourning the passing of former national president, Alistair Polson; he was aged 58.

 

"Alistair was a great farmer and a truly great New Zealander who has been taken from us way too soon," says Bruce Wills, Federated Farmers President.
"Our thoughts and prayers are with Bo and their family.

"Bo and Alistair formed the most amazing and loving partnership and while Alistair was called overseas as Special Agricultural Trade Envoy, she kept the farm and family running.
"Where do you start with someone who gave so unstintingly of himself? It is telling that despite Bo and Alistair's home being inundated by the 2004 floods they put community before self.

Polson served as an office holder at most levels of Federated Farmers, serving as Wanganui provincial president and later national president between 1999 and 2002.

He has also served as a director of both the Waitotara Meat Company, PPCS (now Silver Fern Farms) and the Agriculture Industry Training Organisation. He has also served on the New Zealand Veterinary Council and the then National Animal Welfare Advisory Board.

With a strong environmental ethos Polson chaired the NZ Landcare Trust for seven years and in 2012, he became chairman of the New Zealand Farm Environment Awards Trust.

"Chairing the New Zealand Farm Environment Awards Trust was something I know Alistair was deeply proud of. It assured him the next generation of farmers cared for the land every bit as much as he did," says Wills.

"Alistair himself won the Grasslands Memorial Trust Award for sustained improvement of pastures and sheep breeds in Wanganui hill country. He was a past Nuffield Scholar and would later chair the New Zealand Nuffield Farming Scholarships Trust too."

In 2004 he was appointed New Zealand Special Agricultural Trade Envoy by the former Labour Government and continued in that role to 2013.

"In Argentina, for the World Farmers Organisation earlier this year, South American delegates mentioned Alistair's name with reverence. He was a noble man of true mana who gave his all for New Zealand," says Wills.

"Alistair was a giant and his loss touches us all greatly," Wills says.

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