Alumni Biographies 2011-2012
I have been director of a number of entities incorporating; farming and orcharding, genetics, information technology, cloud accounting, retail, manufacturing, fuel, feed milling and grain trading, international sales, kiwifruit packing and cool-storage, R&D.
I am currently a Director of LIC, Farmlands and Figured.
I have an agricultural degree and a Post-graduate diploma from Massey University, as well as extra-mural Accounting and Management papers. I started as a Consulting Officer for the NZ Dairy Board in the Waikato and then Canterbury.
We developed a dairy farming business just outside Tauranga in 1992. We now milk 700 cows and have developed three kiwifruit orchards with both green and gold kiwifruit varieties.
I am a member of the IoD. My wife is a Magistrate and our two girls are at university.
“Grant brings a wealth of business growth experience within the agriculture sector to his governance roles, having grown his start-up dairy business into a large multi-farm operation. He specialises in dairy and dairy support. Grant has completed the Institute of Directors’ Chairing the Board course (2014), Fonterra Governance Development Programme (2014), IoD/DairyNZ Governance workshop, IoD financial toolbox and Coach Approach Navigational Coaching (2010).
Grant has strong coaching skills that add value to directing people, extracting information, problem solving and finding resolution.
Appointments, awards and memberships include:
Member of the Institute of Directors in New Zealand
Managing Director of G & K Coombes Farming Ltd
Director of HGC Farming Ltd
Director of Pikorua Trust Ltd
Director of Directors Inc. and Vice Chair
Wintec Student Residents Trust
2014 Institute of Directors Emerging Director award finalist
I am married to Cara and have three school aged children. My wife and I own two dairy farms at the foot of the Hunter Hills in South Canterbury. I completed a Bachelor of Agricultural Science at Lincoln University in 1987. I have been dairy farming since 2009 previously having been a sheep farmer.
I was very involved, as a sheep farmer, in trying to change the structure of the red meat industry. It became obvious that the cooperative companies within the industry were struggling for many reasons, but what stood out for me was the apathy and lack of participation by the majority of the shareholder/ suppliers and due to this often a poor quality of farmer representation within the companies.
I have a good understanding of governance having completed Fonterra’s Governance Development Programme. I have confidently spoken to thousands of farmers in both formal and informal settings during my time as MIAG (Meat Industry Action Group) chairman. I have chaired a number of meetings as chairman of Federated Farmers Meat and Fibre and as MIAG chairman.
I am a good communicator and have a passion for agriculturally related governance and representation. I currently represent the South Canterbury ward farmers as a Fonterra Shareholders’ Councillor.
I have a Bachelor of Business Studies, Diploma in Rural Studies and I am a Chartered Accountant. I belong to the NZ Institute of Primary Industries (NZIPIM), NZ Institute of Chartered Accountants (NZICA), NZ Institute of Directors (NZIOD) and I am a Fonterra networker in Ward 25 Lower North Island.
I am currently a member of the Dairy Capability Working Group which was established as a result of the WPC 80 Ministerial inquiry which reports to the Minister of Agriculture. I am also on the Business Development Managers group for the National Science challenge for High Value Nutrition
Previous governance experience includes being a Director of Magritek Limited and Massey Ventures Ltd. I have also been a Councillor on the Manawatu District Council.
I have worked in senior management roles within a number of organisations which includes AgResearch , Dairy NZ, Massey University and Fonterra Cooperative Group.
I live at Kairanga (10km south west of Palmerston North) on our 450 cow dairy farm which I jointly own with my wife Joanne. Last year our Dairy farm business was Regional winner for the Lower North Island NZ Dairy Business of the year competition.
Nicola farms in Manutahi, South Taranaki. She is a lawyer with an environmental planning background and has worked in local government and private practice roles. She is the sole director of the family farming company and mum to her and late husband Michael Symes’ three children.
Nicola completed the Fonterra Governance Development Programme and the Agri-Women’s Development Trust’s (AWDT) Escalator Programme in 2012 and is involved in leadership roles in the rural sector and the Taranaki community. She has governance roles in a Waikato farming company, JD & RD Wallace Limited and is a recently elected director of Taranaki Veterinary Centre Limited. Nicola is also currently completing a Director mentoring programme with OSPRI (which runs the NAIT and TBFree programmes). At a community level, she is a trustee of the Taranaki Health Foundation, the Taranaki Rural Support Trust and the Patea Medical Trust, a member of the Lottery Taranaki Distribution Committee and the Chair of the Manutahi Cemetery Board.
Nicola is building her governance experience with the goal of creating a career path that allows her to use her skills and contribute positively to the businesses and organisations she becomes involved in, whilst providing flexibility around family commitments. In the medium term she would like to hold a commercial directorship within the rural sector.
Richard Luxton is an agribusiness manager and advisor. He has owned his own farm management business since 2006 and has been involved in corporate farm management and advisory since 2011. Richard has a bachelor of Commerce from the University of Canterbury and a diploma in agribusiness. In 2013 Richard was part of the Kellogg’s rural leadership development programme run out of Lincoln University.
Richard is on the committee of the Waikato Rural Business network and the St Peter’s School Foundation committee, in which he is the Chairman of the Business and Entrepreneur sub-committee. Richard plans to run for a number of local and national company governance positions in coming years as the opportunities arise and hopes to grow his farm management business and nationwide networks.
Richard is currently working with the Pouarua Farm Limited Partnership on the Hauraki Plains. He lives in Waitoa, Waikato with his wife and two children.
Hailing from the beautiful Golden Bay, I farm with my wife and three young active boys (9,8,6) and milk 360 cows on a farm we purchased this season. Milking once a day all season also gives me time and a fantastic opportunity to develop my governance career at a young age.
Having completed the Fonterra Governance Development Programme as well as the Kellogg’s Rural Leadership Programme, it has accelerated my skill set which I’m putting to good use on both the farming operation and also as the vice chair on the Board of the Rural Service Centre.
I have also dedicated my time to Federated Farmers, recently being elected as Vice Chair on the National Dairy Executive.
Into the future I would like to make sure that the agricultural sector has as much to give back to the next generation as what it has given me. With strong leadership and great governance we all know the possibilities are endless.