Robert Kempthorne

Fonterra Alumni 2016 - 2017

Robert is currently the owner and operator of a 588 hectare dairy and sheep farming business at The Key in Northern Southland.

After graduating from Lincoln University in 1995 with a Bachelor of Agricultural Science (Hons), Robert started working as a farm management consultant, then as a dairy farm manager. He went on to be a Rural Manager for the National Bank in Southland between 2003 and 2006.


Robert has been on the Board of Trustees for Mararoa Primary School since 2013 and the Chair since 2015. He is the past Chair and current member of ‘Livestrands’, a Southland based primary industry focus group, and was a Trustee of the Southern Dairy Development Trust between 2010 and 2016.

He completed the Silver Fern Farms “To the Core” Governance Development course in 2015 and stage two of the Fonterra Governance Development Programme in 2015/16.

Robert has won two major agricultural awards during his farming career. He was named New Zealand Young Farmer of the Year in 2003 and won the Southland Ballance Farm Environment Supreme Award in 2015.