Our People

Sandy Scarrow - ChairpersonSandy Scarrow

Chairperson

Sandy Scarrow is the Shareholder and Managing Director of Fruition Horticulture. She has a Bachelor of Horticultural Science, Diploma in Business and Administration (Management), Certificate in Adult Education and Training (Level 5) and has been a Horticultural consultant since 1987. Sandy also owns a kiwifruit orchard

Pat Kilgraff - FacilitatorPat Kilgarriff

Facilitator

The Trust's Facilitator Pat Kilgarriff has a bachelor's degree in Agriculture Science and worked for MAF as a farm consultant for nearly 30 years. He has since worked in private consultancy. Pat has proven skills in farm management and communications.

Igor Gerritsen - Regional Leader/FacilitatorIgor Gerritsen

Regional Leader/Facilitator

Igor has been a pastor in Te Puke for 5 years where he was involved in the recovery phase of the kiwifruit sector. Before that Igor owned a financial planning business for 9 years and worked in the NZ Police. Igor has a degree in pastoral ministries and a diploma in Financial Planning. He has proven skills in People Management, Sales, Leadership and personal support in times of crisis.

Debbie Oakley - FacilitatorDebbie Oakley

Facilitator

Debbie Oakley has a Diploma in Rural Studies and is retired from 35 years in banking; 10 years Rural Banking with Rabobank in Rotorua and Te Puke and 25 years Retail Banking including Branch Manager with Westpac/Trust Bank. Debbie has ownership in business and orchards in the Kiwifruit sector and is currently a member of the NZ Kiwifruit Growers Forum. She has proven skills in People management, Financial Management, Administration and technical skills, Sales and negotiation skills.

Helen Schweizer - FacilitatorHelen Schweizer

Facilitator

Helen Schweizer trained as a registered nurse then went on to manage a large dairy farm - milking, rearing calves and administration. Helen has been in the Dairy Industry for 25 years and currently owns a dairy farm in South Waikato farmed with a Sharemilker on. Helen has a Diploma in Homeopathy and is currently studying as a Contact Care Practitioner. She has been involved in local support groups with her strengths in assisting those with grief, loss and self-care at times of crises.

Tim Bernau

Tim Bernau

Facilitator

Tim is a Registered Valuer with a financial advocacy and kiwifruit orchardist background.  With 16 years involvement in rural banking, he is now active in farm business administration and financial management.

Patrick Andrew

Patrick Andrew

Facilitator

Patrick has a Bachelor of Agricultural Science Degree and previously worked for 30 years in rural banking and finance, including private consultancy and valuation.  He is skilled in planning, negotiation and strategy.

Malcolm Fluker

Malcolm Fluker

Facilitator

Malcolm has a diploma in Valuation and Farm Management and previously worked for 38 years in rural banking.  He has a wide knowledge of sheep, beef and dairy farming and strong relationship skills.  He has helped many farmers through tough times.

Kim Cawte - Secretary/TreasurerKim Cawte

Secretary/Treasurer

Kim Cawte is a farmer's daughter, has been Secretary/Treasurer for the Te Puke A&P Show for 17 years, Te Puke Vet Service for 14 years and Office Manager for Bay of Plenty Federated Farmers for 12 years, so has a wide network within the farming industry.

News & Alerts

Keeping an eye on Cyclone Hola

Monday, March 12, 2018

Author: Terri Anderson

https://twitter.com/twitter/statuses/972915753044201472

NIWA: With Hola passing offshore today, its strongest winds will too!

NIWA's high resolution modelling indicates some gusts to 70 km/h for: eastern Northland, Great Barrier Island, the Coromandel, coastal Bay of Plenty, & Gisborne Ranges, then a bit gusty in Auckland tonight.

 

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Early dry classified as medium-scale adverse event

Minister for Agriculture and Rural Communities Damien O’Connor today announced the fast-growing drought in parts of the lower North Island would be classified as a medium-scale adverse event.

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Author: Terri Anderson

https://www.beehive.govt.nz/release/early-dry-declared-adverse-event

Minister for Agriculture and Rural Communities Damien O’Connor today announced the fast-growing drought in parts of the lower North Island would be classified as a medium-scale adverse event. 

The affected areas include Taranaki region and western parts of the Manawatu-Whanganui and Wellington regions. 

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One of these things is not like the other

It’s easy to see if there’s a flood or an earthquake, but drought’s an odd one to call. When does a dry spell become a drought?

Friday, December 08, 2017

Author: Terri Anderson

It’s easy to see if there’s a flood or an earthquake, but drought’s an odd one to call. When does a dry spell become a drought?

Dry spells and droughts are part of life for many farmers across New Zealand. Farmers monitor their local conditions, plan for dry weather, and make tough decisions early.

MPI doesn’t declare droughts, but help to identify if the impacts of a drought on the primary sector should be classified as a medium- or large-scale adverse event, under the criteria in the Primary Sector Recovery Policy.  

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Dry summer support

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Author: Marcia

The NIWA drought index measures dry conditions across the country. Their hotspot watch helps identify areas that are getting dry each week.

Like all adverse events, a drought is classified as either localised, medium-scale or large-scale.

What farmers need to do now

Don’t hold out for rain as a reason to delay any decisions you need to make. Make plans and decisions in light of current conditions and warm temperatures driving high evapotranspiration. It will take significant rainfall to slow down or reverse the dry conditions. 

That it is so dry so early in the season may further limit your options, or create uncertainty, such as decisions on which animals to sell or cull.

In many locations stock feed in the form of hay and silage is lower than normal due to the wet winter and spring. You need to understand your local situation and factor these delays in your planning.

Tips from farmers who have managed their way through past dry spells:

  •  Review the technical information from your industry bodies on managing in dry weather.
  • Do a feed budget.
  • Make a plan and set trigger points to make decisions or take action: Dates, stock condition, feed availability; Once a day milking, drying off, culling early.  Ensure relevant contract partners agree with the plan. When those points or times hit, enact your plan.
  • Keep an eye on climate predictions and soil moisture levels, especially on your own farm as it can vary from your neighbours’. (NIWA is useful).
  • Use water efficiently and plan for water restrictions. Check irrigation consents for any triggers that will require you to make changes to usage.
  • Ensure bores are well maintained and make contingency plans in case supply fails.
  • Look after your animals and regularly check their condition.
  • Make decisions for slaughter well in advance and book space in time (since killing space may be in high demand in your area)
  • Be vigilant on very hot days. Animals cannot be left for much time with no shade or access to water.
  • Be aware of increased risk of fire and take precautions
  • Talk to your bank, accountants and other advisors, seek their advice, and ask for help if you need it.        
  • Your Rural Support Trust is here to help. If you need to get pointed in the right direction for advice or information, are concerned about a friend, a neighbour, a worker…. or just need a private chat, their services are free & confidential. Call 0800 RURAL HELP (0800 787 254) or visit www.rural-support.org.nz.

This document will give you some tips and tricks for mitigating the dry hot summer conditions.

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