Rob Gemmell has spent the majority of his 20 years with the BNZ as an Agri Business Partner and Senior Partner in Wanganui. More recently he has taken on a newly established National position providing oversight for all the Agribusiness Property Valuations relied on by the bank. Rob completed a B Com Ag (Val & Fmgt) at Lincoln University, and worked as a Rural Valuer and Agri Banker in Tasmania and South Australia.
Jenny McGimpsey has worked with Beef + Lamb New Zealand and its predecessor for eight years. Now working with B+LNZ as Economic Service Manager for the Southern South Island, which involves data collection and analysis and forecasting for the Sheep and Beef Farm Survey, she had also previously co-ordinated the implementation of an extension programme to sheep and beef farmers in Southland. Graduating with B Hort Sc (Hons) from Canterbury University (Lincoln College), Jenny has a science background and worked on the agronomy of new and novel crops for 10 years. She has years of extensive practical farming experience. In partnership with her husband, she farms sheep and beef on 550 ha of developed hill country in West Otago.
Peter Ettema has worked for the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) and its predecessors since 2005. His current role is as an acting manager for a five person team within the Sector Policy Directorate at MPI. Peter has a Bachelor of Agricultural Science and a Masters of Environmental Management. He has worked in the agricultural sector both in New Zealand and overseas as well as maintaining strong rural links through previous roles at the Department of Conservation and as the Wellington representative for the QEII National Trust
Ian Peters Ian Peters, Ngatiwai, has spent the last 21 years in the employment of Te Puni Kōkiri both at National and Tai Tokerau office, Whangarei. Blessed with a background in dairy farming and horticulture, the rural economy has always been of great interest. Ian leases land for a small block enterprise which is now a hobby but invaluable for present farming practise. As a lover of horses, New Zealand National Equestrian Show Jumping Judge and Hunt rider Ian has ridden over some of the best Māori Blocks in the North Island. Although only experiencing a short political career Ian chaired the Māori Affairs Select Committee who ushered in the Te Ture Whenua Act . His MBA Research Project was on Maori Owned Multiple Land which is most relevant today. Ian brings to the table experience and knowledge gained at multiple levels of activity.
Peter MacGregor NgātiKahungunu; Atihaunui a Pāpārangi; Ngāti Raukawa; Maniapoto, Rangitane, Ngāti Apa and Ngāti Paoa) is Primary ITO’s Strategic Relationships Manager. He has been energetically promoting the benefits of the reinvigorated competition at Field Days and to farm workers and employers since AgITO became a bronze sponsor in 2005. Peter has previously held a variety of positions in the Housing, Education and Training and Land Development divisions of the former Department of Māori Affairs and several other positions with Te Puni Kōkiri.
Abe Seymour is the Competition Kaumātua and supported both the first round and finalist judges on all of their visits. Abe Seymour is of Ngāti Tūwharetoa, Ngāti Raukawa, Ngāti Kahungunu and Atihaunui a Pāpārangi extraction and is currently a Strategic Contractor providing advice to a number of organisations including Primary ITO. He is a stakeholder in a number of trusts in and around the Central North Island and from time to time provides advice in those areas. He has also sat on a number of boards and directorships for Māori and is heavily involved and a strong advocate in training programmes for young Māori who are likely to be tomorrow’s leaders. He is also involved in tertiary programmes, programme design and delivery with the Waiariki Polytechnic among others.
Dana Blackburn - Chief Judge (Ngāti Rangi, Atihaunui a Pāpārangi, Tūwharetoa) farms an 800 hectare semi intensive sheep and beef unit at Karioi, Ohakune, a property initially developed on family and ancestral land. He is the immediate past Chair of the Atihau Whanganui Incorporation (AWI) which won the Ahuwhenua Trophy in 2007. Under his Chairmanship the AWI group increased its net farm income by more than $2M in 2013. This is Dana’s third stint as Chief Judge of the Ahuwhenua Trophy sheep and beef competition.
Dr Gavin Sheath is an agricultural systems consultant with extensive international and domestic experience as a scientist and businessman. Dr Sheath has spent over 40 years with AgResearch in various senior management roles. Most recently he has provided strategic planning services to Māori agribusinesses, Deer Industry NZ, and DairyNZ. He has participated in technical reviews for the Ministry for Primary Industries and the Waikato River Authority and has worked in both the private and public sectors, in Japan, Mongolia and South America.
Rob Davison has been head of the Beef + Lamb New Zealand Economic Service since 1989. His early working life was spent working on farms but he has spent most of the last 40 years working in the fields of agricultural economics and policy, and farm sector output forecasting. The Economic Service’s Survey of sheep and beef farms regularly gathers data on livestock, production, revenue, expenditure and the financial structure of farms.
Sam Johnson joined BNZ as an Agribusiness Manager and Sales Manager in 1993. As one of BNZ’s Managing Partners, Sam leads the Northland team of agribusiness, commercial and private banking partners. Along with his wife he manages 30 heifers on their 10 hectare block at Kamo, outside of Whangarei.
Abe Seymour is the competition kaumātua and supports both the first round and finalist judges on all of their visits. Abe Seymour is of Ngāti Tūwharetoa, Ngāti Raukawa, Ngāti Kahungunu and Atihaunui a Pāpārangi extraction and is currently a Strategic Contractor providing advice to a number of organisations including Primary ITO. He is a stakeholder in a number of trusts in and around the Central North Island and from time to time provides advice in those areas. He has also sat on a number of boards and directorships for Māori and is heavily involved and a strong advocate in training programmes for young Māori who are likely to be tomorrow’s leaders. He is also involved in tertiary programmes, programme design and delivery with the Waiariki Polytechnic among others.