Federated Farmers appoints new CEO

June 2014

Federated Farmers is thrilled to announce Graham Smith’s appointment to lead the Federation in its next phase of growth.

The Federated Farmers has named Graham Smith as its Chief Executive Officer designate to succeed Conor English.

“Federated Farmers is thrilled to announce Graham Smith’s appointment to lead the Federation in its next phase of growth,” says Bruce Wills, Federated Farmers President.

Graham is a highly accomplished Chief Executive who joins the Federation from Soda Inc, an organisation facilitating new technologies, including agri-tech and company start-ups. Prior to this, he was Chief Executive of the Crown Research Institute ESR (Institute of Environmental Science & Research) for almost three years.

Graham understands the strategic context Federated Farmers operates in and is no stranger to the primary industries, having been a former General Manager at AgResearch.
The Board is especially impressed by Graham’s commercial and people leadership skills as well as his background in science and innovation. He has managed an international technology commercialisation organisation and worked for several overseas food companies.

Graham has relationships across the political and primary industry sectors, which extends across the Tasman, as Graham is Australian by birth but has lived in New Zealand since 2001.

Graham holds an MBA from the University of South Australia and a Bachelor of Economics from the University of Adelaide.

Federated Farmers is a strong and respected voice, both in Wellington and within New Zealand’s vibrant provincial hinterland.  We are passionate about the positive role farming plays in New Zealand and we know Graham shares this outlook.

With a focus on evidence based policy, Graham will be instrumental in achieving policy outcomes, which strike the right balance between our economy and our environment.

We wish to thank Conor English for a highly successful six years.  Federated Farmers and the agriculture sector owe him a huge debt of gratitude and we wish him all the best for the future.

“Graham is a worthy successor and he will work closely with the new Federated Farmers Board to continue the invaluable work we do for New Zealand’s farmers and the wider economy,” Mr Wills concluded.