DairyNZ welcomes two new directors to the board

Jaqueline Rowarth
Farmer-elected director

Jo Coughlan
Board-appointed director

6 December 2018


Held in ivercargill on October 31, DairyNZ’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) saw sustainable farm systems discussed and two new directors joining the board.

DairyNZ chairman Jim van der Poel said the 2017/18 season was another big year for dairy farmers, with great progress made in developing farm systems for the future.

“We as a farming community are committed to farming within environmentallimits and maximising value from our pasture- based farming systems. This is what continues to be our competitive advantage,” said Jim. “By continuing to improve our sustainability, we are safeguarding the dairy sector’s future.”

Jim said the Dairy Tomorrow strategy, launched in 2017, is now central to the sector’s future progress.

“It has six commitments which encompass the environment, resilient businesses, producing high-quality nutrition, animal care, great workplaces and growing vibrant communities.”

Several AGM resolutions results were also announced at the AGM, including setting new director remuneration levels and appointing dairy farmer John Gregan to the Directors Remuneration Committee. Jim also introduced two new directors to DairyNZ’s board, who you can read about below.


Who are the new directors? 

Jacqueline Rowarth

Farmer-elected director Jacqueline Rowarth has a wealth of science, agribusiness and policy experience.

“When I was 16 years old, I wanted to save the world and this belief has never been far from mind. I’ve always had a passion for sustainable food production and look forward to working with DairyNZ in their work to help dairy farmers achieve this vision.”

Jacqueline was the first chief scientist for the Environmental Protection Authority. Her  other  past roles include Professor of Pastoral Agriculture at Massey University and Professor of Agribusiness at Waikato University.

She has 35 years’ experience as a soil scientist, with a research focus on managing the productive environment (nutrients and greenhouse gases). In 2011, Jacqueline invested in a family-run dairy operation in Tirau.


Jo Coughlan

Board-appointed director Jo Coughlan brings considerable experience to DairyNZ and is thrilled to be joining the team.

“I grew up on a sheep and crop farm in Mid  Canterbury and married a Southland farmer, but have lived in Central Wellington for more than 20 years, where we have raised our six children. I feel I can bring both an urban and rural perspective to the DairyNZ board.

“I’m excited to be a part of a sector that, while facing challenges, will continue to play a key role growing the New Zealand economy and is focused on creating a better future for our children.”

With about 20 years’ experience in senior public relations, government relations and communications roles, Jo is currently managing director for Silvereye Communications, working with a wide range of public and private sector clients.

Jo replaces Barry Harris, who retired from the DairyNZ board after 11 years.


Jim van der Poel

Media inquiries:

Lee Cowan
Senior Engagement & Communications Manager
021 930 836

Vanessa Feaver
Senior Communications & Media Specialist
027 836 6295

Photo usage: If you require high-resolution versions of photos featured in this article, please contact info@dairynz.co.nz