Hook farmer Guy Wigley has replaced Peter Mitchell as the North Otago and South Canterbury representative on the Foundation for Arable Research (Far).

Mr Mitchell, who runs the arable operation for the award-winning Mitchell and Webster family farming business at Weston, served six years on the Far board. He stood for re-election for a further three but lost out to Mr Wigley, the former Federated Farmers national arable section chairman.

Guy Wigley.
Guy Wigley.

Mr Mitchell was philosophical, saying he was ''sad not to be there'' but it was ''healthy that things change and others contribute''.

''I've really enjoyed it,'' he said of his tenure.

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''The industry wouldn't be where it is if not for Far.

''Every industry has got challenges it's got to be working through. We have to be open to change.''

Mr Wigley's experience and contacts in Wellington would be very valuable, Mr Mitchell said.

Mr Wigley acknowledged Mr Mitchell's service and said he looked forward to working with him on projects he was still involved with.

''Peter's done a good job for arable farmers.''

Mr Wigley agreed that Far was responsible for advancing the sector.

''Far, for the last 19 years, has been the cornerstone of our profitability. It has underpinned and enhanced everything we do on our farms.''

Growers were able to make better decisions thanks to Far's research, he said.

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He also paid tribute to the work of former chief executive Nick Pyke, who did ''a phenomenal job on our behalf''.

Mr Wigley had ''great faith'' in new chief executive Dr Alison Stewart, who he was confident would lead Far to the next level.

''It's good to have fresh faces around any board - it keeps up engagement with a wide group of farmers.

''Arable [Far] is very well-placed to take sustainable production forward.''

Central Rural Life