The man who helped transform NZ Young Farmers has been appointed to lead the country’s most influential rural lobby group.
Terry Copeland, 50, has been named the next chief executive of Federated Farmers. He replaces Graham Smith.
Terry has been the chief executive of NZ Young Farmers since 2013 and is looking forward to a new challenge.
“I feel the time is right to take the step up to Federated Farmers during a period when the wider industry needs renewed leadership,” says Terry.
Federated Farmers’ president Katie Milne describes Terry as a strategic thinker, who understands young people.
“Terry’s done an amazing job lifting the profile of NZ Young Farmers, building its membership base and increasing member participation,” says Katie.
“We need to get more young farmers engaged in the important work our organisation does. We’re confident Terry can help do that.”
During his time at NZ Young Farmers, Terry has spearheaded projects designed to grow the number of people entering the primary industries.
Almost 200 secondary schools have downloaded free teaching resources giving students a taste of career opportunities in the agri-food sector.
“I’m really proud of our results across education engagement, membership, the FMG Young Farmer of the Year and the development of the Donald Pearson Farm in Auckland,” says Terry.
“It’s a great time to pass on the mantle as chief executive of NZ Young Farmers.
“Many of our NZ Young Farmers members join Federated Farmers when they ‘age out’. It’s a natural progression. So the irony of my latest career move isn’t lost on me,” he laughs.
NZ Young Farmers Board chairman Jason Te Brake says Terry’s departure will be a big loss.
“Terry has helped transform our organisation and put it on a more sustainable footing,” says Jason.
“He also cares deeply about the wellbeing of members and has been a passionate advocate of tackling suicide in rural communities.”
NZ Young Farmers expects to begin advertising for a new chief executive this month. Prior to joining NZ Young Farmers, Terry had more than 20 years’ experience in the wine industry. He’s also an international wine judge.
Terry will finish up at NZYF in mid-July after the 50th FMG Young Farmer of the Year Grand Final in Invercargill.