New Zealand Young Farmers appoints new CEO

Posted by on 5 September 2013 | Comments

New Zealand Young Farmers is pleased to announce the appointment of the new CEO, Terry Copeland. After twelve years of service to NZYF as CEO, Richard Fitzgerald is stepping down.

Mr Copeland comes to Young Farmers with an arsenal of experience from management, sales and marketing and supply chain management to tertiary teaching, journalism and being a brand ambassador.

His latest post was with Treasury Wine Estates, the second largest wine company globally. He led the export strategy and the supply chain team for four years.

Originally from Auckland, Mr Copeland now calls Christchurch home, although, he is no stranger to travel, and has worked as far afield as Adelaide, Hong Kong and Tokyo.

Mr Copeland has a strong connection to the rural community and his family has a farming background. “I definitely associate with the rural ethic of honest hard work and not shying away from the harder decisions life throws us,” he commented.

Mr Copeland will assume the role 1st October and plans to hit the ground running. “First thing up is to meet and engage with as many people within the broader NZYF family, and reach out to our industry partners. This means getting around the countryside and soaking up the vast knowledge and experience and listen to what people think,” he said.

“To have credibility it will take some time for me to really understand the agriculture sector, where we fit, and what we can do to improve the pathways for young people to seek agriculture as their first choice career direction,” explained Mr Copeland.

He also holds staff and organisational development high on the list of priorities. “[I want to] inject a real passion for who NZYF is and nurture the staff to be creative and drive this organisation into being something all rural young people would naturally want to belong to,” said Mr Copeland.

Mr Copeland explained that he was drawn to the role because he saw an amazing opportunity to make a real difference to NZYF and he has a great passion for mentoring young people.

“Plus this is something very real which will make an impact on society and the economy. It's vital that more young people commit to the agriculture industry, so that the country continues to grow and adds value to the whole population,” he added.

Mr Copeland holds a Bachelor Degree in Music from the University of Auckland and a Post Graduate Diploma in Commerce and Management from the New Zealand Institute of Corporate Managers, in association with Lincoln University. He has a wife and four children.