Longest-serving staff member retires

Gordon Greer (66) is retiring from fulltime work as a technician at AgResearch's Invermay campus after 48 years. Photo by Peter McIntosh.
Gordon Greer (66) is retiring from fulltime work as a technician at AgResearch's Invermay campus after 48 years. Photo by Peter McIntosh.

Gordon Greer's hair was much longer in 1966 and he also had ''fewer wrinkles''.

That year Mr Greer started work as a technician at AgResearch's Invermay campus, after attending Taieri High School.

It was also the year the first episode of the long-running television rural series Country Calendar screened.

Forty-eight years later, and apparently now the longest-serving Invermay staff member, Mr Greer has stopped working fulltime, but will still help out part time, if required.

His big contribution to Invermay was celebrated at a function in his honour last week.

Since starting, he has done much fieldwork with sheep, including Coopworth, Romney and Texel breeds, and

visited more than 40 farms in Southland, Otago, Canterbury and even some near Palmerston North, on agricultural information-gathering missions.

He has also worked with deer and cattle.

And he still has about 60 of his own sheep at his family lifestyle block at Brighton.

Over the years friends have jokingly called him a ''lifer'' because of his lengthy involvement at Invermay.

But he has absolutely no regrets.

There had been tremendous variety over the years, working on different projects, with different animals and working for many different scientists, he said.

Mr Greer was proud to have been part of a research effort which added a great deal more value to sheep meat, helping to develop a product which is leaner and more tender.

The biggest attraction in working at Invermay had been the people, including many high-powered and passionate scientists.

''I've worked with really, really neat people, just great.''

One of the first scientists he worked with was Ken Drew, and he has also had a long involvement with senior scientist Dr John McEwan.

And he also loved working with farmers, many of them keen to learn about new ideas, but also offered plenty of feedback of their own.

john.gibb@odt.co.nz

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