Mid-Canterbury farmer Will Grayling, one of 40 farm leaders
from around the world who attended at the Rabobank Young
Farmers Master Class in the Netherlands.
Mid-Canterbury dairy farmer Will Grayling attended the
first international young farmer master class in the
Netherlands last week.
He was one of six young New Zealand farmers who were part of
a group of 40 farm leaders from around the world at the
Rabobank Young Farmers Master Class.
The gathering brought together forward-thinking young primary
producers, from a range of countries, who have been
identified to be among the next generation of ''agricultural
leaders of tomorrow''.
Staged by global agricultural banking specialist Rabobank,
the Young Farmers Master Class is an initiative which
recognises the important shared role the coming generation of
farmers will play in the future challenges of agriculture and
feeding the world.
The master class encompassed an intensive programme,
including presentations from food and agriculture researchers
and leading global innovators, interactive professional and
personal development sessions and visits to flagship
Sessions included visits to the world-renowned Wagening
University Research food and agri knowledge centre to learn
about agricultural innovations, to a global dairy company's
state-of-the-art dairy research centre to review developments
in the dairy value chain and to a flagship sustainable,
diversified dairy farm.
In addition, participants learnt from global social media
expert Danny Mekic on the potential and significance of
social and online media for the agricultural sector, while
soil and crop research entrepreneur Henri Hekman shared his
experience in leveraging ''big data''.
Other participants who attended included Grasslands chief
executive Gareth van der Heyden, Blenheim sheep and beef
producer, and vineyard operator Richard Laugesen, New
Plymouth dairy farmer Jacques Le Prou, Masterton sheep and
beef producer George Tatham and Rotorua dairy farmer Kirsten
Will Grayling (28), who was the 2011 National Bank Young
Farmer of the Year, is an equity partner in share-milking
He grew up on his family's dairy farming operation near
Hamilton, before completing a masters of applied science
degree in agriculture at Lincoln University.
He began his own venture in dairying in 2009. Ashpouri has
now grown to a 3200-cow operation.