There are many outstanding young people in Otago and
Southland who are on the way to becoming rural leaders of the
future. This week, Southern Rural Life talks to Luke McCraw,
of Raes Junction.
Personal details: Luke McCraw (30), stock manager,
married to Cath.
Hobbies and interests: Farming, hunting, Young
Farmers, playing sport.
Size and type of farm and number of stock units, if you
have one: Work on a 2000ha, 7500 stock unit sheep and
What groups have you belonged to in the past and
currently, and did/do you hold any positions within those
groups? I have been Otago/Southland regional manager for
the Young Farmers contest since 2010. I am also involved with
Waitane and Moa Flat clubs as chairman. I convened the
Otago/Southland Regional Young Farmer final in 2009. I have
also been a Southern Field Days committee member since 2006.
What sort of skills did you learn from them? I learned
leadership, communication, networking, and enjoyed meeting
great people in the New Zealand agricultural industry.
What are some of your proudest or most satisfying
achievements? 2008 Junior Stock Judging New Zealand
Champion at the Christchurch Show. Representing New Zealand
at the Hobart Royal Show, for stock judging in 2009. Placed
first in the Otago/Southland Young Farmers Stock Judging
competition for 2009 and 2010. 2004 Freemasons Southern
District Rural Achiever finalist.
Have you ever been involved in a project that required
some type of problem or crisis to be solved and how did you
or your team do it? Being involved with organising
the national Young Farmer grand final means there are always
challenges. It's great to think outside the square, remain
positive and just work through each challenge as it arises.
Do you see yourself as a potential rural leader? Not
really, but I just want to encourage other people in the
In your opinion, what issue is affecting the rural
sector's young people the most? The challenge of farm
How would you address that issue? Keep positive and
work hard. You drive your own success.
How would you encourage more young people to be involved
in leadership and governance roles? Get involved with
Young Farmers and community organisations. Have a go at the
Young Farmers contest, as it's a lot of fun and you learn a
lot, combined with the opportunity to meet great people.
Would you consider moving into local or central government
politics? I'm not a big fan of politics, to be fair.