AgBoard loses its paid staff

The Clutha Agricultural Development Board (AgBoard) began operating without paid staff for the first time since 1999 this month.

The AgBoard will vote on whether to continue in a voluntary capacity at its March 25 annual meeting.

The recommendation from the board's executive comes after the AgBoard closed its Clyde St, Balclutha, office and reduced its staff hours last winter.

Former projects manager Malcolm Deverson worked in a limited capacity until the end of February this year, but has taken the role of projects adviser and has joined the now 10-member executive.

In June last year, the Clutha District Council diverted funds from the agricultural board to Clutha Development.

The current wishlist of AgBoard projects was funding-dependent, Mr Deverson said.

Seeking funding would be discussed at the annual meeting, he said.

The AgBoard worked as a strictly volunteer group from 1993 to 1999 when it brought in paid staff to support and educate its 150, mostly Clutha district, members.

The AgBoard annual meeting is being held at 6pm on March 25 at the South Otago Town and Country Club.

University of Otago Centre for Sustainability Emeritus Prof Henrik Moller, the principal investigator and company director of Ecosystems Consultants, will give a keynote address on the New Zealand Sustainability Dashboard, which is a six-year research programme started in October 2012 that is centred on the Agriculture Research Group On Sustainability.

hamish.maclean@odt.co.nz

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