Enjoyed representing farmers on 'big issues'

David Rose and his wife, Helen,  take in the moment after Mr Rose was presented with a life membership to Southland Federated Farmers at its AGM in Invercargill last week. Photo: Nicole Sharp
David Rose and his wife, Helen, take in the moment after Mr Rose was presented with a life membership to Southland Federated Farmers at its AGM in Invercargill last week. Photo: Nicole Sharp
David Rose is a name that often comes up in conversation around the Federated Farmers executive table.

More than 30 years of involvement with Southland Federated Farmers has involved many hours of work for the Lochiel farmer, who was awarded a life membership at the recent AGM.

''I never saw that coming,'' he said, smiling.

One of the bigger projects Mr Rose had been a part of was the Southland Water and Land Plan and he was very proud of the work the federation had done.

''I think the federation is more important now that it's ever been. In a world where facts have disappeared and it's all about emotion. That's what the federation brings - well researched data and emotion, and factual data to the table.''

He hoped that for young people coming through the industry, they would look at the federation subscription like putting diesel in their tractor, as an essential to their farming career, he said.

''I guess my time at Federated Farmers has gone really quickly and I've thoroughly enjoyed it. It's changed my life.''

''It's a privilege to try and represent farmers on the big issues and make a difference for everybody.''

Southland Federated Farmers life member Doug Fraser presented Mr Rose with his life membership.

Mr Fraser said it was his pleasure to speak on behalf of Federated Farmers to recognise the contribution of his colleague and friend Mr Rose.

''David's input to the federation both at a local and national level has been huge and that work is still ongoing.''

His work with the federation dated back to the 1980s, when he was a young farmers representative to Southland's Federated Farmers executive.

A daunting task for a young man making his way in farming, with tough political conversations ongoing in the 1980s, it all had helped to hone Mr Rose's skills, Mr Fraser said.

''These skills he has subsequently brought to the leadership roles in the federation and in the wider community. Always remaining grounded to make sure the membership's views are well represented, a focus on providing factual evidence to the membership. This and a drive to get good decision-making processes. A leadership style that worked diligently to ensure stakeholders were well consulted. Emails from David in the wee hours of the morning are not unusual. David has always been great at keeping notes and filing information for future reference.''

''David is always highly principled. Always putting aside personal advantage to address issues for the greater good. A great moral compass for us all around that exec table.''

Mr Rose's involvement with Southland Federated Farmers had included four years as president, from 2004, he was then elected to the federation's national board in 2009.

He had made a huge contribution to farming and Federated Farmers, which was not without sacrifice, Mr Fraser said.

He could not have given the time and devotion without the support of his wife Helen, and sons Hamish and Mark.

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