Young Farmers names first female CEO

Lynda Coppersmith is the new New Zealand Young Farmers chief executive. Photo: New Zealand Young Farmers
Lynda Coppersmith is the new New Zealand Young Farmers chief executive. Photo: New Zealand Young Farmers
New Zealand Young Farmers has appointed its first female chief executive.

Christchurch-based Lynda Coppersmith (48), who says she has a passion for primary industries, has been appointed to the top job at New Zealand Young Farmers.

Her announcement followed the announcement last month of Ash-Leigh Campbell as the organisation's second board chairwoman and an eight-strong board which included four women.

''I'm really excited that I'm going to be working in the primary industries again,'' Ms Coppersmith said.

She is a Christchurch-based senior account manager with accounting software company MYOB.

She has previously worked for DairyNZ, and also as a business development manager for the Livestock Improvement Corporation (LIC) and also worked as an area manager for Fonterra in Timaru.

''The more chief executives we have who are women the better. Diversity is extremely important.

''If the primary industries is to meet its growth targets, it needs to do everything it can to connect with young women.

''I'm hoping my appointment and having Ash-Leigh chairing our board will send a positive signal to women about our sector,'' she said.

Ms Campbell said Ms Coppersmith had ''great relationship building skills, excellent business acumen and experience dealing with grass roots farmer issues''.

''That will stand her in good stead working with our membership base and the organisation's other key stakeholders.''

Ms Coppersmith is married with two teenaged children.

Outside of work, Ms Coppersmith said she loved to travel and study.

''We've spent a bit of time travelling through Southeast Asia and we've lived in Australia.''

She was also completing a Master of Business Administration through the University of Canterbury.

Ms Coppersmith's first day at New Zealand Young Farmers will be October 1.

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