Steering committee

The Hill Country Futures programme is governed by a steering committee of co-funders and hill country farmers, and led by an independent Chair.

Independent Chair

Jenni Vernon – Waikato sheep and beef farmer, Nuffield Scholar, AWDT trustee, and senior policy analyst

Co-funder representatives

Dr Derek Woodfield – General Manager Research & Development, PGG Wrightson Seeds

James White – Commercial Extension Manager, Seed Force New Zealand

Suzi Keeling - Sector Science Strategy Manager, Beef + Lamb New Zealand

Camilla Gardiner – Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE)

Federation of Maori Authorities (FOMA)

Rawson Wright


Sam Lang – Quorum Sense Manager, farm systems researcher

Rita Batley – Moawhango (Taihape) sheep and beef farmer and community advocate  

Jacqui Cottrell – Taihape sheep and beef farmer, co-founder of Kiwi Quinoa