Young leaders announced for MobileTECH 2016

Young leaders in New Zealand’s primary industries are essential for increasing the future prosperity of the sector. One of the key highlights at the upcoming MobileTECH 2016 event is the ‘Meet the future leaders’ panel. This session focuses on the next generation of farmers, orchardists and foresters and what their views and big ideas are for the future.

“While we will be heading a lot about new technologies at this event, it is equality as important to hear what the youth of today want to see developed”, said MobileTECH Programme Manager, Ken Wilson. “The young leaders have grown up with technology and there’s no doubt they will be the early adopters and visionaries for working with technology within our primary industries,” he said.

The ‘Meet the Future Leaders’ panel features five panellists from key industries and with diverse backgrounds.

The panellists are; Matt Bell from Align Longfield, Hamish Gates from AS Wilcox & Sons, Sarah O’Connell from Beef + Lamb NZ, Goetz Roth from Interpine and Hinga Marsh from Tuhono Whenua Horticulture.

Matt Bell won last year’s NZ Young Farmer of the Year and will represent the dairy industry on the panel. Matt said, “I’m very excited to be invited to join this panel discussion surrounding technology in the primary industry. Technology is going to become more and more crucial to the industry, particularly as finding staff is becoming harder and harder.”

Hamish Gates was 2015’s NZ Young Vegetable Grower and NZ Young Grower of the Year. He represents the cropping sector and is aiming to specialise in pack house efficiency and maximising product returns.

Sarah O’Connell is the former Chairperson of the Royal Agricultural Society Youth Council. She runs her own Beef Shorthorn and Angus cattle studs and represents the beef and lamb sector on the panel. Sarah said, “I want to better understand where technology is going and what technology is wanted by our future farmers. This technology event is a great opportunity to discover the answers to both.”

Goetz Roth was awarded a Callaghan Forestry Innovation Scholarship in 2015 and will represent the forest industry at MobileTECH 2016. He has recently returned from Europe reviewing harvester system implementation and management throughout Finland, Germany and Sweden.

Hinga Marsh represents the horticultural sector and has already proven himself as a leader with the industry. His recent role involves introducing advanced technologies and also building capability for Māori owned kiwifruit orchards.

“As technology continues to find new and novel solutions for our business, having the opportunity to be a part of the MobileTECH Primary Industries 2016 conference allows our company to take a front seat in assessing just where these technologies will go next,” said Hinga.

The ‘Meet the future leaders’ panel is one of 36 exciting presentations at MobileTECH 2016. Further information on the MobileTECH 2016 programme, which runs in Rotorua on 30-31 March 2016, can be found on the event website,