The head of Beef + Lamb NZ (B+LNZ)’s Economic Service, Rob Davison has been made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM) for services to the sheep and beef industries.
Davison, who has worked in the economics side of the sheep and beef industry for over 40 years, received his honour in the New Year’s Honours List for services to the sheep and beef industries
His characteristically humble response is that he is “greatly humbled” by the honour, which he says is “as much about the great people I work with”. He describes agriculture as being “New Zealand’s silicon valley”. “It’s where the IP and the science is. It’s ‘where it happens’ at the moment.”
He points out that the great gains in annual productivity that have been seen haven’t happened by chance – but through applied science and new management systems being adopted at the farm level through to market.
His career started at the Meat & Wool Board in 1973 as research officer and he has worked his way through the various incarnations of the body as economist, chief economist and, lastly, executive director, His citation notes that he has been responsible for the development of sector-wide information across the supply chain for meat and wool. This involves 60 years of data from approximately 550 farms that are able to be aggregated and are representative of the entire sheep, beef and wider pastoral sector.
The analyses from Davison and his team are sought after at local, national and international level and are highly regards by all those involved in the development and promotion of policy affecting sheep and beef farmers and to support commercial business decisions and product promotion for export and sale.
He has also mentored many agricultural professionals who have worked in or with the B+L Economic Service.
Beef + Lamb New Zealand’s chief executive, Scott Champion, has acknowledged Davison’s integrity and the way he goes about his work, often behind the scenes. He said the award was great not just for Davison, but also for the organisation and the sector.
Another recognised in the New Year’s honours was Lindy Nelson, founder and executive director of the Agri-Women’s Development Trust for her services to agriculture and women. She was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit (MNZM).