Fighting for top of the south farmers
They are big shoes to fill after 18 years, but Annette Litherland says she is determined to continue the fight for farmers and the environment.
Annette has taken over as the New Zealand Landcare Trust regional co-ordinator for Nelson and Marlborough, taking the top job from Barbara Stuart following her retirement.
Barbara worked for the trust since 1999, finding her niche in helping farmers reduce their impact on the land and seeing a huge shift in attitudes about sustainability.
The new trust head says she is ready for the challenge and excited to work with farmers in the top of the south.
‘‘They’re daunting shoes to fill, but [Barbara’s] helping me into the job and is a phone call away,’’ Annette says.
‘‘I’m looking for a win for farmers and a win for the environment, that’s why I took this job.
‘‘I’ll basically work for the people, to help them achieve what they want to achieve.’’
The trust works with farmers, landowners and community groups to improve the sustainability of landscapes and waterways.
Annette, with more than 30 years in agricultural science, says she is committed to continuing that work. Born in Motueka, Annette grew up in North Auckland and spent most school holidays in the Tasman area.
Following an agriculturalscience degree at Massey University, she worked with AgResearch for 25 years.
Annette then worked as a tech- nician/sheppard on a sheep and beef farm for four years, before taking a job with the Taratahi Agricultural Training Centre.
The role saw her training youth to be the best farmers they could be, an element of farming she says is one of her primary drivers. Annette has been with Landcare since the start of the month, and says she is immersing herself in community meetings and ongoing projects.
Annette is a keen tramper, kayaker, mountain biker and fisher, and says water quality will be a major focus of her work.
‘‘I really want to connect people along catchments to work together and solve the issue of water quality,’’ she says.
In her position with Landcare, Annette says she wants to continue the fight against Chilean Needle Grass and investigate the future farming of plant-based proteins.
New Zealand Landcare Trust regional coordinator Annette Litherland takes over from Barbara Stuart.