HFGL Board of Directors and Independent Advisers

Richard Barker BSc(Hons), PhD (Chairman of the Board)

Richard is Professor of Statistics at University of Otago. After completing a degree in Zoology at Massey University, Richard began his career as a Fish and Game officer in Wanganui and Rangitikei before working at the Patuxent Wildlife Research Centre in the United States in the early 1990’s. He earned his PhD in Statistics at Massey University after returning to NZ in 1992. Following a stint as a biometrician at Landcare Research, Richard has been a University academic since 1998. He holds the Chair in Statistics at the University of Otago, and is currently Pro-Vice-Chancellor of the Division of Sciences.

John Hopkins JP

John has had a lifelong interest in farming, having had 20 years milking cows before progressing on to farm management and development. Awarded a Nuffield Scholarship in 1979, John has also had 15 years in farm politics with Federated Farmers followed by 10 years as a Director of the Tui and Kiwi Cooperative Dairy Companies. John has proven foresight and is continually looking for new ways to progress. The growth of Hopkins Farming Group as one of the largest and most successful farming groups in New Zealand is evidence of this foresight.

Tim Hopkins

Tim has had 20 years milking cows on farms ranging from 140 to 1300 cows. After three years as a farm cadet Tim returned to manage the family farm and has since managed and developed a number of HFGL farms including Blythe, Tokomaru, Toll Bridge, Taonui and Kohi Heights in Waverly. Tim currently manages the contracting team that provides services to all HFGL farms and some external contracting.

Andrew Hopkins

Andrew has worked in the family business since leaving school. As manager of Strautmann Hopkins Ltd for the past 15 years he has successfully expanded that business.

Malcolm Bailey JP, BAgEcon

Malcolm is a dairy farmer from Feilding and a shareholder in the group. He is a current director of Fonterra (elected) and Westpac Bank and was previously national president of Federated Farmers, New Zealand’s Special Agricultural Trade Envoy, and External Monetory Policy Adviser to the Reserve Bank. Malcolm has a Bachelor of Agricultural Economics from Massey University.

Kevin Davidson

Kevin is an independent director who began dairying in Waikato, progressed rapidly through sharemilking before buying a 55ha farm. Within five years Kevin was producing twice the district average. In 2000 with others Kevin formed an equity partnership which purchased 365 ha in Central Hawkes Bay and converted it to dairying. Kevin manages this 1400 cow operation which is irrigated, highly performing and profitable.

Nicola Shadbolt, BSc, MAgrSc.(Hons)

Nicola is Professor of Farm and Agribusiness Management, and Co-Director of the AgriCommerce Programme at Massey University. Nicola is an independent directorof HFGL and a current director of Fonterra (elected). Nicola has a deep professional understanding of agribusiness and practical dairy farming experience through a successful equity partnership spanning nearly 30 years.

Mike Skilling, BAgrSci, PGDipBank.

Mike is an independent director with experience in rural banking and management as well as private banking. Mike began his career with the Rural Bank and was Regional Manager (Manawatu) for national Bank of NZ after it took over the rural bank. Mike then joined BNZ, initially as Head of Rural Business, then General Manager Agribusiness Financial Services, and General Manager Business Financial Services and Private Banking. Mike then joined PGG Wrightson as Group General Manager Customer Services before being hired by the receivers of South Canterbury Finance as General Manager. Mike now works as a business consultant and company director. He is the independent chair of Waitatapia Farms, independent chair of John O'Brian Farms Ltd, and director of Aquacars and Finance and Ruby Bay Estate Ltd.

HFGL Management Team

Shaun BackCEO
John HopkinsDeputy Chair
Tim HopkinsFarm Supervisor, Manager Farm Support Services
Andrew Hopkins Manager, Strautmann Hopkins
Iain Sinclair-BlackFarm Supervisor
Max SturtManager, Assets & Development
Brian ClarkeFarm Consultant (PGG Wrightson)
Adrianna SimonsOffice Manager
Laura MercerOffice Administrator
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