In keeping with this outlook, Lincoln University has also recently signed a new Memorandum of Understanding with the foundation, which is a charitable trust that helps to support and resource the University.
The foundation was established in 1978 to mark Lincoln University’s centenary. It holds and manages gifted, donated and bequeathed funds for advancing education in New Zealand, with special reference to agriculture and related interests.
“We see our key role to act as custodian of funds entrusted to the foundation and to use our contacts and networks to encourage philanthropic donations to Lincoln University,” said Barry. “We want to get the best long-term return for donors and support Lincoln as best we can.”
Earnings from the funds invested are used to provide a range of prestigious scholarships for students to study at Lincoln University.
Barry paid tribute to Ben Todhunter for expanding the South Island Farmer of the Year competition and taking it to a new level.
“The decision to discontinue the competition wasn’t an easy one, but the board has firmly committed to investing in a range of prestigious scholarships to support the new growth trajectory of Lincoln.”
Board members working alongside Barry are Fiona Hancox of Southland, Tricia Macfarlane of Mid Canterbury, Richard Riddell of Hawke’s Bay, ex-officio Lincoln University’s Chancellor Steve Smith and Vice-Chancellor James McWha. Sebastian Wilberforce of Christchurch is Secretary.
Barry’s association with Lincoln University stretches back to the 1960s and 1970s when he was a high-achieving student. He holds three levels of university qualification – a diploma, a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree.
Originally from Dunedin, Barry entered Lincoln in 1967, completing first a Diploma in Agriculture awarded with Distinction in 1969, then a Diploma in Valuation and Farm Management awarded with Credit and Lincoln’s Gold Medal in 1970.
Next, he completed a Bachelor of Agricultural Commerce in 1974 and was Lincoln’s Senior Scholar that year. In 1980, he received a Master of Agricultural Commerce with First Class Honours in Farm Management. His master’s thesis concerned planning for agricultural development in Tonga after he worked for a period in the island kingdom.
Other posts in New Zealand were as a Farm Consultant in Whakatane, Senior Economist at the Economic Service of the Meat and Wool Board and member of the Prime Minister’s Advisory Group.
Barry’s more recent background in governance and leadership includes positions as CEO of Wrightson and PGG Wrightson (2005-2008), Chair of Synlait Farms (2013-2014), Chair of AGMARDT (2014-2016) and Chair of CreativeHQ. He is also Chair of Carrfields Limited and Bonavaree Farm Ltd and a member of the Ministry for Primary Industries’ Investment Advisory Panel for the Primary Growth Partnership.