Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit

FAR CEO Nick Pyke has been made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the 2017 Queen’s Birthday Honours, in recognition of his services to the arable industry.Nick Pyke was appointed Research Director of the Foundation for Arable Research (FAR) in 1995. Since then, his vision has enabled FAR to develop into a world leading arable research and extension body with a reputation for research excellence and innovative extension programmes. The flow on from this research and extension has contributed substantially to the economic and environmental sustainability of the New Zealand arable industry.Nick has developed and maintained strong links with farmer based research organisations locally and internationally, ensuring that FAR's research and extension is nationally and internationally informed and benchmarked. The strength of FAR's international reputation and Nick's vision combined in 2012 with the formation of FAR Australia, a FAR subsidiary providing project management, research, extension and training services to the Australian grains industry and fostering better research and extension linkages between the Australian and New Zealand agricultural research sectors.Under Nick's leadership, FAR was one of the first organisations in the primary sector to recognise the importance of whole farm systems over individual crop and management issues. Biosecurity is another key issue for the industry and Nick was instrumental in facilitating an industry responses to recent black grass, velvet leaf and pea weevil incursions.Nick has also worked hard to ensure that levy payers have access to research and demonstration sites. Trials are carried out in all arable regions, with particular focus on two long term research sites in Canterbury (Chertsey) and Waikato (Tamahere), and in 2016, FAR secured the lease of the 15.5 hectare irrigated Lincoln Arable Site with the aim of expanding seed production research and strengthening seed industry links with the Lincoln research community.In summary, since starting with FAR 22 years ago, Nick Pyke has developed a nationally and internationally recognised research and extension organisation that has made substantial contributions to improving on-farm performance and environmental management, ensuring that arable farming remains a viable land-use in New Zealand. His vision has contributed to New Zealand's relatively small arable industry being recognised as the world’s best in areas such as cereal, ryegrass, vegetable seed and clover yields, resource use and environmental management. His dedication, leadership and vision has ensured that FAR operates as a true industry good organisation, allowing farmer levy payers to determine the development of their industry and communities.