This has been a year of consolidating the successes and gains of previous years, and I would like to thank the Council members for the hard work put into doing this.
This is the first year in a long time that George Hill has not been involved in Council in some way; his presence and contributions have been missed. George still helps with editing of the proceedings. Some members may have read the news of George stepping down from Council and of recognising his contribution to the Agronomy Society on the website, but I believe it is appropriate to do so again today and say thanks to George for his many years of outstanding service.
Of work done this year, the website is one area we have consolidated. I urge all members to have a look at our website. The initial website was set up with a lot of hard work last year and this year the Council members have put in a lot of effort re-evaluating the look and feel of the website, so that is more user friendly. I would particularly like to thank our webmaster, Robert Southward, for doing an excellent job, though all council members were involved.
The website is about communication and one of the other areas we have developed this year is the “Agronomy in the News” newsletter which is sent out and can also be seen on the website. This increases the societies profile and helps to keep members informed of relevant events and topics. A special thanks to Paul Johnstone for getting this off the ground and keeping it going. We would like this newsletter to evolve and grow and welcome any feedback and ideas from members for this, as well as items to be included in the newsletter.
Also you will notice that pdfs of conference papers are now available on the website. This is a significant advance and keeps us current with other societies and organisations. It also means that our publications are more accessible. Thanks to Craig McGill who worked very hard to organise this and set it up.
A lot of hard work went into organising the conference again this year. There is a good selection of papers submitted, and a pleasing number of attendees. All this indicates that there is continued interest in the Agronomy Society. However, our membership numbers are low and static, and so I urge all members as has been done in past years, to encourage other agricultural scientists to join the Society. However, I also think that this year the membership should consider under direction of the Council, what we must engage in to be successful and relevant in the future.
To conclude, I would like to thank all Council members for the time and effort they put into attending meetings and contributing to special projects. A special thank you to Paul Johnstone, Secretary and Jo Townshend, Treasurer, for their invaluable work on behalf of the Society.
Dr Bruce Searle - President, Agronomy Society of New Zealand
Posted: Tue 04 Dec 2012