Dairy farmer Peter Gilbert was elected as President of the Canterbury Agricultural and Pastoral Association for 2017 at the Annual General Meeting held at Riccarton Park Racecourse on 29 March.
Based in Winchmore, near Ashburton, Mr Gilbert was confirmed as the President of the 155th Canterbury A&P Show in front of outgoing President Warrick James, the General Committee and Association Members.
Mr Gilbert said he was looking forward to his Presidential year after a long association with Canterbury A&P.
"I've been on the Canterbury A&P Committee since 2002 and chair of the Dairy Section since 2007. Now it's my turn to take the top job and it's a real honour to follow in the footsteps of so many great Presidents before me. I absolutely love showing and I'm really looking forward to adding to the history of the Association and doing my bit for those that share my passion."
Mr Gilbert grew up on a dairy farm in Ellesmere. He married schoolteacher Anne in the 1980s and they bought a 180-hectare dairy farm in Winchmore. Last year they added to their farming operation with a 176-hectare dairy farm in Rakaia. Their three sons all work in the dairy industry, with Michael running the new block at Rakaia, Nick on the Winchmore farm and Luke working for Semex New Zealand.
Mr Gilbert first began showing calves at primary school and has been showing holstein freisian cattle at Canterbury, Ellesmere and Ashburton A&P Shows for nearly 40 years. Mr Gilbert is proud that his three sons have not only inherited his passion for dairying, but also for showing: all three are senior judges for at least two different breed societies.
"It means a lot to have had my sons so heavily involved in the Show with me over the years. Obviously youth are the future of events like ours and it's really heartening to see so many great young people that get stuck in at the Canterbury A&P Show, especially in the Cattle Section."
Overseeing the family business along with his Presidential duties will make for a busy year for Mr Gilbert with board meetings, sub-committee meetings, general committee meetings, Association events and working bees all on the cards over the next 12 months.
Also elected at the recent Annual General meeting were Tim Black (Timaru) as Senior Vice-President and Chris Herbert (Amberley) as Junior Vice-President.
The 2017 Canterbury A&P Show will be held Wednesday 15 to Friday 17 at Canterbury Agricultural Park in Christchurch. It's the largest A&P Show in the country attracting 100,000 people, over 6500 livestock, equestrian and feature competition entries and over 500 trade exhibitors.