About us – the Clutha Agricultural Development Board

Our Mission

We manage extension projects and activities for farmers which encourage the spread of knowledge and innovation to achieve profitable and sustainable farming and a positive promotion of agriculture in New Zealand society.

(our focus in the past has been largely in the Clutha district and the Otago region, but our unique organisation now believes we are in a position to support farmers and rural-based districts throughout New Zealand)


Our Strengths

  • We manage practical action, on farm project teams
  • We focus on the needs, capabilities and potential of regular, grassroots farmers
  • We deliver interesting and relevant demonstrations, trials and knowledge-sharing activities
  • We champion agriculture and its importance to Clutha and New Zealand.

What We Do

The AgBoard runs projects, demonstrations, events and workshops. Agriculture and agricultural people are at the heart of the Clutha district and many other similar rural communities around New Zealand.  We aim to build their capability and knowledge across all agricultural sectors.

We support sustainable, innovative, and profitable farming practice.

We respond to the local needs of the district and work to gain a fair share of the contestable social and industry funding available. We work alongside larger research, academic and development organisations to bring current research findings onto mainstream farms. We believe we work at a whole industry-good level which is not practical for individual or even corporate operators. We also advocate for agriculture and agricultural communities in general. There are many issues to discuss and to battle away at in the background as well as our front line activities.

All manner of enquiries, from locals and visitors, bright ideas and opportunities are directed through our group. We encourage specific interest groups to work under our banner, as has happened with, for example, the Californian thistle Action Group, the Clydevale Clinton Quality Employers and Positively Clutha Women.

  • The CADB has approx.150 members involved in a variety of farming operations
  • Members are represented by an Executive of 9 elected and further co-opted members who oversee the week-to-week work of the Board
  • We have expertise within the Board to call on dependent on work needs, and we have always been supported by many volunteers
  • Clutha has about 1120 farms; 75% are sheep & beef farms (our 2013 statistics)
  • Now that the Clutha District Council contract had ended (June 2013) we are funded solely through memberships and project management earnings
  • Any annual surplus goes back into further activities and programmes
  • The AgBoard looks at social profit and rural community sustainability as well as land-based business tech transfer


We are a unique group. No other district has a not-for-profit, industry and public-good organisation that promotes its own independent voice for agriculture. For over 20 years we have provided leadership, information, direction and debate to enhance agricultural activity in the Clutha district and beyond. There has always been a huge amount of voluntary work behind each of our services.


Farming dragged from the depths . . .

Our organisation grew from some very tough times in the late 1980s and early 1990s when farming was being written off in some quarters, after the loss of subsidies and the loss of farm advisors, for instance. Clutha deserves to be proud of the far-sighted people who thrashed out a plan for this community’s development with agriculture as it backbone industry. Early work included support for Landcare groups, publications such as the ‘Clutha Rural Information Manual,’ ‘Crossbreeding Manual,’ farm benchmarking and monitoring, a major Water Study, Wool industry training courses, Strategic Planning for Clutha rural communities, the 1998-99 Drought Committee, Community Builders courses, topo-climate investigations, and the Window to Dairying promotion.

Recent successes include projects on riparian management, aeration of dairy soils, willows for effluent management & fodder, and Californian thistle biocontrol. We have promoted farm health & safety under the FarmSafe brand, encouraged computer learning with our “Switch On’ programme, given sheep farmers a winter ‘mystery’ tour of innovative properties, wrote a ‘Beginners’ Guide’ for quality employment groups, planted trial crops of industrial hemp, compiled agricultural statistics for the Clutha district and talked in schools about the importance of agricultural careers.

We are now working from home offices and in the field. We are keen to work with any other group in the district or beyond – to have project action on-farm or to explore issues to add to farmer knowledge and awareness. We are on the lookout for opportunities for the future and we urge you to work with us to support agriculture and agricultural people in rural New Zealand. 

See also: Current Executive Members.
                  What we can do for companies and groups who want to work with us.

Clutha Agricultural Development Board membership

Become a member now!

Be part of the drive towards a sustainable and knowledgeable future for farming in New Zealand