Farm Ireland

Saturday 24 February 2018

Henry leads from the front

Henry van der Heyden was born in 1955 to Dutch parents, whose families emigrated to New Zealand after World War Two.

Born into a dairy farm, all seven of the van der Heyden children -- four boys and three girls -- followed in their parents' footsteps and became dairy farmers in their own right.

Mr van der Heyden holds a Bachelor of Engineering (Agr) from Lincoln University and began his farming career by share milking in the Waikato area on the North Island.

In 1980, he married Jocelyn and, five years later, the pair purchased a farm in Putaruru.

Today, the couple are based in Hamilton and have four farms, including their original holding in Putaruru.

Two of their four adult children are involved in dairy farming.

Mr van der Heyden was a founding director of Fonterra when it formed in 2001 and has been chairman of the farmer-owned co-op since 2002.

He is credited with playing a considerable role in the industry rationalisation that led to Fonterra's establishment.

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He was made a Distinguished Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for his services to agriculture, the equivalent of a knighthood under the old system.

As well as being chairman of Fonterra, he is also a director of Auckland International Airport, King Street Advertising, Independent Egg Producers, Northern Feed Mill, Elevation Capital and Manuka SA, and a member of Rabobank's Agribusiness advisory board in Australia.

Indo Farming