Sad week for dairy industry mourning loss of two respected figures

As the dairy industry farewells former Fonterra chairman John Wilson, tributes are also flowing for another dairy industry leader.

South Island-based Adrian van Bysterveldt who died this week is being described as a dairy sector champion.

DairyNZ chief executive Tim Mackle said Mr van Bysterveldt was a passionate advocate and leader for pasture-based farm systems and his work helped shape and influence the direction of dairy farming, particularly in the South Island where he was a dedicated leader.

"Adrian was so passionate about all things dairy and really believed in pasture-based farm systems, he had an incredible enthusiasm for the sector and the people in it," he said.

"He was at the forefront of dairy farming in Canterbury and played a big role in establishing the Lincoln University Dairy Farm (LUDF), helping found it as a nationally and internationally-renowned demonstration farm," said Mr Mackle.

"His ability to tell a story of what was happening on a farm and how decisions affect outcomes were remarkable, and people recognised his skill. His drive, passion and talent will be sorely missed."

Before joining Dairy Holdings Ltd in 2016 as the company's farm practice advisor, Adrian van Bysterveldt spent 15 years with DairyNZ as a consulting officer and later a senior developer working on farm systems and farm governance.

He also spent time with Ireland's agriculture and food research body, Teagasc.

"Along with his passion for dairy, Adrian was also passionate about his family, and was a real family man. Our thoughts are with Adrian's wife, Anne, their children and wider family."