When outgoing Lincoln Agritech Board Chair Ted Rogers considers his tenure, he exclaims he’s been on the board for “an astonishingly long time!” But it’s also been a time filled with a great sense of pride, admiration, and achievement.
Ted joined Lincoln Agritech, or Lincoln Ventures as it was then, as a director in 2005, becoming chair in 2009. “I think all the way through, there have been so many exciting times of achievement, and some times of strong challenge,” he says.
Those challenges have been as much social as commercial – to the global financial crisis add the Christchurch earthquakes, the March 15 terrorist attack, and now COVID.
“Our people, throughout that time, have behaved unselfishly and with dedication,” he says. “During the earthquakes, and also during COVID, I was hugely impressed that our people, even though they couldn’t get into the office, they couldn’t get into the labs or workshops, they continued to work from home and continued to deliver on their promises to other people.”
And while the quality of the team has shone during times of crisis, it’s also what’s made Lincoln Agritech so successful in general terms, he says.
“We don’t have a huge investment in terms of capital,” Ted says. “Essentially it’s all about the people – without the people, we are nothing. That’s a bit of a cliché, but it’s absolutely true.
“They have spared no effort in not only coming up with solutions, but also in looking for opportunities for improvement.”
Looking forward, Ted says the world is facing considerable challenges in terms of ecological pressures and sustainability, and Lincoln Agritech is well placed to provide solutions.
“We are uniquely placed to help,” he says.
Indeed, that's one reason Ted has decided it's time to step aside.
“We have recently developed a strategy to further accelerate the contribution Lincoln Agritech can make to improving actual productivity and sustainability. That really is a long-term strategy, and that sort of effort needs long-term leadership.
“That’s why it’s the right time for me to hand over the reins to others. We’ve got some terrific directors who can provide the strategic leadership the company needs. But also we’ve got very strong management – a great team of people.
“I feel that I’m leaving it in very good hands.”
As for the future, Ted is continuing as Chair of the Lincoln University/Ngai Tahu joint venture developing the Te Whāriki subdivision at Lincoln, and also may play a bit more golf.
“I’m immensely proud to have been associated with Lincoln Agritech for such a long time, and I just want to wish everyone all the best for the future.”