Craige Mackenzie Honored As 2016 Precision Farmer Of The Year

Paul Schrimpf and Craige Mackenzie
PrecisionAg Executive Editor Paul Schrimpf (left) presents New Zealand farmer Craige Mackenzie with the 2016 PrecisionAg Award of Excellence during the InfoAg Conference in St. Louis.

Editor’s Note: The PrecisionAg Awards of Excellence program honored the class of 2016 winners during the InfoAg Conference. This year’s winners include Ag Partners (Crop Adviser/Entrepreneur Award); Brian Arnall, Oklahoma State University (Extension/Research Award); Craige Mackenzie, Methven, New Zealand (Farmer Award); and Marvin Stone, Oklahoma State University (Posthumous Legacy Award). Here is an up close look at Craige Mackenzie, Greenvale Pastures and Three Springs Dairies, Methven, New Zealand.

Craige Mackerzie
Craige Mackenzie, Methven, New Zealand

Precision agriculture was not a term that was talked about in New Zealand pre-2005. It was considered to be a concept that was best suited to the broad-acre farming of the Americas and Australia — not to the smaller, intensive farm systems in New Zealand.

Craige Mackenzie, who has been an innovative dairy and crop farmer since 1984 in the town of Methven, has helped to change that in a dramatic way.

His focus is on utilizing precision agriculture systems to maximize nutrient and irrigation efficiency for improved farm sustainability, both environmental and financial. In 2008 as a recipient of a prestigious New Zealand Nuffield Farming Scholarship, Mackenzie spent six months around the world studying agricultural innovations and farming systems and he published a paper entitled “Understanding the Carbon Footprint in Farming Systems.” He reported that “Precision agriculture could be a very quick way to make significant progress in the reduction of agriculture’s greenhouse gas emissions.”

“Craige’s work within New Zealand and globally to advance precision agriculture has been outstanding. He is one of a rare group of people who has the ability to mix equally with a wide range of people from politicians to researchers and academics to farmers. His influence throughout these groups and wider is significant,” says Raj Khosla, Professor and Assistant Dean at Colorado State University’s College of Agricultural Sciences.

In 2010 Mackenzie along with daughter Jemma established Agri-Optics Ltd., New Zealand’s first precision agriculture service company, which provides precision ag tools and services to New Zealand farming systems, with a focus on field sensing and spatial data management solutions. Agri-Optics is now recognized as New Zealand’s leading precision agriculture company.

He was a leading force in establishing the Precision Agriculture Association of New Zealand (PAANZ) whose mission is to increase the awareness and use of precision ag technologies in land-based primary production systems.

His farm is an intensive, fully irrigated cropping operation growing a wide number of specialist seed crops. In addition, he runs a high-output dairy farm milking 1,200 cows on 320 ha. The adoption of precision agriculture technologies has resulted in improved seed quality and yield with reduced inputs.

“Craige continues to be the leading advocate and role model within New Zealand guiding farmer acceptance and adoption of precision farming techniques along with political approval and endorsement. His impact on precision agriculture is genuine, significant and outstanding,” says Khosla.

Leave a Reply

Excellence Awards Stories
InfoAg 2015
Events2017 Awards of Excellence Winners Announced
July 18, 2017
PrecisionAg Institute is pleased to announce its Awards of Excellence winners for 2017. Honorees of this year’s prestigious award are Read More
Rod Weimer and Paul Schrimpf
Excellence AwardsPast Recipients Of The PrecisionAg Awards Of Excellence
July 18, 2017
Since 2007, the PrecisionAg Insititute has sponsored the annual Awards of Excellence program. Here's a list of the past winners. Read More
Excellence AwardsDr. Harold van Es Named 2017 Educator/Researcher of the Year
July 1, 2017
Dr. Harold van Es is Professor of Soil Science at Cornell University. He established Cornell’s Computational Agriculture Initiative, which focused Read More
Excellence AwardsDr. Joe Luck Named 2017 Educator/Researcher of the Year
July 1, 2017
Dr. Joe Luck is Associate Professor and Precision Agriculture Engineer in the Department of Biological Systems Engineering at University of Read More
Trending Articles
Resistant-weeds-in-Brazil
InternationalUsing Precision Agriculture to Control Herbicide-Resistant Weeds in Brazil
July 24, 2017
The occurrence of weeds in agricultural fields of grain and fiber production has caused losses to farmers for a long Read More
Yield Data Image
Data ManagementYield Data: More Than a Pretty Picture
July 13, 2017
It is mid-July, which, for the Australian cotton industry, means that picking is still going on for some growers. A Read More
BASF Maglis Grower Tablet
ProfessionalsPatience Needed: Lessons for Getting New Tech onto the Farm
July 6, 2017
A popular joke within the tech industry was trotted out at GAI AgTech Week in Boston, MA, speaking volumes about Read More
PrecisionAg Vision Conference
EventsPrecisionAg® Vision Conference: Focused on the Future
June 13, 2017
PrecisionAg® is pleased to announce the return of its PrecisionAg Vision Conference, October 10-12, 2017. Based on overwhelmingly positive response Read More
Gavin Newsom Forbes AgTech-Summit
ProfessionalsAgTech Summit Aiming High for Modern Farming Solutions
June 12, 2017
THRIVE AgTech, in partnership with SVG Partners and Forbes, is hosting the third annual Forbes AgTech Summit June 28-29 in Read More
Quantix Drone Farmer
DronesTop 10 Most Intriguing Technologies in Agriculture
June 3, 2017
This may be a bit of stating the obvious here, but we’ll throw it out there anyways: as much as Read More
Latest News
John Deere Headquarters Reuters Eric Thayer
Data ManagementAnother Integration: Deere, Granular Link Up
July 26, 2017
John Deere and Granular announced today a product development and co-marketing agreement that gives John Deere customers more tools to Read More
Senet Network
Sensors/IoTSenet, Sensoterra to Deliver Real-Time Soil Moisture Mo…
July 26, 2017
Senet, a provider of global connectivity and network management for the Internet of Things, and Sensoterra BV, a provider of Read More
AGCO White planter 9800VE
Systems ManagementAGCO to Acquire Precision Planting
July 26, 2017
AGCO and The Climate Corp. announced today that a definitive agreement has been signed for AGCO to acquire the Precision Read More
CNH-and-Trimble-Data-Sharing_1
Data ManagementTrimble, CNH Collaborate on Data Sharing Connectivity
July 26, 2017
Trimble and CNH Industrial, a global leader in agricultural equipment, have announced they are enabling wireless connectivity between Trimble Ag Read More
Imagery/SensingEFC Systems Announces Imagery Delivery Integration with…
July 25, 2017
EFC Systems, Inc. has announced a new integration between its FieldAlytics product and Geosys Bridge API for direct delivery of Read More
Tablet Grower
Data ManagementProspera Raises $15 Million to Transform Farms with Dat…
July 25, 2017
Digital farming company Prospera has announced a $15 million Series B funding round. Qualcomm Ventures, the investment arm of Qualcomm Read More
Resistant-weeds-in-Brazil
InternationalUsing Precision Agriculture to Control Herbicide-Resist…
July 24, 2017
The occurrence of weeds in agricultural fields of grain and fiber production has caused losses to farmers for a long Read More
John-Deere-and-Farm-Dog
Grower Services & SolutionsFarm Dog Strengthens its Integration with John Deere Op…
July 24, 2017
Farm Dog, the leading pest and disease management platform for growers and agronomists, has completed the second stage of its Read More
Industry NewsLindsay Corp. Names Dow’s Timothy Hassinger New C…
July 19, 2017
Lindsay Corp. has  announced the appointment of Timothy Hassinger as president and CEO and a member of its board of Read More
InfoAg 2015
Events2017 Awards of Excellence Winners Announced
July 18, 2017
PrecisionAg Institute is pleased to announce its Awards of Excellence winners for 2017. Honorees of this year’s prestigious award are Read More
Interseeding Cover Crops
ProfessionalsA 3-Step Approach to Interseeding Cover Crops
July 18, 2017
As growers continue to search for opportunities to create healthier soils and increase yields, more trusted advisors and farmers are Read More
Rod Weimer and Paul Schrimpf
Excellence AwardsPast Recipients Of The PrecisionAg Awards Of Excellence
July 18, 2017
Since 2007, the PrecisionAg Insititute has sponsored the annual Awards of Excellence program. Here's a list of the past winners. Read More
Data ManagementEFC Announces FieldAlytics, Adapt-N Expanded Integratio…
July 17, 2017
EFC Systems is pleased to announce an expanded integration between its FieldAlytics product and Agronomic Technology Corp’s Adapt-N nitrogen recommendations Read More
Data ManagementOpinion: Benchmarking in Precision Agriculture is Big S…
July 17, 2017
Benchmarking has become a buzzword in precision agriculture recently and before we get too excited with all of the profound Read More
Yield Data Image
Data ManagementYield Data: More Than a Pretty Picture
July 13, 2017
It is mid-July, which, for the Australian cotton industry, means that picking is still going on for some growers. A Read More
Industry NewsQuick Rewind: Ohio Dealer Talks Deere-Precision Plantin…
July 12, 2017
A few weeks ago I took a quick trip south down I-71 to Central Ohio (for you non-Buckeyes, I-71 runs Read More
DronesSentera Launches Versatile Quad Sensor for Drones
July 12, 2017
Fully Customizable Filters on Sentera Quad Sensor Allow for Unique Crop Health Detection Capabilities Sentera introduces the latest update to Read More
Hortau Irrigation Management Software
Sensors/IoTHortau Named Finalist for CogX Artificial Intelligence …
July 10, 2017
Hortau was recently named a CogX Award finalist in the Best Artificial Intelligence Product in Agriculture category. The awards were Read More