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
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
Farming iPad
Data ManagementOpinion: ROI or Die in Precision Agriculture
May 12, 2017
The thought of $3.50 corn for the foreseeable future seems pretty disheartening. However, if you look at the precision ag Read More
Latest News
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
Grower Services & SolutionsVantage South Atlantic Announces Mid-South Expansion
July 10, 2017
Vantage South Atlantic announced that it has joined Trimble Agriculture’s global network of independent Vantage partners to provide farmers, advisors, Read More
Ag Retailer and Grower WinField United
Decision Support SoftwareAgronomic Technology Corp Surpasses Daily Nitrogen Reco…
July 6, 2017
Agronomic Technology Corp, a leader in agricultural field modeling for soil, water, crops, and fertilizer, for the first time surpassed Read More
Precision IrrigationDealership Celebrates 25 Years in the Irrigation Game
July 6, 2017
25 years ago, Bobby Kempenich had an idea. An idea to launch a business that combined his knowledge of irrigation Read More
BASF Maglis Grower Tablet
ProfessionalsPatience Needed: Lessons for Getting New Tech onto the …
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
Deere R4023 cab
Business ManagementOpinion: Reality vs. Hype in Precision Agriculture
July 6, 2017
I think there is a certain word that can accurately describe much of the precision ag and/or ag tech industry right Read More
Events2017 agBOT Challenge Winners Announced
July 6, 2017
Driverless robotic machines entered the fields of Gerrish Farms in Rockville, IN in June 2017. Universities and entrepreneurial teams showcased Read More
gomez-featured
ProfessionalsCommitment to Ag Innovation: Q&A with DuPont Pionee…
July 5, 2017
Editor’s note: PrecisionAg.com contributor Amy Wu often writes about women in ag technology. Recently, she interviewed DuPont Pioneer’s Nadilia Gomez, research scientist, Read More
LAP
InternationalLAP and ABPSAP: Advancing Precision Agriculture in Braz…
July 5, 2017
In this article, I would like to highlight two important entities of precision agriculture in Brazil. The first of these Read More