Farming visionary had many interests

JARED SMITH
Last updated 05:00 11/07/2012

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A South Taranaki farming stalwart and family patriarch will be farewelled by a large gathering of loved ones tomorrow.

Leonard (Len) Ian Scott died at Woodrow Grove Hospital in New Plymouth on Monday, aged 84.

Born in Kaponga, Mr Scott was raised in a prominent South Taranaki farming family. His father Ernie was the first chairman of Kiwi Co-operative Dairies Ltd, which merged into Fonterra.

The younger Scott attended school in Kapuni and then Feilding Agricultural High School (now Feilding Boys' High), where he was a first XV and first XI representative in rugby and cricket.

In 1956, he was one of the first four New Zealand farmers sent to the United States on a farming exchange.

Son Roger Scott said when his father returned to take over the family farm he was very progressive – being one of the first to take up artificial insemination of stock, as well as having the vision to cross jersey cows with friesian bulls.

On retiring to Hawera with wife Gwen, to whom he was married for 60 years, Mr Scott served as a justice of the peace, including being the association president, and was a member of the Friendship Force of South Taranaki.

A keen sportsman, he was a member of the Kaponga Bowling Club – winning a Taranaki championship with his father – then the Hawera Bowling Club and the Manaia Golf Club.

He also served on the Kapuni Centennial Committee, the committee of the Large Herds Conference and was a South Taranaki Community Service Award recipient.

"He was pretty well known within the community and always willing to help a hand wherever he possibly could," said Roger Scott.

"As they say, `Just a good old bugger'."

Mr Scott will be farewelled by family and friends at the chapel of W Abraham in New Plymouth tomorrow.

He is survived by his wife, four children, nine remaining grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.

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