Finley mixed farmer Gabrielle Coupland has been elected chair of Southern Riverina Irrigators.
Mrs Coupland runs a mixed farm with her husband Mark and parents Ian and Cathy Brunt at Logie Brae, north of Finley.
She won the position in an election with Deniliquin farmer Shelley Scoullar.
Mrs Coupland’s property has about 800ha under lateral irrigation.
She said she had the support of her family and a skilled workforce to enable her the time to devote to representing irrigators.
‘‘I believe I have a range of skills which will be useful to the SRI at this point.’’
Mrs Coupland, 44, has jumped into the position at a crucial time for water.
She said the region could not afford to lose any more in water recovery.
Mrs Coupland’s professional background includes work with succession planning and advocacy.
She holds a masters in business administration from the University of Southern Queensland and is a former deputy director of Ricegrowers Association.
She has worked in succession planning in her own business and for Rabobank.
Mrs Coupland returned to the farm about three years ago but hasn’t forgotten the role that water plays in southern Riverina agriculture.
‘‘We know a bit about water efficiency. Dad brought the first T-L Irrigator into Australia.
‘‘We grew up knowing every drop counts.’’