Vincent A. Ashworth
Vince Ashworth was born in Alexandra in 1931. He was the 11th and now only surviving child of Arthur and Edna Ashworth. He was educated at Alexandra District High School (ADHS), Otago Boys High School (OBHS), and Massey and Lincoln Universities.
In 1951 he gained a Rural Field Cadet Scholarship with the then State Advances Corporation. The five-year programme was preparation for service in one of the many Government Departments serving the rural sector. It involved study at Lincoln and Massey as well practical experience on a range of farming systems.
He graduated from Lincoln in 1955 with a Diploma of Valuation and Farm Management, passing with Credit. He was posted to the then Department of Lands and Survey as an Assistant Field Officer. Two years later he resigned the State Service and joined a Farm Improvement Club in Te Aroha as a professional agricultural adviser.
In 1960 he established in Morrinsville what was to become the successful firm of Ashworth and Associates, Farm Management Consultants - the first of its kind in the country. During the early 1970s he participated in a number of international consulting assignments in places like Afghanistan, Yemen Arab Republic, Samoa, Tanzania and Somalia. In 1976 he was invited to join the permanent staff of the World Bank as a Senior Agriculturalist and took his family to live in Washington DC. He spent 10 years in Washington and two years in the Bank’s Nairobi based East Africa office. During his time he did assignments in Eastern Europe (Romania, Yugoslavia), Middle East (Yemen, Saudi Arabia), Central Asia (Afghanistan), and East Africa (Kenya, Ethiopia).
Upon taking early retirement in 1987, he went deer farming at Te Aroha. He also continued his professional career with consulting assignments - mostly for the World Bank - in Yugoslavia, Macedonia, China, Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Tanzania, Australia, and South Africa. He also did volunteer work for Save the Children (SCF) in Vanuatu and Papua New Guinea as well as chairing the SCF Overseas Project Committee for some years.
He is a Fellow of the Institute of Agricultural Science as well as a Fellow and Life Member of the New Zealand Institute of Primary Industry Management. In 1980 he was awarded the Lincoln University Bledisloe Medal for distinguished services to New Zealand agriculture.
As a keen sportsman, he represented his schools and universities at cricket and rugby. He also represented Manawatu (1956-57) and Thames Valley (1958-59) in provincial rugby. He enjoys a game of golf, and takes a keen interest in New Zealand and international affairs.
He married May Young in Palmerston North in 1955. They have four children, 10 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. He is a keen gardener and enjoys writing.
Having already completed two biographies on his brothers - Artie - Bomber Command Legend about Wing Commander Arthur ‘Artie’ Ashworth DSO, DFC and Bar, AFC and Bar, MiD; and For Our Tomorrow He Gave His Today about Flying Officer Corran Perry Ashworth - Vince wrote his autobiography A Full Life. He is currently working on a fourth book, detailing his family’s history.