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Beef + Lamb New Zealand Board elects a new Chairman

Beef + Lamb New Zealand Board elects a new Chairman

Northland farmer and Northern North Island Farmer Director for Beef + Lamb New Zealand James Parsons has been elected Chairman of the farmer-owned organisation.

Parsons was elected Chairman at a meeting of the board that followed the Beef + Lamb New Zealand Annual Meeting in Feilding yesterday.

Parsons said he was honoured to have the opportunity to contribute to the sheep and beef sector through the work of Beef + Lamb New Zealand.

“Beef + Lamb New Zealand is a vehicle for farmers to invest as a group, in work that they couldn’t do alone. Much of the core research and information we need in order to achieve greater profitability on our farms simply wouldn’t exist without farmer investment through Beef + Lamb New Zealand.”

Parsons was raised on a family sheep and beef farm in Broadwood, Northland. Soon after leaving school he went shepherding in the South Island before completing a Diploma in Farm Management at Lincoln University. After graduating in 2008 he became a shearer and a few years later took over the family farm.

Parsons completed a Nuffield Farming Scholarship in 2008 and was elected onto the board of Beef + Lamb New Zealand (then Meat & Wool New Zealand) in 2009.

In 2013 he and wife Janine sold their Far North sheep and beef farm, and now farm a 478 ha sheep and beef property between Whangarei and Dargaville. Parsons oversees the business, which includes a Coopworth sheep stud and is assisted by an experienced farm manager who looks after the day-to-day activities.

“I’m really excited as a sheep and beef farmer about the opportunities in front of our sector. What’s more Beef + Lamb New Zealand has steadily built momentum in delivering value to farmers. We know we can go another level yet, by continually focusing our resources and refining our efforts in assisting farmers to make informed and profitable business decisions.”

Parsons said the rollout of initiatives from the across-sector Red Meat Profit Partnership would also provide opportunities for farmers to access many tools and services to lift productivity and profitability. There would be access to better benchmarking data and programmes to build capability by attracting and retaining talent in the industry and coordinated farmer-focused extension. He said this was an exciting initiative with Beef + Lamb New Zealand working alongside six meat processors and two banks, and with significant funding support from the Government’s Primary Growth Partnership Fund, to achieve the programme’s objectives over the next seven years.

Parsons also welcomed two new Farmer Directors to the board – George Tatham who will represent the Eastern North Island electorate and Andrew Morrison who will represent farmers in the Southern South Island electorate.

They replace the former Beef + Lamb New Zealand Chairman and Eastern North Island Director Mike Petersen and Southern South Island Director Leon Black. Both had not sought re-election.

One of the two Processor-Exporter appointees Craig Hickson will end his term on the board at the end of the month and AFFCO Chairman Sam Lewis will take his place from 1 April 2014. Hickson has served on the Beef + Lamb New Zealand board since 2008.

“All three outgoing Directors have been outstanding advocates for farmers and the sector,” Parsons said.

“I know I am joined by numerous others in thanking them for their contribution and wishing each of them and their families well with future endeavours.”


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