Beef + Lamb New Zealand appoints chair-elect

James ParsonsBeef + Lamb New Zealand (B+LNZ) has a new chair-elect, it was announced yesterday.

Northland farmer and Northern North Island director for B+LNZ Ltd, James Parsons, was appointed chair-elect at the farmer-funded organisation’s board meeting.

The position of chair–elect has been made to allow an orderly transition of leadership for B+LNZ, following the announcement from current chairman, Mike Petersen that he will not seek re-election when his term ends in March 2014.

“This appointment is a very important part of the governance process,” Petersen says.

“B+LNZ puts strong emphasis on the development of all directors, and there has been a real focus on growing the leadership ability of the board for the benefit of the wider sector.

“The decision, which was a unanimous endorsement by the Board for James to be appointed to the position of chair–elect, allows us to continue to develop James in the expectation that he will be the next chairman of B+LNZ following my retirement in March next year.”

While the final decision will ultimately be made by the new board at the first meeting following the Annual Meeting next year, the announcement today sends a very clear signal of the board’s intentions at this time, Petersen says.

“James has the energy and enthusiasm for the role and is fully committed to working for farmers in this key leadership position within the farming sector.”

James Parsons says that he is excited and looking forward to the challenge that comes with the role.

“I’m honoured to have the opportunity to contribute more deeply to our sector. B+LNZ plays a key role in working with farmers to provide much of the core research and information they need, in pursuing greater productivity and in helping them to make profitable business decisions.

“I’m looking forward to deepening my understanding of the wider industry over the next six months, and getting to know key contacts alongside our current chairman.”

Planning is already underway for Parsons to meet key contacts and organisations both within and outside the sector, including commercial processing and exporting companies, counterpart organisations and government agencies.

News welcomed by Federated Farmers

Federated Farmers Meat & Fibre chairperson Jeanette Maxwell has welcomed the news, adding that Parsons represents a new generation of farmers and she believes he will do well as a successor to Mike Petersen.

Maxwell notes that James Parsons was a member of Federated Farmers Meat & Fibre section before being elected to the Board of Beef+Lamb [then Meat & Wool], in 2009.  He is also a past New Zealand Nuffield Farming Scholarship recipient.

“We have, of course, some very large challenges to face up to as an industry and Federated Farmers is confident we will continue the working relationship we currently enjoy with Beef+Lamb New Zealand,” Jeanette Maxwell concluded.

Mike Petersen was recently appointed as New Zealand’s Special Agriculture Trade Envoy earlier this year. 

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