NZ Young Farmers Board

Nominations for 2020 Board Elections


 The four nominees vying for two elected positions on the New Zealand Young Farmers Board for 2020 are Hannah Cameron, Ash-Leigh Campbell, Jessie Waite and Marcus White. 

A vote will take place at the NZYF annual general meeting (AGM) on the 4th of July being held in Christchurch and online. 

It's important to remember that even if you're not attending the AGM, your voice can still be heard. 

Over the coming weeks your region will hold a meeting where you can vote on your two preferred candidates.

The region’s delegates will then take the wishes of your region to the AGM.  

Please find their profiles below and take the time to read them. 

Ash-Leigh Campbell

Tell us about yourself in 100 words. Include relevant skills, qualifications and background.

I was raised on a small lifestyle property in Lincoln, Canterbury and I am 29 years of age. I really didn’t have a sense of purpose or career direction, until I innocently signed up to the Dunsandel Young Farmers Club at the age of 21. In doing so I soon realised that there were so many opportunities within the primary sector, and some great friendships to be made as well.

I have completed a Diploma in Agriculture, a Diploma in Farm Management and a Bachelor of Commerce (Agriculture) at Lincoln University.

I currently work at Ngāi Tahu Farming as their Technical Farm Manager. My role is responsible for assisting with the management and performance of the dairy farms and dairy support farms including assisting with operational and environmental performance and the implementation and improvement of farming practices.

Why are you standing for the Young Farmers Board?

I joined NZYF back in 2011 and haven’t looked back, having fully immersed myself in the organisation through a variety of roles over the past 9 years. I love everything about what it means to be a New Zealand Young Farmer member; to collaborate, educate, engage, and support each other.

Having vast knowledge of the NZYF organisation and its core values, along with sound understanding of the primary industry, I hope to continue to bring to the boardroom table; strong leadership and strategic thinking that will continue the momentum, so we can further strengthen our foot print across the primary sector and continue growth of our membership whist providing continued value to our industry partners and sponsors.

What skills do you think you will bring to the Young Farmers Board?

  • Extensive knowledge of the NZYF organisation. I understand the importance of the various positions at club, regional and national level, and the contribution NZYF staff play in achieving key outcomes and delivering projects and events for the members and organisation.
  • Sound understanding of the New Zealand agricultural sector.
  • Stability and long-term commitment to the organisation.
  • I have experience in financial management and making astute decisions based on information presented but also taking into account the organisations core purpose and short term/long term objectives.
  • Belief that the organisation is tracking in the right direction but wish to continue to be a part of further momentum to strengthen our footprint across New Zealand.
  • Experience in making informed strategic decisions.

Name one key area of Young Farmers that you would like to focus or build on and describe why.

The biggest challenge is continuing to balance a strong and sustainable income to our organisation but also meeting the needs of our members (and maintaining some of the ethos and traditions). Therefore, I believe it is important for NZYF to continue work on our sustainable business model so we can ensure the future of young farmers is cemented for further generations to enjoy and be a part of.

I would like there to be a continued focus on broadening the diversity of our membership. I believe there are many faces to NZYF. We are a progressive and dynamic social network so the more we showcase and profile more of our members and their achievements the better! This is intertwined into the continued development and progression of the alumni, FMG Young Farmer of the Year competition and Donald Pearson Farm.

What has been your contribution to Young Farmers whilst a member?

  • Club Treasurer Dunsandel Young Farmers (2012-2016).
  • Vice Chair Tasman Region (2015/2016).
  • Chairperson Tasman Region (2017).
  • Health and Safety Officer Tasman Region (2015).
  • TeenAg Liaison Officer (2015/2016)
  • Committee member Tasman Young Farmers Conference (2016).
  • Committee member FMG Young Farmers National Contest (2014/2020-21).
  • Committee member FMG Young Farmers Competition Regional Final (2015/2018).
  • Advisory for Lincoln University Young Farmers (2018-current).
  • Ospri TB Free young farmer committee representative Canterbury (2018-current).
  • National Committee attendance (x14 events).
  • Elected Board Director New Zealand Young Farmers (2018-current).
  • Chairperson New Zealand Young Farmers Board (2018-current).

As you can see, I’ve almost gone through every role available at club, regional level and national level, so I guess I do have a bit of ‘institutional knowledge’ to bring to the table. However, if anything having experience in those roles has taught me that the most important skill is the ability to understand and communicate with people. Whilst this might sound somewhat basic, I do believe that strong effective governance comes from understanding the ‘big picture’ and providing leadership and strategy, and this only comes from understanding who our people are and what our members and industry needs.

Jessie Waite

Tell us about yourself in 100 words. Include relevant skills, qualifications and background.

Born and bred in Taranaki, I have been passionate about the primary sector since a child. It's fair to say I am immersed in the world of the primary sector - I work for Federated Farmers, coordinate the Taranaki Ballance Farm Environment Awards, and work for a rural marketing company called Grass Roots Media. I also sit as a board member on the Dairy Trust Taranaki, which operates research farms. A skill I have developed through these roles is storytelling, which is such an important aspect to NZYF future.

Why are you standing for the Young Farmers Board?

I thought long and hard about standing for the New Zealand Young Farmers board, and I only wanted to put my name forward if I genuinely felt that my skills and experience would benefit both the board and the organisation. It may sound repetitive but I am extremely passionate about New Zealand Young Farmers and I wouldn't be putting forward this nomination if I didn't think I would be capable, or have the right skills to do so. I am standing for the NZYF board to continue to ask the ‘who, what, why and how' questions to ensure the best for the organisation.

What skills do you think you will bring to the Young Farmers Board?

  • Financial competency - currently involved with the finance committee with Federated Farmers and responsible for projects. Through this role, I have gained experience in variance reports, budgeting and balance sheets. I also have a good understanding of sponsorship agreements and have put together a number of proposals for varying groups.
  • Communication - Not only is communication one of my strongest skills, it's also a real passion of mine, whether it's communication in the way of phone calls to club chairs on how they are going, or marketing via social media/email campaigns. I believe communication is key for a board member, as I don't believe the communication line has been strong in the past, but it's important that there is a streamlined process for communication to/and from the board.
  • Development - I have seen clubs grow & break down. I have seen leaders come and go, and watch clubs and districts work on a new identities and culture. I have a strong understanding of what it means to be a grass roots member, and what's expected at each level. I have the skills to create a stronger link between the board and the regions.
  • Organisational Skills - this is a skill that is probably overlooked. I know how organised you are required to be at a regional committee level, and I believe this has prepared me for being a NZYF board member. Working three jobs also demands time keeping, focus and good organisational skills. The work load of a board member is by no means a walk in the park, so my work and life experience means I will be prepared for the commitment.

Name one key area of Young Farmers that you would like to focus or build on and describe why.

Education & training/our future farmers - there is a huge need for more workers in the Primary Sector, and I see New Zealand Young Farmers as being a fundamental part of this process. I believe this sits at both school level, but also those already in the work force. This can also lead into membership growth, which is an issue for many clubs across the country.

What has been your contribution to Young Farmers whilst a member?

I have been a New Zealand Young Farmers member for more than seven years. The roles I have held in that time are:

Chair of Five Forks Young Farmers, Secretary of the Aorangi Region, Secretary of the Taranaki District, publicity officer for Central Taranaki Young Farmers, Secretary of Taranaki/Manawatu and also the Chair of Taranaki/Manawatu for two years.

Whilst a regional committee member, I was a part of the National Committee for approximately five years. I have been a part of policy changes, strategies and gaining a real understanding of the board also.

I have facilitated leadership nights for Taranaki members, organised Good Yarn workshops for the district and also organised the Will to Live event in Taranaki, which raised thousands of dollars for the cause.

I have mentioned earlier, storytelling is important to me - as a member I have been active in running various Facebook pages for New Zealand Young Farmers, including Taranaki/Manawatu, Taranaki and Central Taranaki.

I organised two Taranaki Teen Ag competitions which were both huge successes and mentored a Teen Ag club for two years.

This year, I was on the organising committee for the Taranaki/Manawatu Regional Young Farmer of the Year Contest and anyone who has been involved in a regional final knows the amount of work and time that goes into it.

To sum it up - many passionate volunteer hours, but that's what makes NZYF so great.