Ash-Leigh Campbell resigns as Chair of the Board for New Zealand Young Farmers

Posted by on 19 May 2021 | Comments

PRESS RELEASE: Ash-Leigh Campbell resigns as Chair of the Board for New Zealand Young Farmers

                                              FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

After what has been an impressive tenure at the helm, we regret to announce that Ash-Leigh Campbell is resigning as Chair of the Board for New Zealand Young Farmers (NZYF) and finishing her term at July’s AGM in Christchurch.

New Zealand Young Farmers CEO, Lynda Coppersmith says that Ash-Leigh leaves behind a legacy of strong leadership, commitment, and community.

“Ash encompasses everything it is to be a part of NZYF. She became a club member at age 20 and has been involved in nearly every role possible within the organisation. She values the importance of connection and personal development and is an example of how the opportunities that NZYF provides can help members grow and develop within themselves,” says Coppersmith.

Ash-Leigh is stepping down to focus on her new career as a variable order share milker with Partners in Cream, in North Canterbury and Kā Puke Limited, her other company providing contractual services for dairy farming businesses.

“This was not an easy decision to make. I am very passionate about NZYF and that has weighed heavily on me, however with new career challenges ahead I have to be realistic with my availability and output. That, combined with the confidence I have in the leadership and future direction of the organisation, it just feels like right time to step down from the NZYF Board”.

“Although this is a tough chapter to close, I’m really proud of how far the organisation has come over the last few years. There are also some really impressive leaders coming through the ranks and I trust they will make the most of the opportunities such as I’ve had whilst being on the NZYF Board, as well as the invaluable experiences they will gain,” says Campbell.

Under Ash-Leigh’s leadership the NZYF Board and organisation have secured the SFFF funding, established and implemented He Tātai Rangahua - The Food and Fibre Youth Network to provide a formalised pan-sector voice to raise industry issues and provide input into the future of the sector, establishing the foundations for a three-year project plan to create a sustainable business model, and there is also a new digital platform in the works. There has also been a restructure of the Contest Board to the Contest Sub-Committee, and the financial position of the organisation has been significantly strengthened through some major changes.

Ash-Leigh is really proud of what the organisation has managed to achieve, even after what was perceived as a somewhat daunting start upon joining the board and being elected chair at her first NZYF board meeting.

“It was definitely baptism by fire and a sink or swim mentality. I thought I had just gotten comfortable around the boardroom table, and then an unprecedented global pandemic came in and wreaked havoc causing for the first time ever in history of the competition the cancellation of the 2020 FMG Young Farmer of the Year!”

“It certainly hasn’t been a smooth and easy ride, but the experiences and lessons gained from these challenges are invaluable. I am really proud of what the NZYF Board, Lynda and her team has achieved over the past three years. It is definitely a “one team” effort and I’m so grateful for the learning environment and knowledge shared around the NZYF Board table from our Independent Directors, as well as the support and efforts from Lynda and the NZYF staff working within the organisation. Also, to the members I’ve meet along the way that have become strong enduring friends, thank you for the ongoing support.”

Ash-Leigh had a goal of establishing a strong and sustainable future for NZYF during her tenure on the board, and as a result this there has been a clear strategic shift for the organisation. 

“One of my goals going into the board was focusing on sustainable revenue streams. Recently the funding gained and proposed new business model has really helped achieve this goal. I also think the shift in direction for the organisation, coming back to focus on our members and community, really realigns this organisation with what our true values and vision are. This gives me great confidence for the future of New Zealand Young Farmers.”

We want to thank Ash-Leigh for her incredible contribution to New Zealand Young Farmers and wish her all the best for her future endeavours. We will watch with great anticipation to see what she achieves next. 

With Ash-Leigh’s resignation this now opens two board positions not one for the up-coming New Zealand Young Farmers board elections being held at the Saturday July 3rd AGM in Christchurch. Nominations close this Saturday the 22nd of May and candidates announced Saturday the 5th of June.


Board applications can be found here: