Ngāi Tahu farm manager one of three women to join NZ Young Farmers Board

Posted by on 11 July 2018 | Comments

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A technical farm manager with Ngāi Tahu in Canterbury is one of three women who have joined the NZ Young Farmers Board.

Ash-Leigh Campbell helps oversee the management of the iwi corporation’s eight dairy farms which milk about 8,000 cows.

The 27-year-old was one of two NZ Young Farmers members elected to the board at its annual general meeting in Invercargill.

“I’m hugely passionate about the organisation and I want to continue giving back while I still can,” said Ash-Leigh.

She has been joined by Wellington-based airline pilot Hannah Cameron, 28, who grew up on a dairy farm in the North Waikato.

“I ran for the board because governance has always interested me and NZ Young Farmers is a huge part of my life,” said Hannah.

Woodville farmer and banker Rebecca Brown, 34, has also joined the board.

Rebecca chairs the contest committee which oversees the running of the prestigious FMG Young Farmer of the Year.

She was elected to the position on Sunday and is the first woman to hold the role.

“I’m really honoured. It’s a cool feeling and shows women can do anything,” said the mother of five.

“I love being on this side of the contest. My husband Angus Brown was a grand finalist in 2010.”

“I’ve been around the contest for 15 years and we even convened a couple of regional finals as well,” she said.

The changes mean half of NZ Young Farmers’ eight-member board are now women. The fourth is appointed Dunedin-based director Sharon Angus.

“It shows we’re leading the way in ensuring our board reflects our evolving membership base,” said NZ Young Farmers Board chairman Jason Te Brake.

Ash-Leigh Campbell joined NZ Young Farmers in 2011 and is a previous Ahuwhenua Young Māori Farmer Award finalist.

The Dunsandel Young Farmers member is studying a Bachelor of Commerce (Agriculture) at Lincoln University.

“I signed up for one year of university in 2014. I completed a Diploma in Agriculture, then a Diploma in Farm Management and am currently completing my degree part-time,” she said.

Hannah Cameron holds a Diploma in Aviation and is completing a Bachelor of Business Management Studies through the University of Waikato.

She moved to Wellington last November and was chair of the Waikato/Bay of the Plenty Region from 2016-2017.

“It’s an incredible organisation because it allows me to connect with like-minded people in a sector I’m passionate about, despite not working in it,” said Hannah.

The trio will attend their first NZ Young Farmers Board meeting next month.