James is highly qualified in numerous aspects of agriculture, with specialty technical knowledge in sheep and beef. James is an experienced farmer in his own right and is the majority shareholder and Managing Director for Ashgrove Ltd, a 478 ha hill country sheep and beef farm in the Kaipara. This is a high performing hill country farm benchmarked in the top 10% for its farm class on production and profit. It also has a board structure, which James established to provide accountability and strategy for the business and employs a farm manager and part time staff.
He is an experienced company director. Previously chairing the board of Beef + Lamb NZ and the NZ Meat Board. He currently sits on the boards of OSPRI, NAIT Limited, Beef + Lamb Genetics and the NZ Rural Leadership Trust and has held various other previous governance roles.
James brings a unique set of skills to AgFirst. With a very strong governance background, a strong technical knowledge in sheep and beef production systems and a practical skill set as a farmer, he has a strong empathy and connection with farming staff on the ground but equally connects with the farm shareholders and governors of an organisation. Business processes, building organisational culture, strategy, risk management and integrating technology into the farm business are particular areas of strength for James.
He is an accomplished speaker, 2008 Nuffield Farming Scholar, a member of the NZ Institute of Primary Industry Management, NZ Institute of Directors and is a proficient Farmax consultant.
James is located at Maungatapere, Whangarei.