Beef + Lamb New Zealand (B+LNZ) chairman James Parsons will not seek re-election in the directors' poll in March next year.
After nine years as the Northern North Island director on the B+LNZ board — including four as chairman — he's given the organisation "a good nudge" and feels the time is right for fresh leadership.
Mr Parsons plans to focus on the 478ha Kaipara hill country farm where he and wife Janine run about 2000 sheep and 350 cattle.
While considering himself "really blessed" to have the opportunity to lead B+LNZ, he now aims to "rebalance" toward family life as his three sons — Corin, 12, Matt, 10, and Joseph, 7 — grow into teenagers and young men.
"Another three-year term would mean 12 years on the board and seven years as chairman," Mr Parsons said. "We have a strong and capable board, which leaves me confident in the ongoing governance of B+LNZ on behalf of farmers."
Mr Parsons was first elected to the board in 2009, and at 37 in 2014 became the organisation's youngest ever chairman following the retirement of Mike Petersen.
The B+LNZ board has unanimously supported Southern South Island farmer director Andrew Morrison, of Gore, to take over the chair when Mr Parsons retires next year.
James and Janine Parsons were on 370ha at Broadwood in North Hokianga before moving to their present farm in the Tangowahine Valley four years ago.
They bought the Coopworth stud of veteran sheep breeders David and Sarah Hartles at Maungaturoto to set up their own Ashgrove stud, which last week drew buyers from as far as Gisborne and Te Kuiti who paid an average $1345 for 61 Coopworth rams sold at their on-farm auction.
An Ashgrove manager now lives in the sole house on the Tangowahine Valley farm and the Parsons family has moved into the home on a small block they own at Maungatapere, with the boys shifting from Tangowahine School to Maungatapere Primary.
Mr Parsons said he had a few plans for the Tangowahine Valley farm and would consider taking on other directorships if they came up and aligned with his interests.