Farm Environment Trust Adds More Talent to Board


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Three new trustees have been appointed to the New Zealand Farm Environment (NZFE) Trust.

Simon Stokes, Michael Jamieson and Jon Lee were officially welcomed to the NZFE board at the Trust’s annual meeting on October 31.

NZFE Trust chairman Simon Saunders says the Trust is excited to have great new talent on the team as the organisation looks for ways to help farmers face the challenges of the future.

“Michael, Jon and Simon all share a solid background in the primary sector. Their leadership skills and experience will be invaluable in bringing fresh perspectives and new ideas to the Trust.” 

Michael Jamieson’s interest in sustainability spans back to his early childhood “potting rabbits on beautiful farmland” in Southland and central Otago. Now living with his family on a lifestyle block in Martinborough, he honed his business management and leadership skills with organisations like Lion Nathan, Icebreaker, Nike and the Ministry for Primary Industries. Working offshore for Nike, he was involved in leading global project work to learn about and drive sustainability. He returned to New Zealand to run Nike but moved to run global operations for Icebreaker before joining MPI. He is currently involved in supporting and consulting with the Maori honey industry, helping it “move from land to brand while highlighting guardianship values”.

Michael is looking forward to working with the New Zealand Farm Environment Trust.

“The Trust is an excellent vehicle to spread, enhance and celebrate the environmental knowledge and practices farmers and New Zealanders have at heart as we make our living from the land and water. 

“We are an open and warm people and we should proudly show an increasingly interested world and each other what makes us unique.”

Simon Stokes has a 21-year career in resource management and is currently Eastern Catchment manager at the Bay of Plenty Regional Council. While working with other regional councils he specialised in farm planning, catchment management and soil conservation, working with Central Government agencies and non-Government Agencies, Crown Research Institutes, Iwi and Maori Trusts, and many landowners. He is a past president of the New Zealand Association of Resource Management and was recently appointed trustee to the New Zealand Poplar and Willow Research Trust.

Simon is enthusiastic about growing the presence of NZFE Trust as a rural icon.

His role as trustee will include “cementing further the relationship between the regional sector of local government and the NZFE Trust and the Ballance Farm Environment Awards (BFEA) to ensure added value from the partnership is maximised and flourishes”.

“I also want to realise the potential of BFEA entrants in telling the New Zealand story of our rural businesses and encouraging their peers to enter the Awards.”

Jon Lee has a solid history in the dairy industry and strong connections with the Ballance Farm Environment Awards. Jon farmed in the Waikato and in Surrey, England, before taking on management roles with PGG Wrightson and LIC, the latter as United Kingdom Area Manager and Waikato Regional Manager. He is currently National Livestock Business Development Manager for PGG Wrightson and was previously North Island Dairy Manager. Jon has been involved with the Waikato BFEA for many years, initially as a judge. He was appointed chairman for the region in 2014.

He says the BFEA and the NZFE Trust have strong relevance today.

“In the current climate there is a real need for robust leadership in sustainable farming. The BFEA and the NZFE Trust are providing this leadership by recognising farmers’ efforts to improve sustainability and showing others what can be achieved.”

Jon says he is proud to be part of the team that oversees the Trust and the BFEA.

“The Trust is a guiding light for farmers wanting to run sustainable businesses while looking after the environment.”


For more information, contact;

Simon Saunders, chairman, NZFE Trust, phone 021 388 544 or email


James Ryan, General Manager, NZFE Trust, phone 027 324 5517 or email

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