Meat & Livestock News

Whanganui’s Mark Polson Joins Beef + Lamb NZ Board as Associate Director

Whanganui-based farmer Mark Polson has been named an associate director at Beef + Lamb New Zealand, reflecting his dual expertise in agribusiness management and hands-on farming.

After a decade in corporate and general management within the agribusiness sector, Polson returned to his roots to lead Waipuna Farms, a family-run sheep and beef operation with 25,000 stock across three Whanganui properties.

His appointment to the board is part of a one-year programme designed to foster leadership skills and provide insight into the governance of the agricultural sector.

Polson, who will serve alongside six farmer-elected directors, two meat industry-appointed directors, and one independent director, will not have voting rights but will contribute to discussions, drawing on his extensive experience in both executive roles and practical farming.

He aims to bridge the gap between corporate and farm operations, bringing a balanced perspective to the board.

Acknowledging the difference between management and governance, Polson emphasises the importance of strategic thinking and preparation for board meetings, where he intends to offer valuable insights into the company’s direction.

His goal for the year is to build strong relationships within the board and make a tangible contribution to the strategic guidance of the business.

Looking ahead, Polson is keen to deepen his understanding of governance with aspirations to continue in this vein beyond his current term.

Kate Acland, chairwoman of Beef + Lamb New Zealand, has welcomed Polson’s appointment, praising his collaborative leadership style, strategic acumen, and commitment to advancing rural communities.

Despite his new responsibilities, Polson is confident in the abilities of his team at Waipuna Farms, acknowledging their competence and the strong foundation they provide, which allows him to take on the associate director role without concern for the day-to-day farm operations.

This appointment marks a significant step in Polson’s career, as he brings a wealth of knowledge and a fresh perspective to the Beef + Lamb New Zealand board, with the potential to influence the future of New Zealand’s agricultural governance.