James and his wife Tahnee, own and operate Rotherwood, a 3000ha grazing and forestry operation. They run around 5000 merino sheep and trade store cattle during the growing season. Rotherwood also has hard and softwood plantations and working native forest.

James has a Bachelor of Applied Science in Agriculture from the University of Tasmania and is a graduate of the RCS Executive link program.

He has served as President and Vice president of the Rural Youth organisation of Tasmania as well as Agfest committee member and Young Farmer of the Year Director. He has also served on the TFGA Wool council between 2001 and 2011.

James was also the cofounder and designer of Farmware, a smartphone app for managing farm records.