Science Extension


I thrive on making a positive difference in pastoral agriculture.  


Ian Tarbotton

Science Extension Manager

Ian Tarbotton joined Ballance in 2013 and is responsible for leading the company’s extension services, which aim to help farmers to adopt new products and services. He has an honour’s degree in agricultural science from Lincoln, and post-graduate training in innovation and social research through Waikato University. Ian was previously with DairyNZ, where he pioneered new approaches to mapping the people networks that impact on farmers’ decision making.


I love my job because it lets me make a positive difference in our agricultural, arable and horticultural industries, for the betterment of farmers, growers and the country.  


Ian Power

Science Extension – Environmental Management Specialist

Ian Power joined Ballance in 2012, and is responsible for training staff in the use of Overseer, and for making farm nutrient management fun. A former research scientist, he has a Master’s degree from Te Whare Wananga o Waikato. Previously, Ian worked as a scientist for AgResearch, and was involved in fertilisers, indigenous biodiversity, nutrient management and the development of Overseer.

I enjoy being able to share my knowledge and experience in a way that helps people – especially farmers – solve problems by making good, science-based decisions.  


Jim Risk

Science Extension – Nutrient Dynamics Specialist

Jim Risk joined Ballance in 2011 and is responsible for the continuing science education of the sales force in the lower South Island. As well as a Bachelor’s degree from Lincoln and post-graduate qualifications from Massey, Jim has considerable practical experience in soils and sustainability, having worked for both Environment Southland and as a pedologist on the Topo-climate South project.


I am passionate about helping farmers use the tools that we have available to improve pasture and crop production, and maintain future production potential.  


Murray Lane

Science Extension – Forage Specialist

Murray Lane joined Ballance in 2006 and is responsible for science extension and training in the northern North Island. A Massey graduate, Murray has a Bachelor of Agricultural Science, an extensive record in pesticides research and development, and experience of working with pasture and cropping seeds.


This role allows me to read the latest science and technology advances, and pass this information onto others in a way that helps them to use it to their advantage.  


Ollie Knowles

Science Extension – Precision Agriculture Specialist

Ollie Knowles joined Ballance in 2010 and initially worked in the sales team before transferring to his current role in science extension. Armed with  a Bachelor’s degree from Lincoln University, Ollie is part of a team of people who are responsible for the development of technological solutions that support precision agriculture, and plays a key role in training the sales team in this area.


My job is about sharing. Science is fun, but you shouldn’t need to have a PhD to enjoy it – I try to demystify our research so everyone can benefit from it.  


Dr Sue Page

Science Knowledge Manager

Sue Page joined Ballance in 2003 and is responsible for translating our research results into words and images that mean something to farmers. A former research scientist, she has a PhD in microbiology from the University of Kent, and a complementary career in trade book publishing.

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