Ballance has a team of experts covering the entire country
Richard is responsible for the financial affairs of the co-operative and also acts as Director of each of the Group’s subsidiary Boards.
Richard has a broad breadth of experience in finance, working as a Director of Credit Suisse’s Global Energy Group responsible for Eastern Europe and Analyst for HSBC Samuel Montagu, and Director of Corporate Finance, with Westpac.
Richard has a strong interest in science and innovation and is an active angel investor in start-up companies in the Bay of Plenty looking to make the world a better place.
Janelle joined Ballance in January 2009 after five years’ experience in the dairy and timber industry. Prior to this Janelle completed a Certificate in Applied Science at Massey University and travelled the UK for 2 years working with horses and in hospitality.
Janelle lives with her partner and two children on a hill country sheep and beef farm. Living and working in the industry gives her a wide understanding and depth of knowledge of all aspects of the agricultural industry.
Outside of work Janelle enjoys working on the farm with her family and riding her horses.
Latoya Grant joined Ballance in early 2009 on a cadetship basis, learning the ropes and looking after clients in the Western NZ-WAI in a caretaker role. After five months she moved to the South Island to take up a permanent role in Otago.
Latoya's interest in farming stems from the many school holidays that she spent on friends' farms in and around the Wanaka district. As a result of this experience, she decided to study agriculture and in 2008 she completed a Bachelor of Agricultural Science at Lincoln University. While studying she had the opportunity to work on several dairy and sheep and beef properties over the lower South Island. She also undertook an honours project, for which she examined nitrate leaching under various crops.
Working in the plant nutrient arena is very rewarding, says Latoya, as it gives her an opportunity to get onto a wide range of farms, meet interesting people and help them to make good decisions about their soil fertility programme. It really pays off when you can see production grow on properties that you have been involved with, she adds.
When she is not working, Latoya enjoys a wide range of sports, and has a particular passion for hockey, snowboarding and rugby.
Dave leads our Information Services team and is at the heart of our goal of creating a digital business – delivering a personalised service for our customers, real-time data to drive decision-making, and more simplified business processes.
Dave was previously CIO at LIC and although he has held a number of senior digital roles in a number of organisations throughout his career, he has worked predominantly in the Ag-sector. It’s a sector he is very passionate about.
Dave is a firm believer that any sort of digital change or transformation is not about the technology. It’s about enabling business strategy and solving business problems.
Mark Ter-Morshuizen joined Ballance in January 2013, having moved from the company's then other farm nutrient division, Altum. He brings a wide range of farming experience, gained in both New Zealand and South African agricultural industries.
Having completed a Diploma in Agriculture, Mark managed both dairy farms and large sugar cane estates in his home country, but moved with his family to New Zealand in 2005. In the following six years he worked in a variety of rural industries, including a dairy farm, a dairy genetics company, in rural banking and in animal feeds.
Cambridge-based Mark spends his spare time on a range of family duties involving his kids, gardening and DIY. And yes, he does know which rugby team to support!
Grant joined Ballance in 1999 as a Field consultant in Northland, transferring to the NZ-WAI in 2002. As well as his extensive knowledge of the fertiliser industry, Grant has considerable experience in the wider agricultural sector.
Prior to joining Ballance he spent 17 years working with rural farm supply companies such as Dalgety Crown as a horticultural representative, and then in 1986 Wrightson Ltd in Pukekohe. He then went onto managing stores at Maramarua, Papakura and Taumarunui. Together, these roles have allowed Grant to gain a wealth of information about the fertiliser industry and the vital role that rural merchants perform in supporting New Zealand agriculture.
When he is not working Grant enjoys family time with his wife and three teenage children, gardening, fishing and DYI work. Grant also has a strong community involvement and is a volunteer with St John providing support with governance and training.
Glenn Rowlinson is the Ballance Nutrient Specialist for the Rotorua Region.
Glenn grew up on a family farm in Ngakuru where he is still a fourth generation farmer in the area. After leaving school he worked on the farm until he decided to follow a career in rural sales. This led him to a role selling Honda motorcycles and then eventually onto a Technical Sales Position for Farm Source in the Rotorua region, before joining Ballance in January 2017.
In Glenns’ spare time he is Chairman of the Ngakuru School Board of trustees, and enjoys helping his wife run their Beef and dairy grazing farm. Glenn enjoys going water-skiing during the summer months.
Jonathan is the Nutrient Specialist for Waipukurau, joining Ballance in October 2016.
After growing up on a sheep and beef farm in Central Hawkes Bay, he travelled to Australia, gaining work on cattle station in the Northern Territory.
On his return to New Zealand, he spent time working on the family farm before completing a Diesel apprenticeship. Jonathan then spent several years tending the machinery needs of the Hawkes Bay and East Coast farmers.
His desire to be involved in the agricultural sector saw a change from Diesel machines to working for a large-scale horticulture group in Hastings. When the chance to work in his home region arose, it was an opportunity he had to take.
Outside of work, Jonathan enjoys spending time with his wife and two girls.
Paul joined the Ballance Upper South Island Team as the West Coast Nutrient Specialist during November 2006.
He came to us after 16 years at Invermay Agricultural Centre working for MAF and AgResearch, where he was involved in the sheep and wool industries. He also brings customer service experience with the Soil fertility service.
Paul is back in the Top of South Island sales team after a secondment to our mapping team. He is a very team oriented man, and is very competitive. He loves the West Coast lifestyle and building relationships with shareholders and the rural community.
Paul’s passion is travel and he uses most of his annual for overseas adventures, which have seen him visit Japan, USA, Thailand and Australia.
Stuart Lumley is the Nutrient Specialist for Matamata West
Originally from South Africa, Stuart joined us in the land of the long white cloud in 1999 and settled into running a successful dairy farm at Tapora, near the Kaipara Harbour.
After a run in with a bull left him with a broken back, Stuart needed a new career that still used his passion for farming.
‘Working as the Nutrient Specialist in the Matamata area is great because it gives me the chance to give sound agronomic advice to people and I really enjoy speaking to farmers about their needs.’
Stuart is also a keen fisherman and musician.
Garth Dawson joined Ballance as the Nutrient Specialist for Southern Southland East in November 2016, bringing with him considerable experience in both hands-on farming and business management.
A born-and-bred Southlander, Garth started his career in the agricultural industry working for Farmers Mutual Group, progressing to the role of company representative. He then moved to the Alliance Group, where his responsibilities included management of the Ocean Beach beef farm operation and sheep-holding block.
A previous stint at Ballance starting in 1993 saw Garth hold a variety of roles, including extensive time spent in leadership of the sales team before moving on in 2015.
Garth has a Postgraduate Certificate in Executive Management (Otago) and a Certificate in Sustainable Nutrient Management (Massey)
Aaron Pemberton joined Ballance in June 2001 as the Nutrient Specialist for the Pukekohe district. In 2004 he transferred to the King Country, and in 2008, he was promoted to the position of Key Accounts Representative covering the Waikato and King Country Regions.
Aaron grew up on the family dairy farm in the King Country. He went on to achieve an Honours degree in Agricultural Science at Lincoln University, and furthered his practical education by working on both dairy and sheep and beef farms. In 2015 completed his certification to become certified as a Nutrient Management Adviser.
The opportunity to get out and meet a variety of farmers is one aspect of the job that Aaron really enjoys. He also gets satisfaction from working with his farming customers to provide the best nutrient management solutions for them and their farms.
When he's not working, Aaron likes to indulge in some fishing and spend time with his family.
Claire has always had an eye on sustainability, graduating from Victoria University with a Bachelor of Science Majoring in Geography and Environmental Studies, she then went on to do a Post Graduate Diploma in Commerce Majoring in Public Policy with a special interest in Environmental Policies. Last year Claire travelled to America to complete an Executive program ‘Implementing Strategy for Competitive Advantage’ at The Wharton Business School, University of Pennsylvania.
Claire started with Ballance in 2014 in our sales team where she worked in various capacities, previously the Regional Sales Manager for the Eastern Region, where her passion for developing people and developing the region has helped shape high performance, and deep connections with local farmers in the region. Recognised as a leader in the industry in 2015, when she was nominated for Farmax Emerging Rural Professional of the Year.
Farm Sustainability is a real passion of Claire’s, whether coaching nutrient specialists to support farmers make smarter decisions through their fertiliser programmes or her involvement in the local BOP Ballance Farm Environment Awards as a finalist Judge and as part of the committee. Claire is looking forward to engaging in her new capacity with a wide range of Government Bodies, Regional Councils and Industry Stakeholders.
When Claire is not working, she enjoys walking her two German Short Haired Pointers Bain and Mikka as well as playing social sports Netball and Volleyball.
Arnold Hulley better known as “Dusty” joined Ballance in March 2011 as a Nutrient Specialist for the Hauraki-Coromandel region. After three years’ service, he then moved to a role with Farm Source where he broadened his knowledge base in the farming industry. He returned to Ballance Agri-Nutrients in October 2015.
Dusty grew up in the farming sector and then went on to managing large-scale agriculture farms, growing numerous different crops as well as dry stock and wild game farming.
After moving to New Zealand with his family, they settled in the Hauraki Plains region. There he joined the Dairy sector and gained qualifications in the industry.
His strengths and knowledge come from a practical experience base, with his fields of expertise including dairy production, cropping, and pasture management, as well as a commitment to sustainable farming.
When not working, Dusty enjoys the outdoors, mountain biking, tramping, fishing and tennis as well as being involved with his kid’s sports and activities.
David Salmon is your Nutrient Specialist for Tokoroa South region.
After high school David worked on farms to fund an agricultural economics degree at Massey University. A post-graduate OE saw him explore Europe and the Middle East, before returning home. He worked on the commissioning of the Litchfield Cheese Factory, and then later moved on to manage a 400-cow dairy farm near Gordonton.
'I joined Altum (now Ballance) over 10 years ago and love helping our farmers increase their profitability and environmental protection.'
Feburary 2017 David completed the Te Araroa Cycle trail on his mountain bike, cape reinga to bluff in 18days.
He likes to run, cycle, swim and kayak and devotes time to his family, the and Shininglights Trust where he is a volunteer for the “Hope Project” initiatives.
Andrew Sanders joined Ballance as a Nutrient Specialist in the Rotorua district in May 2004, and was promoted to the position of Area Sales Manager in April 2008. After another promotion Andrew became the North Island Regional Sales Manager, and is now the National Sales Manager.
Prior to joining Ballance, Andrew ran an agricultural contracting business in the central North Island. A native of Yorkshire, England, Andrew grew up in a small farming village and says his choice of career was influenced by his grandparents, who had an arable farm nearby.
After graduating with a Diploma in Agriculture, Andrew specialised in pigs and cereals, progressing through the ranks to Assistant Manager of a 550-sow breeding unit and 500-hectare arable farm.
Russell joined Ballance in October 2013 to cover the Merchant Relationship role over the Southern South Island. Russell has considerable experience across this geographic area with farming systems, from the soil to finances.
Russell grew up on a farm in Southland and studied at both Lincoln and Massey Universities. He joined Agriculture NZ (for 25 years) as a farm consultant in South Canterbury & Otago, and then as an agricultural trainer, training from a range of new entrants up to farmers completing a Diploma. Russell also ran trainings for merchants completing the Rural Servicing qualification. He then moved to AgITO to cover farm training across South Otago for over 3 years.
Outside of work, Russell lives near Dunedin with his wife and 3 children, loves to get out on his small farm, tinker with vintage cars, and assist with some community work
Jessica has been with Ballance since January 2004, initially working as a Nutrient Specialist in the Southland region before being promoted to the Key Accounts position in 2011. She has completed a Bachelor of Science through Otago University, and followed this up with a Graduate Diploma in Applied Science (Agriculture) from Lincoln University, as well as being a Certified Nutrient Management Advisor.
She grew up on the family 325-hectare sheep farm in Southland, and regularly spends time back on the farm helping out, which enables her to hone her practical farming skills. Jessica has been involved in the rural community through a number of roles with the likes of Young Farmers, Young Professionals, Dairy Women’s Network Conference Committee and the Monitor Farm Advisory Board. She also helps with mentoring fellow Nutrient Specialists and has taken on the challenge of secondments into management roles within the company.
Born and raised on a sheep and beef property in Porangahau, Amy has a lifelong connection to the land.
Educated in Marton and then going on to attend Massey University, she graduated with a Diploma in Agriculture.
Amy is a keen Young Farmers member and squash player at the local Te Kuiti club.
As the Ballance Nutrient Specialist in the King Country, Amy brings a genuine passion and commitment to the role and loves the King Country community.
Raised on an orchard in Hawke’s Bay, Rowan was well educated even before studying forestry science at Canterbury University.
He joined Elders after working in labour contracting to horticulture, viticulture and agriculture in Canterbury, Marlborough and Otago, switching to Altum (now Ballance) in early 2010.
'I am keen on hunting and fishing in the Southern Alps and I hope to be able to travel the world and hunt. It’s great getting out and meeting a lot of different people in various farming systems and being able to customise a complete nutrient programme specific for them.'
Noel was brought up on a small drystock farm near Umawera, his secondary schooling was at Okaihau College.
After a short stint working on a sheep and beef farm outside Masterton, he then headed to Massey University to complete a BAg. A desire to return to Northland led to 4 years in rural merchandise, from where the opportunity arose to join Farmers Fertiliser in 1989.
After 10 years in the fertiliser industry Noel left to rear calves on a small block just north of Moerewa.
Married, and with two small children Noel moved to Kerikeri and joined a small family business in the Nursery/landscaping industry. Fifteen years later the urge to re-join agriculture led to him buying a 15ha block at Pakaraka, returning to rural merchandise for a short period before the opportunity to re-join Ballance.
Noel’s hobbies include “The Farm” and building outdoor furniture. He also has two adult sons, both living near Perth, Western Australia
Andrew Rutherford is the Key Accounts Nutrient Specialist for the Central Plateau, and has worked in the agriculture industry for 20 years. He spent seven years with PGG Wrightson Ltd working up through the ranks from a trainee in the Central Plateau to Branch Manager in Katikati, before joining Ballance in March 2002. A promotion to Key Accounts Nutrient Specialist followed in April 2008 - a role in which Andrew enjoys building strong business relationships, and having a positive influence on his customers farming operations through providing quality advice.
Having grown up on his family’s 225-hectare sheep and beef farm in the southern Hawke’s Bays, Andrew has a thorough and practical appreciation of farming. He has combined this experience with the learnings gained through his time at both PGG Wrightson and Ballance to develop a broad knowledge of the agricultural sector.
He has also gained accreditation as a Certified Nutrient Management Advisor, and has spent a number of years as the Judges Coordinator for the Ahuwhenua Trophy Competition. This has extended his network within both Maori farming and the farming industry as a whole.
"A lifelong southern man, Chris’ interest in agriculture started at a young age while growing up on the family sheep and beef farm near Riverton. After attending Southland Boys’ High School, Chris went on to graduate from Lincoln University with a Bachelor of Agricultural Science with Honours.
‘I really enjoy being able to apply the science and other technical knowledge that I’ve learned to make a positive difference for farmers,’ he says. Chris enjoys being out on the farm and is currently in the farm succession process with the ultimate goal of taking over the family operation.
Chris joined Ballance in August 2011, after a short stint dairy farming and travel overseas throughout the UK, Europe and North America.
Outside of work Chris enjoys spending time with his family. Other interests include sports, particularly rugby."
Leonie grew up on a Sheep and Beef farm locally at Te Tipua, finding throughout her younger years she enjoyed being outside and helping her dad on the farm. She attended St Peters College in Gore and then went on to Lincoln University to complete her Bachelor of Agriculture degree in 2009. Being a part of a long running agricultural family gave Leonie the passion for agriculture, hard work and respect for what goes into the industry.
Leonie has worked on a few different farming operations such as sheep milking, a self-sufficient organic block as well as three dairy farms and a sheep and beef farm - all within Southland and Canterbury so has had a varied perspective from different aspects of the industry.
A small stint overseas got the travel bug out of her system, before joining Altum (now Ballance) in August 2012, covering from Tokanui to Millers Flat, across to Milton and everything in between. The area is one with significant differences between places, and Leonie finds it interesting how different areas deal with their challenges.
In her spare time Leonie likes to keep fit by playing netball for Knapdale and Basketball for the Diamonds in Gore and also a bit of soil testing keeps her on her toes!
Sara was born and bred in rural Hawkes Bay, gaining dairy, sheep, beef and deer experience throughout her early years. A passion for the sheep and beef industry led her to study a BSc and MSc in Animal Science and Agriculture at Massey University, with her primary Masters research investigating the on farm factors that may affect lamb growth, carcass characteristics and meat quality.
Having a drive to move south, Sara moved to Otago to work for AgResearch in the Animal Genomics field team, conducting research in the sheep, beef and deer industries.
Sara joined Ballance in April 2016 as a nutrient specialist to work alongside farmers to add value and drive farm profitability. Sara is now a senior farm sustainability specialist in Otago/Southland and looks forward to working with farmers and industry to overcome environmental challenges and to farm sustainably for future generations. Outside of work she is involved in the rural community through the Young Farmers club and enjoys a range of outdoor activities including mountain biking, skiing and hunting.
Martyn Ebbett joined Ballance in June 2005, having spent the previous ten years working in the rural banking sector, much of it in the greater NZ-WAI district.
Spending time on his uncle’s Te Puke sheep and kiwifruit farm was enough to convince Martyn that his future lay in agriculture. A season dairy farming helped fund him through a Bachelor of Agriculture (Rural Valuation) at Massey University, after which he added to his practical experience by working on several different farms in New Zealand, Australia, England and Scotland.
Away from work, much of Martyn’s time is spent with his family, out on the road cycling, and playing the guitar.
Briar Robertson joined Ballance in January 2017 as the Nutrient Specialist for Taupo, based out of the Whakamaru Service Centre.
Briar grew up in Bulls on her parent’s dairy farm before moving into Palmerston North to attend Massey University, where she completed a Bachelor of Science with a double major in Animal Science and Agricultural Science followed by a Post-Graduate Diploma in Animal Science.
During her studies, Briar worked part-time at RD1 Feilding, Farm Source Marton and in the Sustainability team at DairyNZ. Upon graduating from her Bachelors degree in 2015, she worked as a Science Intern for AgResearch and DairyNZ where she built a wide range of skills working across all aspects of the agricultural industry, while also building a wide network of connections. She has a strong interest in Sustainability and is competent using Overseer having previously completed the Advanced Sustainable Nutrient Course at Massey University.
Originally joining the company under the Summit Quinphos banner in 1990, Mark has been with us through the changing faces of the company – from the re-branding to Altum to the merge into Ballance Agri-Nutrients.
Holding a sales role in the Gisborne/Wairoa region since joining the company, Mark works within the East Coast team as contractor. He has completed Nutrient Management courses through Massey, and enjoys the satisfaction of helping his clients reach their farming and production goals.
Mark has first-hand experience in the industry, as he and his wife own a 760 effective hectare sheep and beef farm inland from Gisborne, which is managed by their son. The property has a 50:50 sheep cattle ratio, finishes all their lambs, and has breeding cows as well bull trading and finishing.
Paula is the Nutrient Specialist servicing the Central & East Otago regions.
Paula grew up on a family farm in South Otago, and completed a BSc in Geography from Otago University.
She started her career at AgResearch, where she worked for 3 ½ years in the soil team based at Invermay. This was followed by five months working voluntarily in Nepal, much of this in the agricultural sector. Paula then headed to Perth, Australia working at the Department of Agriculture and Food, with wheat and barley research.
Her hobbies include squash, indoor netball, touch, tramping and reading.
Sam started with Ballance Agri-Nutrients in February 2015 in the nutrient budgeting team, then moving into sales in Northland in October 2015 before spending a year covering the Upper Rangitikei from May 2016. In September 2017, he moved to the role of Nutrient Specialist Marton/Whanganui/Waverley.
Sam’s passion for Agriculture started at a young age, growing up on a large sheep and beef farm in the heart of Central Otago. He has spent time working throughout the South Island and also into Australia.
Sam attended Lincoln University where he completed a Diploma in Agriculture, Diploma in Farm Management & a Bachelor of Commerce, majoring in Agriculture Management. During this time Sam was awarded a sports scholarship for rugby refereeing.
Outside of work Sam likes to head out fishing off Whanganui or head down to Naseby for some outdoor curling.
Manjit Singh is your Nutrient Specialist for the Morrinsville North region. Originally from India, Manjit went to primary school in Hamilton, going on to graduate with a Masters degree from the University of NZ-WAI. His early career was in the cosmetics industry in Auckland, after which he bought a 280-cow dairy farm near Tahuna, which he now farms with his wife and two children.
Manjit joined the Altum team in February 2009 and 'has really enjoyed getting to meet so many farmers and doing the best we can for them. I like to read non-fiction books, and compensate with road running to try to keep fit'.
After graduating from Massey University with a Bachelor of Agricultural Science, majoring in farm management and valuation, Grahame joined the Rural Bank in Taranaki. In a varied career, Grahame has held a number of roles with different organisations across the North Island including: client relationship management, farm consultancy and leadership of teams.
Grahame has a passion for coaching others to be effective and achieving their goals and brings a wealth of coaching and commercial acumen to the sales team.
Grahame also holds a Post graduate Diploma in Business and Administration endorsed in Human Resource Management and a Diploma in Business in Property Management.
When not working Grahame enjoys a range of activities including endurance events, coaching children’s football and following a range of sports.
Niall joined Ballance in March 2016 as the Nutrient Specialist for Coastal Mid Canterbury.
Originally from Ireland, Niall gained practical experience growing up on a sheep and beef farm on the east coast, and graduated from Dundalk Institute of Technology in 2014 with a degree in Sustainable Agriculture.
He moved to New Zealand in 2015, gaining employment firstly on a beef, sheep and cropping farm, before going on to work for a contractor prior to his role in Ballance.
In his free time Niall enjoys playing football.
Mark Shand is the Nutrient Specialist for the Central Canterbury region, based from the Rolleston Service centre.
He grew up in the Rangitikei on a sheep and beef property before moving to Canterbury to complete his Bachelor of Agricultural Science degree at Lincoln University. He has been based in Christchurch since then, and joined Ballance in 2011.
When not working Mark likes to explore the South Island, and enjoys playing competitive soccer in Christchurch. However, he won’t say no to an overseas holiday to avoid some of the Christchurch winter.
Bruce Beckingsale joined Ballance in June 2008, having had a long career in farm consultancy. During his career in the farm advisory service, he has been based in Invercargill, Fairlie and Balclutha, which has given him in-depth knowledge of the various farming challenges that are encountered in these diverse areas.
As well as consulting to farmers working on everything from extensive high country to intensive lowland farms, Bruce has run his own small block near Invercargill. This operation is focused on calf rearing and lamb finishing. Each year Bruce rears up to 300 calves and finishes up to 600 lambs.
Bruce's practical experience of farming and his deep knowledge of local conditions and challenges make him an ideal person to assist local farmer with their key fertiliser decisions.
Dan Griffin is the Nutrient Specialist for the Central Bay of Plenty (Te Puke to Rangitaiki River).
Dan spent some time growing up in Pongakawa, attending Pongakawa and Te Puke High Schools.
Following a career in banking, Dan started with Ballance Agri-Nutrients in early 2013 as part of the Customer Services team, before moving into the Sales team. He has since completed his Advanced Sustainable Nutrient Management course, and is now a Certified Nutrient Management Advisor. He enjoys building strong relationships with his customers, and providing quality service.
In his spare time, Dan can be found running and playing social sports plus keeping a close eye on Super Rugby, NRL and anything NZ sport related
Anna Bedford joined Ballance Agri-Nutrients Ltd in March 2001, and spent just over two years as the Nutrient Specialist for the southern Southland region. In July 2003 she transferred to the warmer, drier climate of North Otago, and in September 2008 she headed further North again to the Mid Canterbury region.
One of the aspects of her job that Anna enjoys the most is the opportunity to go on to different types of farms and meet a wide range of people.
Before coming to work for Ballance, Anna spent a year working on a sheep farm and a dairy farm, and prior to that she was at Lincoln University.
Come the weekend, Anna likes to get out for a horse ride, and she particularly enjoys showing at A & P shows. She also has an interest in stud sheep, which she breeds on her parents' farm.
Kristin started with Ballance in January 2016 as a Cadet in Otago. She has been in the Waikato since August 2016 as a Nutrient Specialist in the Putaruru Tirau area.
Kristin was raised on a dairy farm in Southland and has worked on a range of other farms. She studied a B.Com.Ag at Lincoln University which was where her interest in soil science started. She has always been interested in farming and agriculture, and enjoys meeting a variety of farmers and seeing different farming systems.
In her spare time she enjoys getting out on the farm. She also participates in western riding and gets a lot of satisfaction from working with and training young horses.
Thea James, otherwise known as ‘TJ’, is the Nutrient Specialist for the Te Aroha region.
Originally from England, Thea spent her adolescence in Tauranga spending every spare moment on friend’s farms. The farm exposure sparked a keen interest in the agricultural sector - this led to completing a Bachelor of AgriScience at Massey University in Palmerston North.
During her studies, Thea worked on a variety of farms during semesters and holidays - dairying in Central Otago and Canterbury, a Hereford stud in Hawkes Bay and relief milking in the Manawatu.
After concluding her studies, Thea undertook a summer internship with Horizons Regional Council for the Sustainable Land Use Initiative. She then joined Ballance Agri-Nutrients in February 2017 as part of the Sales Intern program. Since June 2017, Thea has been based out of the Morrinsville service centre as the Te Aroha nutrient specialist.
Outside of work, Thea enjoys socialising with friends and family, horse riding and exploring the great New Zealand outdoors.
Angela Darke is the Key Accounts Nutrient Specialist for South Canterbury Otago. She has 11 years’ industry experience, starting with Summit-Quinphos and continuing with Ballance Agri-Nutrients after the 100% buy out. She is a Farm Management graduate of Sydney University, a Certified Nutrient Management Advisor and has completed nutrient management papers through Massey University.
Angela is driven to succeed and has graduated from two programmes run by the Agri-Women’s Development Trust. The first being their `Escalator’ programme - which has equipped her with life-changing skills in successful primary sector leadership, and the second is the `Understanding Your Farming Business’ programme, which focuses on empowering women within the sheep and beef industry.
A change leader with strong business acumen, she is known for her dedication, honesty and dignity. Angela is currently a facilitator for a South Canterbury water catchment within the Orari-Temuka-Opihi-Pareora (OTOP) zone, which is leading the community into environmental change.
Katie is the Key Account Specialist for Taupo/Waikato.
Growing up on farms in both the King Country and NZ-WAI, Katie then attended Massey University and gained a BSci (Hons) from Massey University in Chemistry, before joining Ballance in December 2013.
Prior to joining Ballance, she worked for Plant and Food Research and Gribbles Veterinary Pathology in the biochemistry department, looking at nitrogen levels in plants.
Her passion for the role is in meeting a variety of people and sharing knowledge of soils and farm systems.
Jessica Rawlings joined Ballance in October 2015 as a Sales Cadet in the Taranaki region, before progressing to Nutrient Specialist Te Aroha, based out of the Morrinsville Service Centre.
Jessica completed a secondary teaching degree but decided that sitting in a classroom was not for her
Selina Copland is the Nutrient Specialist for the Central Southland West region.
Selina joined Ballance in August 2014. She completed her Bachelor of Commerce in Agriculture at Lincoln University in 2012 before moving into the workforce with Midlands Seeds Ltd in Ashburton.
Selina comes from a South Island farming family with roots in the Seafield area of Mid Canterbury. The family farm of 550 hectares is a mix of sheep, beef, pig and cropping.Living all her life in a diverse farming environment naturally led her into the agricultural industry and she spent much of her university practical experience in Southland.
In her spare time, she loves nothing better than getting into the high country alongside her father and friends enjoying the challenge and excitement it offers.
On the sporting side of things, Selina has been a keen netballer from a young age. Not only playing for her club side but also coaching the lower grades.
To round things out Selina is following her Mum's example, trying out a new recipe from time to time while getting the satisfaction of wearing clothes she has made herself.
Sam grew up in Tauranga, and while at school worked on a number of dairy and sheep and beef farms in the holidays.
This practical experience cemented his passion for the agricultural industry and led him to Massey University in Palmerston North to complete a Bachelor of Agri-Science. Following this he briefly worked on a Sheep and Beef farm in the King Country before joining Ballance Agri-Nutrients in March 2016 as a Sales Cadet. In this role, he looked after a number of areas while other colleagues were on leave and assisted the South NZ-WAI team throughout the Spring period. This gave him valuable time in the field, and allowed him to step up into a Nutrient Specialist role in November 2016.
Besides work, Sam enjoys spending time outside whether it be on the lake, mountain or the farm with family and friends.
Sam is passionate about all things farming, so is looking forward to meeting you and your family, and getting to know your business.
David Perry joined Ballance in July 2011, bringing with him considerable experience of the wider rural sector.
Born and raised in Nelson, after he finished secondary school David headed south to Lincoln University, where he completed a Bachelor of Science degree, with a strong focus on soils and nutrients.
He then spent time working for rural merchants PGG Wrightson and for Elders Rural Holdings. His move to Ballance resulted from the desire to build on his knowledge and become more of a specialist.
When he's not working, David enjoys a range of water sports, especially boating, fishing and skiing.
Grant Hardie is the Nutrient Specialist covering the Central Southland East area.
Grant grew up on a sheep property in Dipton, before completing a Bachelor of Commerce in Agriculture at Lincoln University in 2006.
He then decided to travel to the UK in 2010 where he worked for a fencing contractor in the Hampshire county and then a sheep and beef property in the Scottish borders.
Grant’s Interests include farming, sports and the outdoors
Born and bred in Otematata, Kerry now resides in the mighty Haka Valley on a sheep and beef farm with her partner Matt.
With a background in insurance, retail and farming Kerry brought a diverse range of skills to Ballance when she joined us in April 2017. Having spent time working on sheep and beef farms here, as well as cropping farms in Australia and Canada, she has an affinity for the farming sector.
Prior to her role with Ballance, Kerry further honed her skills and knowledge during her 3 years with Farmlands, so is no stranger to the local farming community.
In her spare time, she enjoys playing netball and getting her hands dirty on farm whenever she gets the chance.
Kerry is looking forward to helping her clients get the best out of their farming operation.
JulieBeth Mikkelsen is the Nutrient Specialist for the Morrinsville area, joining the South NZ-WAI team in April 2017.
She grew up on her parent’s farm in Ohaupo, where they had a dairy herd and a Charolais stud. She then attended Massey University, gaining a Bachelor of AgriScience with First Class Honours.
Initially joining Ballance in April 2013 as a cadet, she progressed to Nutrient Specialist for North Otago in August the same year. After spending two years growing the Ballance brand in the region, JulieBeth left Ballance in August 2015 to help on her parents beef farm in Manawahe. She also spent some time travelling, taking two trips overseas exploring South East Asia, the UK and Europe.
JulieBeth has a passion for agriculture and enjoys getting out on farm and being able to help customers with their nutrient and environmental requirements.
Outside of work, JulieBeth enjoys travelling, playing social netball and spending time with friends and family.
Courtney completed her B Com in Agriculture via correspondence whilst holding down a full time job working for Farmlands - this meant the need to be very time focused and planned. A year after completing her B Com Courtney joined Ballance in 2013, progressing through to Key Accounts starting in December 2016.
Both the Intermediate and Advanced Sustainable Nutrient management courses have been completed allowing the submission of papers to obtain accreditation as a Certified Nutrient Management Advisor. Courtney has also sat the Women in Leadership course run by Agri Womens Development Trust.
Courtney is also a part of the Sheep and Beef strategy team that was set up in 2016 at Ballance. This team play an important role in helping Ballance understand how we help our customers meet future needs and ensure our sales team receive the right training.
Shaun Pulham joined Ballance in July 2006 as the Nutrient Specialist for the Western Bay of Plenty, and later transferred to the Te Awamutu East region. In January 2014 he was promoted into his current Key Accounts role.
He spent his childhood on the family 450-hectare sheep and beef farm on the southern side of Kawhia Harbour, and furthered this practical knowledge by working on dairy farms in the NZ-WAI region, and mixed cropping farms in Canterbury both before and during his studies. Shaun completed a Diploma in Farm Management and a Bachelor of Commerce (Agriculture) at Lincoln University.
During his time with Ballance Shaun has been involved with judging the Ballance Farm Environment Awards, and has attended a range of agricultural conferences. He credits these activities with both furthering his education, and keeping him up to date with the latest innovations.
Raymond Williams joined Ballance Agri-Nutrients in August 1999 as Nutrient Specialist for the Central South Island. In 2009 he was promoted to Key Accounts representative for the Upper South Island region
Being able to offer farmers useful advice, and later receiving positive feedback about the results of that, are two aspects of the job that Raymond enjoys the most.
Before joining Ballance, Raymond spent two years in the United States growing corn with the cropping company Dekalb, and also worked for Wrightson for five and a half years as a field service representative in the Southland region. Underpinning this practical experience is the knowledge he gained completing his Bachelor of Commerce (Agriculture).
When it comes to the weekend, Raymond is a fan of the great outdoors, spending his time tramping and playing, cricket and squash. And when he is feeling marginally less energetic, he manages the local Kirwee rugby team and supports the Crusaders and Canterbury teams.
Matt is the Retail Development Representative for the Lower North Island.
After completing a Bachelor of Applied Science, majoring in Agriculture and Agribusiness, Matt joined Westpac New Zealand first on their graduate programme, then as an Agribusiness Manager in Central Taranaki. An opportunity for an OE in the US and Canada followed and upon his return he gained employment with Ballance in December 2014 to reconnect with the agricultural industry. Matt spent 2 years as a Nutrient Specialist before moving to his current role.
Outside of work, Matt is an avid sports fan and snowboarder.
Don Pescini joined Ballance in December 2000 bringing with him a wealth of experience in the wider agricultural industry.
Born and bred in the Horowhenua, Don grew up on his family’s cropping farm where they primarily grew onions and potatoes.
Having completed a Diploma in Horticulture at Massey University, he took up a position as a research technician at the Horticultural Research Station based in Levin. He then spent three years overseas, which included a stint working on a stud cattle farm in Scotland. This was followed by over twelve years with Shell in their agro-chemicals division.
When he is not working Don enjoys spending time with his family, fishing, hunting and many other outdoor activities that help keep him fit.
Laura completed an undergraduate and postgraduate degree in Marine Biology and Ecology, before returning to study extramurally - completing a Graduate Diploma in Rural Studies with a focus on animal production and pastoral systems.
Following this, she took on a graduate and technical role with Ravensdown, gaining exposure and practical experience in the fertiliser and general agriculture sector.
Laura spent her childhood in the Balclutha and Hawkes Bay regions, coming from a sheep and beef background. Away from work she enjoys horse riding and exploring the general outdoors orienteering and tramping.
Laura is keen to keep learning and embracing the challenges that a nutrient specialist role with Ballance will involve, and being a part of the Top South Island team.
Gary Kirkman is one of Ballance's longest-serving Nutrient Specialists, having joined the company (or rather, its precursor) in 1986. He brought with him considerable experience in the rural sector, having worked for four years as a livestock instructor for the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, and five years for Wrightson.
For Gary, the best part of his job with Ballance is meeting farmers and helping them achieve top production by providing them with good advice and quality products.
When he is not working, Gary enjoys keeping fit and fishing the local rivers and lakes. He is also a member of the Te Anau Lions Club.
Howie Wilson is the Nutrient Specialist for the Nelson Buller region.
Howie comes from a dairy farming background, having grown up on a dairy farm in Taranaki with his share milking parents. He then moved south to Otago, Southland where he worked as a dairy farm hand for 2 years.
Howie moved to the Buller region with his wife and two children. He has certainly adopted this region as his new home and looks forward to helping the region grow its agricultural sector.
In his spare time, Howie challenges himself in the outdoors and the adventure racing scene, and also plays numerous sports such as Hockey, Rugby and Golf.
After having a break from the farming industry in tourism and studying an Environmental degree, Howie is excited to be back where it all began and is looking forward to meeting and working with you to find ways to sustainably add value to your farming systems.
Neil Walker joined Ballance in January 2011, having previously been the assistant farm manager on a 1500-cow farm in Hawke's Bay.
Born in Zimbabwe and raised in Johannesburg, South Africa, Neil spent his early work years in the retail, motor and property sectors. He and his family immigrated to New Zealand in 2008, and Neil embarked on a career in agriculture. While working on dairy farms, Neil took the time to complete a number of agricultural qualifications, to ensure that he could gain as much knowledge of the industry as possible.
Neil spent his first 5 years with Ballance as a Nutrient Specialist in the Far North and during this time, he was able to complete his intermediate and advanced sustainable nutrient management papers through Massey University as well as build and forge excellent relationships with his customers.
Neil is currently servicing the Mid North region where his combination of customer service, technical knowledge and practical farming experience make him an ideal representative for Ballance and Mid North farmers. When he is not working, Neil is an avid runner and a keen fisher-man
Harriet Howden started her career with Ballance in September 2010 as a sales consultant for Summit Quinphos in the Manawatu/Rangitikei.
A change in teams in 2013 saw Harriet become the Business Extension Specialist for the Rangitikei/ Wanganui. In June 2014 Harriet was promoted to the Business Extension Area Sales Manager role for the Lower North Island. This role allowed her the opportunity to build a great team and develop her coaching skills. After another promotion in September 2015, Harriet has become the Regional Sales Manager for the Western Lower North Island.
Harriet grew up on a 700ha sheep and beef property on Banks Peninsula. Prior to Ballance, Harriet studied at Lincoln University completing a Bachelor of Agricultural Science with First Class Honours.
In her free time, Harriet enjoys getting out on the farm, water skiing and spending time with friends and family.
Tom McDonald joined Ballance in January 2015 after 10 years working for a Rural Supplies Merchant, specialising in Agronomy and Animal Health.
Tom is passionate about sustainability and conservation tillage and enjoys many of the technical aspects of the role (and is very passionate about Integrated Pest Management in particular).
When it comes to free time, he can be found in his orchard or somewhere in the great outdoors pursuing deer or those ever so cunning fish (that seem to be getting smarter by the year).
Geoff Barclay joined Ballance Agri-Nutrients in November 2006 bringing with him a wealth of experience in the wider Agricultural Industry.
With practical work experience across a range of dairy farming systems, Geoff is passionate and enthusiastic in conveying this experience and knowledge to help his clients achieve their farming goals, especially in relation to maximising the potential with their pasture based systems.
Outside of work Geoff enjoys playing squash and tennis along with tackling the great outdoors on his mountain bike.
Scott Beckett is the National Horticulture and Arable Business Manager.
Scott joined balance in 2012 as the Horticulture Specialist for the Pukekohe region where he quickly gained valuable insights into the unique complexity of the region. Scott’s passion for Horticulture stemmed long before joining Balance Agri-nutrients. He commenced his work experience in his homeland of Zimbabwe before moving to the United States to further his education. Scott has a Bachelor of Crop Science and a Bachelor of Soil Science from Oregon State University.
Whilst studying in the states, Scott was managing businesses in both Horticulture and Floriculture – and even became fluent in Spanish!
Scott made the decision to follow in the footsteps of some of his family that were already calling NZ home and moved over here and continued his horticultural career.
Kate joined Ballance Agri-Nutrients in September 2016 as the Nutrient Specialist for South Taranaki.
After completing a degree in AgriCommerce from Massey University in 2011, she began working for LIC in a number of roles; the most recent being Reproductive Solutions Advisor for the Lower North Island. Kate is a trained InCalf Advisor, and has completed a Sustainable Nutrient Management Advisory Course.
Kate, her partner and young song George are based in Stratford, where they are sharemilking with their own herd. They milk 350 cows together and love putting their knowledge into practice.
Passionate about the dairy industry, Kate enjoys finding new and innovative ideas to improve and enhance farming businesses.
Shaun Broderick is your Nutrient Specialist for North Taranaki.
Originally a teacher, Shaun decided to go dairy farming after returning from his OE. After 17 years milking cows, the last eight on his own farm, it was time for a change and Shaun sold the farm, moved to town and began working for the Taranaki Regional Council. Two years after working for the council, there was an opportunity to work for Ballance, the company he had used himself for nutrient advice while farming.
Shaun enjoys discussions around farming and loves the positive role he can play in assisting farmers achieve their farming goals.
Outside of work he follows the sporting endeavours of his 3 children, surfs and enjoys cycling.
Nick Riley spent the first 8 years of his working life on a dry stock farm prior to formalising his experience with an Applied Science Degree majoring in Rural Valuation & Farm Management. Following on from this, Nick has spent time in banking and in the fertiliser industry.
Nick and his wife have a passion for farming and have an interest in a 550-cow farm in Southland.
One of the most enjoyable aspects of the Nutrient Specialist role for Nick is helping farmers achieve production goals, and ensuring he provides them with the most cost effective products to achieve these goals.
Nick returned to Ballance in May 2014, following 2 years in the animal health industry where he gained valuable experience.
When Nick is not working, he enjoys fishing and other outdoor pursuits along with spending time on the side line supporting his stepson at Cricket and Rugby.
With a background in banking and some 15 plus years in the agricultural and horticultural sectors both here and in South Africa, Garth is here to help with advice about nutrient management. He has gained experience both practically and in the classroom, and has a passion for helping others and loves to see farmers succeed.
Garth joined Ballance in August 2015, initially based in the Morrinsville North area. He moved a bit further south in March 2016 to take over the Te Awamutu East territory, before changing islands entirely in November 2016 to take up his current role as Regional Sales Manager Otago.
Having lived here since 2008 and an avid rugby fan (yes he supports the right team) he and his family have found it very easy to settle in to the New Zealand way of life. When not throwing a line into water, you can find him on the road hauling himself over the hills on his bicycle.
Damian joined Ballance in March 2011, having completed a Bachelor of Applied Science (Agriculture) at Massey University.
Having grown up on a dairy farm in Reporoa, Damian furthered his practical knowledge of agriculture by working on a variety of farms both before and during his studies. He completed his Intermediate and Advanced Sustainable Nutrient Management certification through Massey University. He has also completed the Nutrient Management Adviser Certification Programme being one of the very first people to do so. Damian is focused on delivering good service and advice to meet the expectations of our key customers. One of his strong attributes is good planning.
David Peacocke is based in Raglan and has interests in several large farming operations, both in the Waikato and the South Island. His business interests are diverse and encompass the beef, sheep, dairy, forestry, poultry and property sectors.
Mr Peacocke is a director of a number of companies in the rural sector, including Taupiri Holdings and Melrose Limited, and was appointed as chairman of Ballance in 2013.
He has a Bachelor of Commerce (Agriculture) from Lincoln College and in 2004 was the Supreme Award winner of the Ballance Farm Environment Awards for the Waikato region.
Mark has extensive experience in agribusiness, including 20 years in the dairy industry.
Mark was previously President South Asia for Kimberly-Clark, growing the United States multinational’s market share with brands like Kleenex and Huggies. He has a respected international track record for building brands and in managing mergers and acquisitions.
Mark is passionate about growth, innovation and talent. He has invested in and advised innovative New Zealand export oriented growth companies and holds a number of Board Directorships.
Robert Cargill (also known as Blue) started in August 2017 as the Nutrient Specialist for the Eastern Bay of Plenty, based out of Edgecumbe.
He has spent most of his life in the rural sector, with the last 14 years working as a Technical Sales Rep with two of the country’s largest Rural Merchant companies.
Blue was previously based in the Horowhenua and Manawatu before relocating to the Bay of Plenty, and is passionate about the rural industry. He enjoys the interaction with his farmers and is looking forward to working alongside them, helping with solutions to increase profitability in their business.
Outside of work he enjoys golf, fishing and horse racing; his wife is a former Jockey and trained their own racehorses.
Hamish joined Ballance in July 2017 as the Horticulture & Arable Specialist for Gisborne.
Growing up and working on a Manawatu sheep, bull beef and mixed cropping property with a hydroponic tomato glasshouse encouraged Hamish’s enthusiasm for agriculture and horticulture. After earning an Honours degree in Agricultural Science from Massey, and further study in seed and food technology, he has gained 20 years’ experience in the grain and seed industry.
Working alongside a diverse range of people - both in New Zealand and abroad - from growers and researchers, to material suppliers, merchants, and ultimately processors and food manufacturers is a part of the role that Hamish finds fantastically rewarding.
Amongst many other interests, Hamish enjoys time with family and friends, music in the man cave, gamebird hunting and a spot of gardening.
Sheena leads our research and innovation, communications and marketing teams.
Sheena has extensive experience in leading brands nationally and internationally, and has a strong affinity for the needs of farmers and an understanding of the value and opportunities Ballance can deliver to them.
She has held a number of business advisory roles in the FMCG, retail, agri-business and primary industries, and has served on a number of boards, including Radio New Zealand, New Zealand Pork, Natural Food Group and the Young Enterprise Trust.
John’s responsibilities cover our two superphosphate manufacturing plants, and our Kapuni ammonia urea plant, and the company’s aerial topdressing company Super Air.
John has worked across the breadth of our operations for thirty years and knows our business like back of his hand.
John holds a Bachelor of Science, and a Postgraduate Diploma in Technology, and has completed various business papers.
Edith is passionate about building a high performance and safety-led culture, enhancing employee engagement levels and building leadership capability across the organisation.
Edith has held leadership roles spanning manufacturing, health and financial services industries across a diverse range of global and local organisations including Cadbury/Kraft Foods, Fletcher Forests, and Tower Corp.
Edith holds a Bachelor of Business Studies from Massey University.
Albert Brantley is chief executive of Ōtākaro Limited, the Crown Company with the responsibility for completion of the Crown funded anchor projects for the Christchurch rebuild programme, as well as divesture of the land in the central business district and residential areas the Crown acquired after the 2011 earthquake.
A highly qualified engineer and geologist, he has worked on a number of engineering and commercial projects in the oil and gas, mining and power generation sectors across the globe. He has considerable experience leading operationally complex businesses which require high levels of stakeholder, political, regulatory and environmental management.
Mr Brantley is the former chief executive of Genesis Energy, and has held other similar roles in New Zealand at L&M Mining and OceanaGold. He is the former Executive Managing Director of CMS Power Company, leading a $2.3 billion project to build a 1600MW generation plant with associated desalination facilities in Abu Dhabi.
Mr Brantley holds a Bachelor of Science, is a Fellow of the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, and is a member of the Institute of Directors.
Mr Ellis was chief executive of Waste Management New Zealand for 13 years, culminating in the company’s sale in 2006. His earlier chief executive appointments, dating back to 1978, covered a number of market sectors including health, manufacturing, logistics, property, agriculture and fashion.
Well practised at driving competitive positioning and outcomes within duopoly markets, Mr Ellis also has a substantial amount of experience relating to mergers and acquisitions.
A professional director, Mr Ellis currently has roles with Enviro Waste Services, Freightways, Port of Tauranga, FSF Management Company, New Zealand Social Infrastructure Fund, and Metlifecare. He holds a Bachelor of Engineering (Chemical) with first class honours from Canterbury University, and a Bachelor of Commerce and Administration (Economics) with first class honours from Victoria University.
Andrew Morrison is a Southland based sheep and beef farmer currently farming 1030 ha between Otago and Southland. Passionate about agriculture he currently serves in the industry good space as a Beef+Lamb NZ director, and is also a New Zealand Meat Board director.
Mr Morrison’s not-for-profit involvement includes Ovis Management, which monitors and promotes the control of sheep measles. He is a director on the Pastoral Greenhouse Gas Research Consortium in which industry and government has partnered to research and potentially commercialise methane mitigation solutions in ruminant animals.
Mr Morrison is also a member of the Environment Southland Water and Land 2020 Steering Group, set up to provide recommendations to council on initiatives to manage water quality through the requirements of the National Policy Statement on Fresh Water Management.
Sarah von Dadelszen, along with husband Sam, operates a 13,000 stock unit sheep and beef property and a 350 cow dairy farm near Takapau, in the central Hawke’s Bay.
Sarah has been actively involved in governance roles across the rural sector with the NZ Beef Council and Fonterra Shareholders Council and is currently a trustee of the Agricultural and Marketing Research and Development Trust (AGMARDT). A former winner of the Richmond Hawke’s Bay Farmer of the Year, she was awarded a Food and Agribusiness Marketing Experience scholarship studying markets in America, Europe, China and Japan.
Sarah has more recently gained a deeper understanding of the intricacies of global agri-business following attendance at the Stanford University Business School with a New Zealand Primary Industry New Zealand Leadership Group, and a trip to Russia and Morocco to attend the International Fertiliser Association Conference and meet with key suppliers to build a further understanding of the fertiliser supply chain.
Born into a farming family, Sarah built up considerable practical experience ahead of obtaining a Bachelor of Agriculture from Massey University. After graduation she spent five years in rural banking, adding financial disciplines to her farming knowledge.
Murray Taggart farms a 732 ha irrigated sheep, beef and cropping property near Oxford, North Canterbury.
Mr Taggart brings considerable experience to the board, and is currently serving as the chairman of Alliance Group. He is a past director of CRT Society, past chairman of the National Meat and Fibre Council, and past member of the National Board of Federated Farmers.
Prior to farming he was employed in the banking sector holding roles in corporate banking. In 1996 Mr Taggart was the recipient of a Nuffield Farming Scholarship, and in 2006 he won the Tasman Region FMG Rural Excellence Award.
He holds a Bachelor of Agricultural Science. Mr Taggart brings a wider perspective of agriculture to the board from the experience gained through his various governance roles in the farming industry.
Louise has always had an affinity with New Zealand’s agricultural sector after growing up on a Sheep and Beef farm in Central Otago’s Maniototo.
After completing a Bachelor of Science at the University of Otago Louise was enticed to the warmer climate of Australia where she worked for 8 years as a Project Environmental Manager in Mining and Construction.
Thankfully she met a good kiwi bloke who brought her back to New Zealand and the agricultural sector, Louise and husband Gerald are based on a High Country property in remote South Canterbury.
Louise joined Ballance in 2016 and has loved every minute of helping farmers understand their environmental footprint and making sense of complex regulations as a Farm Sustainability Specialist and more recently as the South Island Team Leader.
When she’s not at work or busy on the farm you can usually find Louise on a high octane adventure co-piloting a plane or jet boat into the back blocks.
Growing up on a fifth-generation dairy farm in Matamata, Christina kindled her passion for farming communities and the environments they steward. With a love of ballet and classical music, Christina wasn’t the conventional farmer’s daughter - shifting to Auckland to study a Bachelor of Science in Environmental & Biological Sciences.
It was here however (after a few too many debates with her permaculture-preferring peers) that she realised her desire to help those communities she’d grown up with navigate the new opportunity of Farming Within Limits.
Christina joined Ballance in 2015 and is the North Island Team Leader of Farm Sustainability Services. Between developing her team, engaging industry groups, and preparing Farm Environment Plans – Christina loves the diversity her role provides. She is also completing her Masters of Environmental Management through Massey University.
Prior to Ballance, Christina worked for several years at Plant & Food Research in Havelock North, conducting nutrient management research trials on fodder, arable, and vegetable crops. Although she misses the lifestyle of Hawke’s Bay (aka. the locally produced food and wine), she can’t complain about being based in Mount Maunganui!
Jess grew up on a Dairy Farm in Feilding, choosing to do a Bachelor of Science at Massey. Her passion has always been for working with animals so she used every Uni break to work on sheep and beef studs.
Leaving Massey Jess started her working career with Agresearch as part of the plant breeding team, before venturing on an unconventional OE, travelling and teaching in Europe. Returning to NZ Jess began work with Plant and Food Research as part of the bio-protection team before joining Ballance in August 2017. After spending most of her time in research, she is excited to work as part of the Balance team helping our farmers come to grips with Farming within Limits.
On weekend’s Jess can usually be found up a mountain skiing or in some white water in her kayak.
Growing up in urban England, Rebecca never imagined a career in agriculture let alone New Zealand. After finishing her Bachelor of Science in Environmental Management at Kingston upon Thames in London Rebecca was lured to the Land of the Long White Cloud and has never looked back.
Since arriving in New Zealand in December 2014 Rebecca has learnt a great deal about the Canterbury farming systems. Keen to get stuck in and not afraid of getting her hands dirty Rebecca worked on a Mid Canterbury potato farm along with working for South Pacific Seeds. Rebecca joined the Ballance Farm Sustainability Services team in July 2016 and is now one of our Farm Sustainability Services Senior Specialists.
Rebecca is always keen for a challenge and enjoys pushing herself to learn and achieve new things. She is a passionate believer in sustainability and relishes the opportunity to help farmers continue to farm for generations to come.
As a Certified Nutrient Management Advisor Julie loves helping farmers with the pains of growing environmental regulations. Julie takes great pride in assisting farmers through completing nutrient budgets and farm environmental plans to help them understand the positive effects of following Good Management practice on both their farming system and Environmental Sustainability.
Growing up on an Arable property on the coast of Mid Canterbury and working on a dairy farm as a Lincoln student Julie has always had an excellent grasp on farming systems and been passionate about all things agri.
Julie joined the Ballance Farm Sustainability Services team in July 2015 after completing a Bachelor of Environmental Management and Planning from Lincoln University.
Julie loves to get out and about in her spare time and enjoy the great outdoors as well as helping out on her parent’s property and taking part in the activities of the Pendarves Young Farmers Club.
Jessica has always been connected to the agricultural industry after growing up on a dairy farm on the plains of North Otago and South Canterbury, although she loves the land and agriculture she got enough dairy experience growing up to know to not fall in love with a dairy farmer.
While at University of Otago, Jessica had a summer internship at Environment Canterbury in their water quality team. After graduating in 2015 with a Bachelor of Science, Jessica travelled to parts of Canada and America.
With some travelling under her belt, it was time to return home and find a job she could be passionate about. Since joining Ballance in September 2016, she has returned to her roots in the agricultural industry and loves providing support to farmers, and helping them to farm within limits due to the ever increasing regulations.
Lisa has always had an affinity for the agricultural industry after growing up on a Sheep and Beef Farm in the King Country, Waikato.
This passion lead her to Lincoln University to complete a Bachelor of Science (First Class Honours) in Animal Science and Agricultural Science. Her honours project focused on the oestrogenic effects in sheep grazing Lucerne. At university, she met a dairy farmer from the Bay of Plenty and together they have set up home in Mid-Canterbury. Although she refuses to milk cows, she enjoys the farming lifestyle and being involved in their business as they progress through the dairy ranks.
Lisa started at Ballance in July 2017, after working at Fonterra in a customer-focused role. She enjoys working in farm sustainability and helping farmers navigate the challenges that Farming Within Limits present so they can continue to farm for many generations.
Outside of work, Lisa can either be found in the kitchen, exploring the South Island or getting out and about in the outdoors usually with her dog Bo and occasionally also with her farmer - if she can get him to leave the farm for long enough.
Simon Robertson was appointed to our Board in September 2017.
Simon is a professional director with extensive commercial experience, including 10 years with Auckland International Airport (AIAL) during a period of significant investment and strategic growth for a business that is New Zealand’s pre-eminent trade and tourism gateway.
As CFO for AIAL, he led the finance, accounting, business technology and procurement functions along with investor relations and regulatory affairs. Simon has a proven track-record in strategy and capital-intensive infrastructure investment.
He is a director of Flick Energy, and previously served on the boards of North Queensland Airports, Tainui Auckland Airport Hotel and HMS Host New Zealand.
Erica lives, breathes and loves everything arable farming. Her passion for the industry and its success, has fostered from growing up in Mid Canterbury on her family’s intense spray irrigated and lamb finishing business. Now living on her partner’s South Canterbury arable property Erica remains very in touch with the pressures of farming businesses.
Driven from a need to understand and report her home farms environmental footprint Erica stepped back from her day to day on farm involvement to upskill in the nutrient management space. This led her to joining the Farm Sustainability team in September 2017. Erica enjoys engaging with farmers, using her practical farm systems knowledge to provide a quality service.
Out of work Erica is never far from a cook book and is planning her next food creation. She loves spending time cooking for and entertaining family and friends. Her love to travel, also ties in quite nicely with her love of food with trips to Italy and Vietnam to gain new skills. Erica will also take up any opportunity she can to be out on the farm, especially doing her part over harvest.
Holly Forde is the Nutrient Specialist for Reporoa.
Holly grew up on her family Sheep and Beef farm in Hawkes Bay before studying Communications at AUT, gaining a Diploma in Commercial Broadcasting.
Prior to taking up her current role with Ballance in December 2017, she was a Technical Sale Representative for Farm Source Reporoa and has also spent four years in the Rural Banking industry.
In Holly’s spare time she enjoys helping her partner with their 50/50 share-milking business, gardening, interior decorating and wakeboarding on the local river.
She is looking forward to following her passion for agronomy and helping farmers exceed their goals.
Hayden Kilpatrick joined Ballance in January 2018 as a sales intern based out of Invercargill, gaining experience in both the Dairy and Sheep and Beef sectors and later entered the role of nutrient specialist for the Western Bay of Plenty region in July 2018.
Hayden grew up in the small town of Inglewood, Taranaki but moved to a rural dairy farm when his parents decided to take on a dairy position in the Norfolk area. After having this rural experience, combined with a strong interest in Agriscience at High School, Hayden was inspired to tackle a Bachelor Agriscience majoring in Agriculture at Massey University, Palmerston North.
During his studies, Hayden spent summers working on a Dairy farm in Taranaki and working for Dow Agrosciences to further expand his knowledge of the industry. Hayden is looking forward to building strong relationships with his clients whilst sharing his dairy passion and helping his clients work towards their farming goals.
In his spare time, Hayden enjoys playing rugby, cricket, surfing and travelling domestically and internationally.
Hannah joined Ballance in April 2015 as the Nutrient Specialist for Napier.
Hannah grew up in Nelson on her parents’ tree nursery before moving to Palmerston North to attend Massey University, where she completed a Bachelor of Applied Science with First Class Honours in Pastoral Science.
Upon graduating from University in 2012, she worked for a small fertiliser company based in Hawkes Bay for three years. Hannah was awarded the NZIPIM Emerging Rural Professional of the Year award in 2014, and became a Certified Nutrient Management Advisor in 2016.
Hannah also has a passion for educating young people about the career opportunities in agriculture.
Outside of work, Hannah is a top-level dressage rider and is involved in the Tikokino Young Farmers club.
Chelsea has been with Ballance since November 2013, starting initially in our cadet programme. Prior to Ballance, she attended Massey University, obtaining a Bachelor of Agricultural Science.
Jason drives our sales strategy and leads a nationwide team of Nutrient Specialists, along with key accounts, customer services, retail merchant relationships, sales capability and the Co-operatives’ science extension team that is focused on knowledge-sharing with farmers.
Jason’s deep knowledge of agri-business and genuine passion for the primary sector is hugely valuable as Ballance focuses on the changing needs of New Zealand farmers and growers – providing tailored nutrients and advisory services, backed by the best science and technology
Jason has extensive commercial experience from more than 15 years in senior executive and governance roles in the dairy sector, including six years leading Fonterra’s rural supplies division, General Manager Commercial in the Supplier and External Relations division and senior strategy positions. He has an outstanding track record in rural leadership, sales strategy, growing competitive capability and delivering what rural customers want.
Ian Ross joined Ballance in March 2018 bringing with him experience from a number of previously held leadership roles.
Originally from Northern Ireland, Ian completed his secondary schooling in NZ and went on to Massey University where he completed a Bachelor of Agriculture.
Ian’s early career involved agronomy and grain manager roles prior to a period working in rural banking, where he held a number of senior leadership roles. Recently, that change in career direction involved Ian leading sales teams in the corporate segment of primary industry training.
With a focus on the primary sector, Ian has experience across Dairy, Meat, Arable and Finance disciplines. He brings to this role a passion for customer service and the development of people.
Outside work, Ian has a keen interest in salt and freshwater fishing, boating, game bird shooting and golf.
Anna grew up on a Sheep and Beef farm north-west of Taihape, where her passion for the agricultural industry was first established. In 2017 she completed a Bachelor in Agricultural Science Majoring in Equine. While growing up and during her time university she worked on the family farm, on horse studs and on a dairy farm. This gave her practical insights to a variety of farms.
Post-university Anna worked as a Customer Service Representative for a Farm Supply Store, where she gained experience both in store and out in the field.
Anna joined Ballance in September 2018 as a Nutrient Specialist for the Upper Rangitikei Region.
In her spare time Anna enjoys riding her horse, outdoor activities and spending time with friends and family.
Tony leads our on-shore supply chain function, including our nationwide service centre and Hub network. Tony is responsible for strengthening our co-operative’s supply chain capability which is focused on quality, efficiency and cost-effective delivery of products to customers in rural New Zealand.
A highly experienced senior manufacturing and supply chain executive, Tony has worked in senior roles across the food processing, manufacturing, food services and retail sectors. He spent eight years with Simplot Australia, a $1.5b food manufacturer with complete vertical integration from growing, sourcing, processing to marketing and selling its products.
During his time with Simplot, Tony led a significant business improvement program and a team of more than 1,800. Prior to that, he had a 14-year career with Cadbury culminating in the ANZ Supply Chain Director position managing operations across Australia and New Zealand.
Mr Balle is managing director of Balle Bros Group, a vertically integrated food business supplying retail and foodservice businesses across New Zealand and the world. with farming operations covering 4,000ha across Northland, Auckland, Waikato, Central North Island, Hawkes Bay and Canterbury.
A chartered accountant, Mr Balle also manages a 1,000ha dairy operation in North Waikato. His governance experience also includes directorships with Open Country Dairy Limited, Onions New Zealand and Potatoes New Zealand.
Duncan Coull farms 240ha of dairy operations in the northern King Country near Otorohanga, as well as dairy grazing operations in Piopio and a 250ha dairy farm in Milton. He has been on the Fonterra Shareholders’ Council for eight years, the last three of those as Chair.
Mr Coull is a Global Dairy Ambassador and independent chair of Naki Construction and Westfield Farms. A former finance manager for Rabobank, he is a member of the Otorohanga District Development Board.