Our People

Ballance has a team of experts covering the entire country

Hannah Stewart
Hannah Stewart
Farm Sustainability Services
Farm Sustainability Services Specialist

Hannah joined Ballance in 2016 as a Sales Cadet and then went on to cover Nutrient Specialist positions in Northland and the Waikato.

Hannah moved into a Farm Sustainability Senior Specialist role in September 2019, based in Pukekohe. She completed her Science degree at the University of Otago studying Land and Planning Development and Environmental Management. She has since become a Certified Nutrient Management advisor.

Hannah enjoys spending time with friends and family whilst being active outdoors.

Aaron Pemberton
Aaron Pemberton
Farm Sustainability Services
Farm Sustainability Services Senior Specialist

Aaron joined the Farm Sustainability Services team in November 2019 to follow his passion in Farm Sustainability. He moved to this role following 11 years as a Key Accounts Representative for Ballance, covering the Waikato and King Country Regions. Prior to that he had worked as a Nutrient Specialist for Ballance in the North Waikato and King Country areas.

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. And has since also completed Soil Conservation and Green House Gases courses at Massey University. Aaron is also certified with the Waikato Region Council as a Certified Farm Nutrient Advisor (CFNA).

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 make a positive and sustainable change for their farming business.

When he's not working, Aaron likes to indulge in some fishing and spend time with his family.

Chris Paterson
Christopher Paterson
Farm Sustainability Services
Farm Sustainability Services Specialist

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.

Sara Elmes
Sara Elmes
Farm Sustainability Services
Farm Sustainability Services Senior Specialist

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. 

Briar Robertson
Briar Robertson
Farm Sustainability Services
Farm Sustainability Regional Manager - North Island

Briar commenced her role of Farm Sustainability Services Regional Manager in January 2019, based at Mount Maunganui.

Briar joined Ballance in early 2017 as a Nutrient Specialist in the Taupo region, previously working for Farm Source, DairyNZ and AgResearch.

Briar grew up in Bulls on her parent’s dairy farm before moving into Palmerston North to attend Massey University. While there 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.

Now CNMA qualified, she has a strong passion for sustainability both in her work and personal life and strives to support New Zealand’s food and fibre producers to make positive on farm change.

In her downtime she loves spending time at the beach, reading and socialising with friends and family

Rebecca Howe
Farm Sustainability Services
Farm Sustainability Services Specialist

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.

 

Julie Lambie
Julie Lambie
Farm Sustainability Services
Farm Sustainability Services Senior Specialist

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 Hollever
Jessica Hollever
Farm Sustainability Services
Farm Sustainability Services Senior Specialist

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 Adams
Farm Sustainability Services
Farm Sustainability Services Specialist

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.

Kathryn Green
Farm Sustainability Services
Farm Sustainability Services Senior Specialist
Erica Leadley
Erica Leadley
Farm Sustainability Services
Farm Sustainability Regional Manager - South Island

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.

Carolien Ashborne - Payne
Carolien Ashborne Payne
Farm Sustainability Services
Farm Sustainability Senior Specialist

Carolien is a Senior Farm Sustainability Specialist based in the Waikato region.

Starting with Ballance in 2006 she joined us as a Nutrient Specialist, both in the Hauraki Plains/Coromandel/Waihi and more recently was based in Huntly.

Carolien is passionate about the agriculture industry and has been involved in judging the Ballance Farm Environment Awards for 5 years. She provides a wealth of knowledge on whole farm nutrient management - complemented by a Bachelor of Applied Science and is a Certified Nutrient Management Advisor. Carolien can provide tailored advice that promotes sustainable practices on farm while meeting the needs of industry certification, regulatory compliance or application for resource content. 

In her spare time Carolien enjoys spending time with her young family, friends, gardening and in the outdoors

Emma Bain
Farm Sustainability Services
Farm Sustainability Services Specialist
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