Wherever you’re farming, our experts have got you covered
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Kevin is the Key Accounts Nutrient Specialist for the Central Plateau, stepping in to the role in August 2020.
Born into a family with its roots in farming, it was inevitable that Kevin would work in the agricultural sector. He has held a number of roles from milking assistant and working on dairy farms to rural earthmoving, sales representative for Hynds Pipe Systems and even a period as a Ballance Nutrient Specialist in the Rotorua area.
Kevin then took some time away from Ballance, splitting his time between working as an independent Farm Sustainability Advisor and managing the day-to-day operations of a family-based rural earthmoving contracting business. He returned to the Ballance fold in May 2019 with a secondment in our Key Accounts team and when that finished in early 2020, he moved in to a position with Farm Sustainability Services.
Through all of this, Kevin has developed a deep understanding of both the challenges the farming community faces, and the opportunities to build on what they are already doing. He brings a wealth of experience and a passion for farming and assisting NZ farmers to achieve their goals.
When he is not working, Kevin’s focus is on spending time with his family and friends. He is also a keen mountain biker who loves the local Rotorua trails but also enjoys traveling around the country exploring new places to ride.