Our People

Wherever you’re farming, our experts have got you covered

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Key Accounts NS Otago Southland
Latoya Grant
Latoya Grant

Key Accounts

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.

Key Accounts NS Otago/Southland
Jessica Ruddenklau
Jessica Ruddenklau

Key Accounts

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.

Key Accounts NS Central Plateau
Andrew Rutherford
Andrew Rutherford

Key Accounts

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.

Key Accounts NS BoP Central Plateau
Shaun Pulham
Shaun Pulham

Key Accounts

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.

Key Accounts NS Upper South Island
Raymond Williams
Raymond Williams

Key Accounts

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.

Key Accounts NS Lower North Island
Damian Hart
Damian Hart

Key Accounts

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.

Key Accounts NS Otago/Southland
Hamish Harris
Hamish Harris

Key Accounts

Key Account NS East Coast
Hannah Best
Hannah Appleton

Key Accounts

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.

Key Accounts NS Waikato
Kim Howells
Kim Howells

Key Accounts

Key Accounts NS Central South Island
Kyle Wills
Kyle Wills

Key Accounts

Key Accounts NS Otago/Southland
Tim Buckley
Timothy Buckley

Key Accounts

Key Accounts NS Central South Island
Kate Eddington
Kate Eddington

Key Accounts

Key Accounts NS Taupo/Waikato
Katie Aitkenhead
Katie Aitkenhead

Key Accounts

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.