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.
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.
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.
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.