Ballance has a team of experts covering the entire country
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
Jack started with Ballance in January 2015 after completing a Bachelor of Commerce degree at Lincoln University. He initially covered the Darfield area as a Nutrient Specialist until heading off on an OE to London in April 2017. On return from overseas Jack started in the Key Accounts role for the Central South Island.
Jack enjoys finding ways to add value to Canterbury farms whilst working within the environmental regulations the clients face.
In his spare time Jack enjoys getting to remote places around the South Island chasing trout.
Tom Aitken joined the Key Accounts team in September 2019 as the East Coast Key Accounts Specialist, a role that enabled him to move back to his home patch after spending 18 months as the Nutrient Specialist for the Selwyn Region.
Tom was born and raised on a Sheep and Beef Station in Central Hawkes Bay. This is where he developed a passion for farming, which led him to study at Lincoln University and attain a Bachelor of Commerce in Agriculture.
On completing his degree, Tom worked for ANZ in Auckland and Christchurch in its Commercial Team. He then became an Associate in ANZ Lending Services, where he dealt with the banks most high-risk customers in the South Island, working to deleverage the farms.
While working at ANZ, Tom studied via correspondence at Oxford University and Said Business School to gain a Certificate in Financial Technology.
Outside of work, Tom is passionate out Farming, Hunting, Skiing, Fishing and diving.