Our People

Ballance has a team of experts covering the entire country

Scott McDonald
Nutrient Specialist
Nutrient Specialist Lower Northland
Mark Ter-Morshuizen
Nutrient Specialist
Nutrient Specialist Cambridge West

Mark Ter-Morshuizen joined Ballance in January 2013, having moved from the company's then other farm nutrient division, Altum. He brings a wide range of farming experience, gained in both New Zealand and South African agricultural industries.

Having completed a Diploma in Agriculture, Mark managed both dairy farms and large sugar cane estates in his home country, but moved with his family to New Zealand in 2005. In the following six years he worked in a variety of rural industries, including a dairy farm, a dairy genetics company, in rural banking and in animal feeds.

Cambridge-based Mark spends his spare time on a range of family duties involving his kids, gardening and DIY. And yes, he does know which rugby team to support!

Glenn Rowlinson
Nutrient Specialist
Nutrient Specialist Rotorua

Glenn Rowlinson is the Ballance Nutrient Specialist for the Rotorua Region.

Glenn grew up on a family farm in Ngakuru where he is still a fourth generation farmer in the area. After leaving school he worked on the farm until he decided to follow a career in rural sales. This led him to a role selling Honda motorcycles and then eventually onto a Technical Sales Position for Farm Source in the Rotorua region, before joining Ballance in January 2017.

In Glenns’ spare time he is Chairman of the Ngakuru School Board of trustees, and enjoys helping his wife run their Beef and dairy grazing farm. Glenn enjoys going water-skiing during the summer months.

Jonathan Ritchie
Nutrient Specialist
Nutrient Specialist Waipukurau

Jonathan is the Nutrient Specialist for Waipukurau, joining Ballance in October 2016.

After growing up on a sheep and beef farm in Central Hawkes Bay, he travelled to Australia, gaining work on cattle station in the Northern Territory.

On his return to New Zealand, he spent time working on the family farm before completing a Diesel apprenticeship. Jonathan then spent several years tending the machinery needs of the Hawkes Bay and East Coast farmers.

His desire to be involved in the agricultural sector saw a change from Diesel machines to working for a large-scale horticulture group in Hastings. When the chance to work in his home region arose, it was an opportunity he had to take.

Outside of work, Jonathan enjoys spending time with his wife and two girls.

Paul Turner
Nutrient Specialist
Nutrient Specialist West Coast

Paul joined the Ballance Upper South Island Team as the West Coast Nutrient Specialist during November 2006.

He came to us after 16 years at Invermay Agricultural Centre working for MAF and AgResearch, where he was involved in the sheep and wool industries. He also brings customer service experience with the Soil fertility service.

Paul is back in the Top of South Island sales team after a secondment to our mapping team. He is a very team oriented man, and is very competitive. He loves the West Coast lifestyle and building relationships with shareholders and the rural community.

Paul’s passion is travel and he uses most of his annual for overseas adventures, which have seen him visit Japan, USA, Thailand and Australia.

Caroline Tatere
Nutrient Specialist
Nutrient Specialist Dannevirke

After growing up on a sheep and beef farm in Tokomaru Bay north of Gisborne and achieving a degree in Applied Science majoring in Agribusiness, Caroline ventured overseas. 

Firstly spending time in the UK and then heading to Australia to work on a couple of 1 million hectare + cattle stations before starting at Ballance Agri-Nutrients.

Caroline lives in Dannevirke with her husband and two young boys who keep her on my toes. When not working, I am running around after them having a lot of laughs and watching them grow up, as well as the odd horse ride and hit of tennis thrown in.

Rebecca Bell
Nutrient Specialist
Nutrient Specialist Eastern Southland
Stuart Lumley
Nutrient Specialist
Nutrient Specialist Matamata West

Stuart Lumley is the Nutrient Specialist for Matamata West

Originally from South Africa, Stuart joined us in the land of the long white cloud in 1999 and settled into running a successful dairy farm at Tapora, near the Kaipara Harbour.

After a run in with a bull left him with a broken back, Stuart needed a new career that still used his passion for farming.

‘Working as the Nutrient Specialist in the Matamata area is great because it gives me the chance to give sound agronomic advice to people and I really enjoy speaking to farmers about their needs.’

Stuart is also a keen fisherman and musician.

Garth Dawson
Nutrient Specialist
Nutrient Specialist Southern Sthlnd East

Garth Dawson joined Ballance as the Nutrient Specialist for Southern Southland East in November 2016, bringing with him considerable experience in both hands-on farming and business management.

A born-and-bred Southlander, Garth started his career in the agricultural industry working for Farmers Mutual Group, progressing to the role of company representative. He then moved to the Alliance Group, where his responsibilities included management of the Ocean Beach beef farm operation and sheep-holding block.

A previous stint at Ballance starting in 1993 saw Garth hold a variety of roles, including extensive time spent in leadership of the sales team before moving on in 2015.

Garth has a Postgraduate Certificate in Executive Management (Otago) and a Certificate in Sustainable Nutrient Management (Massey)

Victoria Magazinovic
Nutrient Specialist
Nutrient Specialist Central East Otago

Originally from Tauranga, Victoria has a Bachelor of Applied Science majoring in Agriculture and Rural Valuation, from Massey University.

After starting out with Ballance as a cadet in the NZ-WAI in 2011, she moved south, first to Mid Canterbury and later on to Otago, where she now resides in the Eastern Central Otago area.

Victoria enjoys getting out on farm and being able to help customers improve their productivity and profitability.

Outside of work she is involved in Young Farmers as well as equestrian sports and social netball.

Dusty Hulley
Nutrient Specialist
Nutrient Specialist Hauraki/Coromandel

Arnold Hulley better known as “Dusty” joined Ballance in March 2011 as a Nutrient Specialist for the Hauraki-Coromandel region. After three years’ service, he then moved to a role with Farm Source where he broadened his knowledge base in the farming industry. He returned to Ballance Agri-Nutrients in October 2015.

Dusty grew up in the farming sector and then went on to managing large-scale agriculture farms, growing numerous different crops as well as dry stock and wild game farming.

After moving to New Zealand with his family, they settled in the Hauraki Plains region. There he joined the Dairy sector and gained qualifications in the industry.

His strengths and knowledge come from a practical experience base, with his fields of expertise including dairy production, cropping, and pasture management, as well as a commitment to sustainable farming.

When not working, Dusty enjoys the outdoors, mountain biking, tramping, fishing and tennis as well as being involved with his kid’s sports and activities.

David Salmon
Nutrient Specialist
Nutrient Specialist Tokoroa South

David Salmon is your Nutrient Specialist for Tokoroa South region.

After high school David worked on farms to fund an agricultural economics degree at Massey University. A post-graduate OE saw him explore Europe and the Middle East, before returning home. He worked on the commissioning of the Litchfield Cheese Factory, and then later moved on to manage a 400-cow dairy farm near Gordonton.

'I joined Altum (now Ballance) over 10 years ago and love helping our farmers increase their profitability and environmental protection.'

He likes to run, cycle, swim and kayak and devotes time to his family, the Waihi school board and the Bible in Schools programme.

Amy Tomsett
Nutrient Specialist
Nutrient Specialist King Country West

Born and raised on a sheep and beef property in Porangahau, Amy has a lifelong connection to the land.

Educated in Marton and then going on to attend Massey University, she graduated with a Diploma in Agriculture.

Amy is a keen Young Farmers member and squash player at the local Te Kuiti club.

As the Ballance Nutrient Specialist in the King Country, Amy brings a genuine passion and commitment to the role and loves the King Country community.

Rowan Muller
Nutrient Specialist
Nutrient Specialist Upper Nth Canterbury

Raised on an orchard in Hawke’s Bay, Rowan was well educated even before studying forestry science at Canterbury University.

He joined Elders after working in labour contracting to horticulture, viticulture and agriculture in Canterbury, Marlborough and Otago, switching to Altum (now Ballance) in early 2010.

'I am keen on hunting and fishing in the Southern Alps and I hope to be able to travel the world and hunt. It’s great getting out and meeting a lot of different people in various farming systems and being able to customise a complete nutrient programme specific for them.'

Hamish Mitchell
Nutrient Specialist
Nutrient Specialist Central Taranaki
Noel Bethel
Nutrient Specialist
Nutrient Specialist Far North

Noel was brought up on a small drystock farm near Umawera, his secondary schooling was at Okaihau College.

After a short stint working on a sheep and beef farm outside Masterton, he then headed to Massey University to complete a BAg. A desire to return to Northland led to 4 years in rural merchandise, from where the opportunity arose to join Farmers Fertiliser in 1989.

After 10 years in the fertiliser industry Noel left to rear calves on a small block just north of Moerewa.

Married, and with two small children Noel moved to Kerikeri and joined a small family business in the Nursery/landscaping industry. Fifteen years later the urge to re-join agriculture led to him buying a 15ha block at Pakaraka, returning to rural merchandise for a short period before the opportunity to re-join Ballance.

Noel’s hobbies include “The Farm” and building outdoor furniture. He also has two adult sons, both living near Perth, Western Australia

Chris Paterson
Nutrient Specialist
Nutrient Specialist Southern Sthlnd West

"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."

Leonie Falconer
Nutrient Specialist
Nutrient Specialist Gore District

Leonie grew up on a Sheep and Beef farm locally at Te Tipua, finding throughout her younger years she enjoyed being outside and helping her dad on the farm. She attended St Peters College in Gore and then went on to Lincoln University to complete her Bachelor of Agriculture degree in 2009. Being a part of a long running agricultural family gave Leonie the passion for agriculture, hard work and respect for what goes into the industry.

Leonie has worked on a few different farming operations such as sheep milking, a self-sufficient organic block as well as three dairy farms and a sheep and beef farm - all within Southland and Canterbury so has had a varied perspective from different aspects of the industry.

A small stint overseas got the travel bug out of her system, before joining Altum (now Ballance) in August 2012, covering from Tokanui to Millers Flat, across to Milton and everything in between. The area is one with significant differences between places, and Leonie finds it interesting how different areas deal with their challenges.

In her spare time Leonie likes to keep fit by playing netball for Knapdale and Basketball for the Diamonds in Gore and also a bit of soil testing keeps her on her toes!

Sara Elmes
Nutrient Specialist
Nutrient Specialist South Otago

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 to a move to Palmerston North to study. She gained a BSc and MSc in Animal Science and Agriculture at Massey University, with her primary Masters research conducted investigating the on farm factors that may affect lamb growth, carcass characteristics and meat quality.

Having a drive to move south, Sara moved to Dunedin 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 to work alongside farmers to help them overcome challenges and drive farm profitability.

Outside of work she is keen to get in the outdoors, and do a range of activities and sports including mountain biking, skiing, trail running and hiking.

Sara enjoys meeting everyone in her region, and getting amongst the rural community.

Chelsea Atkin
Nutrient Specialist
Nutrient Specialist Blenheim/Kaikoura

Chelsea has been with Ballance since November 2013, starting initially in our cadet programme. Prior to Ballance, she attended Massey University, obtaining a Bachelor of Agricultural Science.

Chelsea spent a year in the Wairarapa/Tararua region as a Nutrient Specialist, where she developed herself and did a fantastic job of providing those customers with valued advice.

In September 2015, Chelsea took on the role of Nutrient Specialist for the Lower Rangitikei, where she built strong relationships with her customers.

She then moved south in November 2016, seizing the opportunity to be the Nutrient Specialist for Blenheim/Kaikoura.

In her spare time, Chelsea enjoys the outdoors, particularly riding her horse.

She is excited to meet you and looks forward to helping with all your nutrient requirements.

Marty Ebbett
Nutrient Specialist
Nutrient Specialist Te Awamutu West

Martyn Ebbett joined Ballance in June 2005, having spent the previous ten years working in the rural banking sector, much of it in the greater NZ-WAI district.

Spending time on his uncle’s Te Puke sheep and kiwifruit farm was enough to convince Martyn that his future lay in agriculture. A season dairy farming helped fund him through a Bachelor of Agriculture (Rural Valuation) at Massey University, after which he added to his practical experience by working on several different farms in New Zealand, Australia, England and Scotland.

Away from work, much of Martyn’s time is spent with his family, out on the road cycling, and playing the guitar.

Emma Bain
Nutrient Specialist
Nutrient Specialist Northern Sthlnd East

Emma is the Nutrient Specialist for the Northern Southland East territory.

Growing up on a sheep and Angus beef stud in the Rangitikei gave Emma her start in the farming industry, leading to a move to Lincoln to study an Agricultural science degree.

She joined the Altum sales team in the Northern Southland area in late 2011, continuing with Ballance when the two sales teams merged in 2013 to cover the Northern Southland East area.

Emma enjoys working with a wide range of farm systems, helping farmers with their challenges and in turn improving their productivity & achieving their business goals.

Outside of work, Emma enjoys getting outdoors, boating, skiing, and being involved in community sport such as hockey and squash, as well as spending time with friends and family.

Emma Cameron
Nutrient Specialist
Nutrient Specialist North Wairarapa

Emma grew up on a sheep and beef farm in the Wairarapa, which is how she developed her passion for the outdoors.

After attending St Matthews Collegiate, Emma spent a year in the UK working with horses, then returned home and spent 2 years studying for a Bachelor of Agri Commerce at Lincoln University, before transferring to Massey University in her final year to finish her degree.

Upon graduating in 2014 she was keen to find a job that allowed her to make a difference in the agricultural sector. ‘The East Coast Wairarapa role has allowed me to do just that while returning to my home region’

Emma is now back living on a sheep and beef farm and spends her weekends out competing on her horses.

Briar Robertson
Nutrient Specialist
Nutrient Specialist Taupo

Briar Robertson joined Ballance in January 2017 as the Nutrient Specialist for Taupo, based out of the Whakamaru Service Centre.

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

During her studies, Briar worked part-time at RD1 Feilding, Farm Source Marton and in the Sustainability team at DairyNZ. Upon graduating from her Bachelors degree in 2015, she worked as a Science Intern for AgResearch and DairyNZ where she built a wide range of skills working across all aspects of the agricultural industry, while also building a wide network of connections. She has a strong interest in Sustainability and is competent using Overseer having previously completed the Advanced Sustainable Nutrient Course at Massey University.

Tash Gower
Nutrient Specialist
Nutrient Specialist Lower Rangitikei

Tash is the Nutrient Specialist for the Lower Rangitikei Region.

Born and raised on a Sheep and Beef farm in the Rangitikei, accompanied by practical dairy farm experience in the Manawatu, Tash has developed a natural affinity for the Agricultural sector.

Her passion and practical experience led to tertiary study at Massey University in Palmerston North. There she completed a Bachelor of Science degree with a double major in Animal Science and Human Nutrition.

Away from work, Tash loves spending time with family, socialising with friends and enjoying the great New Zealand outdoors.

Tash is looking forward to meeting you in person.

Mark Gemmell
Nutrient Specialist

Originally joining the company under the Summit Quinphos banner in 1990, Mark has been with us through the changing faces of the company – from the re-branding to Altum to the merge into Ballance Agri-Nutrients.

Holding a sales role in the Gisborne/Wairoa region since joining the company, Mark works within the East Coast team as contractor. He has completed Nutrient Management courses through Massey, and enjoys the satisfaction of helping his clients reach their farming and production goals.

Mark has first-hand experience in the industry, as he and his wife own a 760 effective hectare sheep and beef farm inland from Gisborne, which is managed by their son. The property has a 50:50 sheep cattle ratio, finishes all their lambs, and has breeding cows as well bull trading and finishing.

Paula Macfie
Nutrient Specialist
Nutrient Specialist Cntrl Sth Wst Otago

Paula is the Nutrient Specialist servicing the Central South West Otago region.

Paula grew up on a family farm in South Otago, and completed a BSc in Geography from Otago University.

She started her career at AgResearch, where she worked for 3 ½ years in the soil team based at Invermay. This was followed by five months working voluntarily in Nepal, much of this in the agricultural sector. Paula then headed to Perth, Australia working at the Department of Agriculture and Food, with wheat and barley research.

Her hobbies include squash, indoor netball, touch, tramping and reading.

Sam McKnight
Nutrient Specialist
Nutrient Specialist Wanganui

Sam started with Ballance Agri-Nutrients in February 2015 in the nutrient budgeting team, then moving into sales in Northland in October 2015 before spending a year covering the Upper Rangitikei from May 2016. In September 2017, he moved to the role of Nutrient Specialist Marton/Whanganui/Waverley.

Sam’s passion for Agriculture started at a young age, growing up on a large sheep and beef farm in the heart of Central Otago. He has spent time working throughout the South Island and also into Australia.

Sam attended Lincoln University where he completed a Diploma in Agriculture, Diploma in Farm Management & a Bachelor of Commerce, majoring in Agriculture Management. During this time Sam was awarded a sports scholarship for rugby refereeing.

Outside of work Sam likes to head out fishing off Whanganui or head down to Naseby for some outdoor curling.

Manjit Singh
Nutrient Specialist
Nutrient Specialist Morrinsville North

Manjit Singh is your Nutrient Specialist for the Morrinsville North region. Originally from India, Manjit went to primary school in Hamilton, going on to graduate with a Masters degree from the University of NZ-WAI. His early career was in the cosmetics industry in Auckland, after which he bought a 280-cow dairy farm near Tahuna, which he now farms with his wife and two children.

Manjit joined the Altum team in February 2009 and 'has really enjoyed getting to meet so many farmers and doing the best we can for them. I like to read non-fiction books, and compensate with road running to try to keep fit'.

Niall Treanor
Nutrient Specialist
Nutrient Specialist Coastal Mid Cntrbry

Niall joined Ballance in March 2016 as the Nutrient Specialist for Coastal Mid Canterbury.

Originally from Ireland, Niall gained practical experience growing up on a sheep and beef farm on the east coast, and graduated from Dundalk Institute of Technology in 2014 with a degree in Sustainable Agriculture.

He moved to New Zealand in 2015, gaining employment firstly on a beef, sheep and cropping farm, before going on to work for a contractor prior to his role in Ballance.

In his free time Niall enjoys playing football.

Peter Thomas
Nutrient Specialist
Nutrient Specialist Whangarei

Peter Thomas is your Ballance Nutrient Specialist for part of the Whangarei area.

Growing up on a sheep and beef farm in Southland it was inevitable that Peter’s passion for Agriculture would lead to him furthering his studies for a Bachelor of Agricultural Science degree at Massey University.

Peter was able to gain industry experience through working on his family farm and a dairy farm in the area during his holiday breaks. He was also lucky enough to take on a part time job with Ballance as a lower North Island soil test contractor during his studies.

Peter enjoys putting the knowledge gained during his studies into practice helping farmers with their nutrient requirements, and in his spare time enjoys hunting and anything outdoors – including being a keen rugby player.

Carolien Ashborne Payne
Nutrient Specialist
Nutrient Specialist Huntly

Carolien joined Ballance in January 2006, having completed three years at Massey University studying for a Bachelor of Applied Science (Agriculture).

Having grown up in Hamilton, Carolien's main exposure to the rural sector came through her grandparents, who had farmed in Holland. Her interest led her to a job with RD1 in Te Awamutu, which contributed to her decision to study full-time at Massey, supplementing her study with practical work on both dairy and sheep and beef farms.

When she is not working, Carolien enjoys a variety of outdoor pursuits, including fishing, camping, travelling, horse riding and even a bit of golf.

Mark Shand
Nutrient Specialist
Nutrient Specialist Central Canterbury

Mark Shand is the Nutrient Specialist for the Central Canterbury region, based from the Rolleston Service centre.

He grew up in the Rangitikei on a sheep and beef property before moving to Canterbury to complete his Bachelor of Agricultural Science degree at Lincoln University. He has been based in Christchurch since then, and joined Ballance in 2011.

When not working Mark likes to explore the South Island, and enjoys playing competitive soccer in Christchurch. However, he won’t say no to an overseas holiday to avoid some of the Christchurch winter.

Bruce Beckingsale
Nutrient Specialist
Nutrient Specialist Eastern Otago

Bruce Beckingsale joined Ballance in June 2008, having had a long career in farm consultancy. During his career in the farm advisory service, he has been based in Invercargill, Fairlie and Balclutha, which has given him in-depth knowledge of the various farming challenges that are encountered in these diverse areas.

As well as consulting to farmers working on everything from extensive high country to intensive lowland farms, Bruce has run his own small block near Invercargill. This operation is focused on calf rearing and lamb finishing. Each year Bruce rears up to 300 calves and finishes up to 600 lambs.

Bruce's practical experience of farming and his deep knowledge of local conditions and challenges make him an ideal person to assist local farmer with their key fertiliser decisions.

Aaron Goudie
Nutrient Specialist
Nutrient Specialist WBOP

Aaron Goudie is the Ballance Nutrient Specialist for the Western Bay of Plenty (Tauranga-Waihi).
Aaron grew up on a family farm at Otautu Bay in the Coromandel, attending boarding school and tertiary education in Hamilton.

Following a career in civil/structural engineering as well as practical experience on the family farm, Aaron joined Ballance Agri-Nutrients to fulfill his desire to be a part of an organisation and industry that helps farmers reach their farm's potential. Since joining the company in 2014, Aaron has completed the Advanced Nutrient Management course and is now a Certified Nutrient Management Advisor.

As a keen sportsman, Aaron has been involved in rowing, dragon boating and outrigger canoeing as an athlete and coach at both international and national levels.

Dan Griffin
Nutrient Specialist
Nutrient Specialist Central BOP

Dan Griffin is the Nutrient Specialist for the Central Bay of Plenty (Te Puke to Rangitaiki River).

Dan spent some time growing up in Pongakawa, attending Pongakawa and Te Puke High Schools.
Following a career in banking, Dan started with Ballance Agri-Nutrients in early 2013 as part of the Customer Services team, before moving into the Sales team. He has since completed his Advanced Sustainable Nutrient Management course, and is now a Certified Nutrient Management Advisor. He enjoys building strong relationships with his customers, and providing quality service.

In his spare time, Dan can be found running and playing social sports plus keeping a close eye on Super Rugby, NRL and anything NZ sport related

Anna Bedford
Nutrient Specialist
Nutrient Specialist Ashburton/Mayfield

Anna Bedford joined Ballance Agri-Nutrients Ltd in March 2001, and spent just over two years as the Nutrient Specialist for the southern Southland region. In July 2003 she transferred to the warmer, drier climate of North Otago, and in September 2008 she headed further North again to the Mid Canterbury region.

One of the aspects of her job that Anna enjoys the most is the opportunity to go on to different types of farms and meet a wide range of people.

Before coming to work for Ballance, Anna spent a year working on a sheep farm and a dairy farm, and prior to that she was at Lincoln University.

Come the weekend, Anna likes to get out for a horse ride, and she particularly enjoys showing at A & P shows. She also has an interest in stud sheep, which she breeds on her parents' farm.

Kristin Dickson
Nutrient Specialist
Nutrient Specialist Putaruru/Tirau

Kristin started with Ballance in January 2016 as a Cadet in Otago. She has been in the Waikato since August 2016 as a Nutrient Specialist in the Putaruru Tirau area.

Kristin was raised on a dairy farm in Southland and has worked on a range of other farms. She studied a B.Com.Ag at Lincoln University which was where her interest in soil science started. She has always been interested in farming and agriculture, and enjoys meeting a variety of farmers and seeing different farming systems.

In her spare time she enjoys getting out on the farm. She also participates in western riding and gets a lot of satisfaction from working with and training young horses.

Thea James
Nutrient Specialist
Nutrient Specialist Te Aroha

Thea James, otherwise known as ‘TJ’, is the Nutrient Specialist for the Te Aroha region.

Originally from England, Thea spent her adolescence in Tauranga spending every spare moment on friend’s farms. The farm exposure sparked a keen interest in the agricultural sector - this led to completing a Bachelor of AgriScience at Massey University in Palmerston North.

During her studies, Thea worked on a variety of farms during semesters and holidays - dairying in Central Otago and Canterbury, a Hereford stud in Hawkes Bay and relief milking in the Manawatu.

After concluding her studies, Thea undertook a summer internship with Horizons Regional Council for the Sustainable Land Use Initiative. She then joined Ballance Agri-Nutrients in February 2017 as part of the Sales Intern program. Since June 2017, Thea has been based out of the Morrinsville service centre as the Te Aroha nutrient specialist.

Outside of work, Thea enjoys socialising with friends and family, horse riding and exploring the great New Zealand outdoors.

Lydia Palmer
Nutrient Specialist
Nutrient Specialist Dargaville

Originally from the UK countryside, Lydia has always had a love of rural lifestyle. In 2009 Lydia and her family emigrated to Taranaki were she completed 6th and 7th form.

Following school Lydia went to Massey University to complete a Bachelor of Agricultural Science. After finishing her degree in 2013, she gained practical experience as a shepherd on the West Coast of the South Island, working primarily with red deer.

In her spare time Lydia enjoys sewing, gardening and walking her dogs.

Ash Foley
Nutrient Specialist
Sales Cadet Canterbury
Katie Aitkenhead
Nutrient Specialist
Nutrient Specialist Reporoa East

Katie Aitkenhead is the Nutrient Specialist for Reporoa East.

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.

Loren Greensill
Nutrient Specialist
Nutrient Specialist Coastal Taranaki

Loren Greensill joined Ballance Agri-Nutrients in November 2015 as a Nutrient Specialist for the Coastal Taranaki area.

Loren completed a Bachelor of Agricultural Science at Lincoln University prior to joining the company, during which she had exposure to a range of different farming systems.

She also has a range of practical experience from working in a number of different farming systems. These include a sheep and beef farm, the Dow AgroSciences field research centre, and a range of dairy properties, both small and large scale.

In her spare time Loren can often be found out on the farm or in the kitchen baking or decorating cakes. She also loves getting out in the fresh air with friends and family exploring the countryside.

Jessica Rawlings
Nutrient Specialist
Nutrient Specialist Otorohanga

Jessica Rawlings joined Ballance in October 2015 as a Sales Cadet in the Taranaki region, before progressing to Nutrient Specialist Te Aroha, based out of the Morrinsville Service Centre.

Jessica completed a secondary teaching degree but decided that sitting in a classroom was not for her

Selina Copland
Nutrient Specialist
Nutrient Specialist Central Sthlnd West

Selina Copland is the Nutrient Specialist for the Central Southland West region.

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.

Samuel McDougall
Nutrient Specialist
Nutrient Specialist Te Awamutu East

Sam grew up in Tauranga, and while at school worked on a number of dairy and sheep and beef farms in the holidays.

This practical experience cemented his passion for the agricultural industry and led him to Massey University in Palmerston North to complete a Bachelor of Agri-Science. Following this he briefly worked on a Sheep and Beef farm in the King Country before joining Ballance Agri-Nutrients in March 2016 as a Sales Cadet. In this role, he looked after a number of areas while other colleagues were on leave and assisted the South NZ-WAI team throughout the Spring period. This gave him valuable time in the field, and allowed him to step up into a Nutrient Specialist role in November 2016.

Besides work, Sam enjoys spending time outside whether it be on the lake, mountain or the farm with family and friends.

Sam is passionate about all things farming, so is looking forward to meeting you and your family, and getting to know your business.

Charlotte Field
Nutrient Specialist
Nutrient Specialist Methven Rakaia
Grant Hardie
Nutrient Specialist
Nutrient Specialist Central Sthlnd East

Grant Hardie is the Nutrient Specialist covering the Central Southland East area.

Grant grew up on a sheep property in Dipton, before completing a Bachelor of Commerce in Agriculture at Lincoln University in 2006.

He then decided to travel to the UK in 2010 where he worked for a fencing contractor in the Hampshire county and then a sheep and beef property in the Scottish borders.

Grant’s Interests include farming, sports and the outdoors

Kerry Galvin
Nutrient Specialist
Nutrient Specialist North Otago

Born and bred in Otematata, Kerry now resides in the mighty Haka Valley on a sheep and beef farm with her partner Matt.

With a background in insurance, retail and farming Kerry brought a diverse range of skills to Ballance when she joined us in April 2017. Having spent time working on sheep and beef farms here, as well as cropping farms in Australia and Canada, she has an affinity for the farming sector.

Prior to her role with Ballance, Kerry further honed her skills and knowledge during her 3 years with Farmlands, so is no stranger to the local farming community.

In her spare time, she enjoys playing netball and getting her hands dirty on farm whenever she gets the chance.

Kerry is looking forward to helping her clients get the best out of their farming operation.

JB Mikkelsen
Nutrient Specialist
Nutrient Specialist Morrinsville

JulieBeth Mikkelsen is the Nutrient Specialist for the Morrinsville area, joining the South NZ-WAI team in April 2017.

She grew up on her parent’s farm in Ohaupo, where they had a dairy herd and a Charolais stud. She then attended Massey University, gaining a Bachelor of AgriScience with First Class Honours.

Initially joining Ballance in April 2013 as a cadet, she progressed to Nutrient Specialist for North Otago in August the same year. After spending two years growing the Ballance brand in the region, JulieBeth left Ballance in August 2015 to help on her parents beef farm in Manawahe. She also spent some time travelling, taking two trips overseas exploring South East Asia, the UK and Europe.

JulieBeth has a passion for agriculture and enjoys getting out on farm and being able to help customers with their nutrient and environmental requirements.

Outside of work, JulieBeth enjoys travelling, playing social netball and spending time with friends and family.

Rowan Craw
Nutrient Specialist
Nutrient Specialist Pahiatua

Rowan grew up on a Sheep & Beef farm in West Otago and has always had an interest in striving for the best in the agricultural sector.

He has been employed with Ballance Agri-Nutrients since September 2014, starting initially with the Business Extension Team in a role in the Manawatu. Prior to Ballance, Rowan spent two years in Canterbury working for a Rural Supplies Company after completing his studies in Agribusiness and Finance at Lincoln University.

In November 2015 Rowan took on his current role of Nutrient Specialist for the Pahiatua region.

Rowan is a keen sportsman and spends a good chunk of his spare time playing, watching or just getting involved in whatever way he can find.

He is excited to meet you and looks forward to helping with all your nutrient requirements.

Louise McCormack
Nutrient Specialist
Nutrient Specialist South Wairarapa

Louise McCormack is the Nutrient Specialist for the South Wairarapa.

Pakowhai, Hawke's Bay is where Louise calls home. Having grown up on an apple orchard, producing food is more than in her blood - it is her passion.

She studied Agriculture and Natural Resource Management at Massey University before holding roles as a Research Agronomist in Australia (Tasmania and North Queensland) and Canada (Manitoba).

Louise is extremely excited about working with you all, getting to know you, learning about your systems and helping you farm in the most profitable and sustainable way.

Hannah Phillips
Nutrient Specialist
Nutrient Specialist Inland Sth Cntrbry

Hannah is your Ballance Nutrient Specialist servicing Inland South Canterbury.

Hannah has a BSc from Lincoln University majoring in Plant Science and minoring in Soil Science, Conservation and Ecology.

She has been working for Ballance since April 2013 servicing the Methven/Rakaia area and has grown the business in this area with her good practical farming knowledge and strong customer relationship.

Her hobbies include snorkelling, tramping and surfing, which she began at a young age and has competed at a lot of New Zealand’s top surf spots.

Don Pescini
Nutrient Specialist
Nutrient Specialist Manawatu/Horowhenua

Don Pescini joined Ballance in December 2000 bringing with him a wealth of experience in the wider agricultural industry.

Born and bred in the Horowhenua, Don grew up on his family’s cropping farm where they primarily grew onions and potatoes.

Having completed a Diploma in Horticulture at Massey University, he took up a position as a research technician at the Horticultural Research Station based in Levin. He then spent three years overseas, which included a stint working on a stud cattle farm in Scotland. This was followed by over twelve years with Shell in their agro-chemicals division.

When he is not working Don enjoys spending time with his family, fishing, hunting and many other outdoor activities that help keep him fit.

Tracy Harris
Nutrient Specialist
Nutrient Specialist Rangitata River
Laura Bunning
Nutrient Specialist
Nutrient Specialist Lower Nth Canterbury

Laura completed an undergraduate and postgraduate degree in Marine Biology and Ecology, before returning to study extramurally - completing a Graduate Diploma in Rural Studies with a focus on animal production and pastoral systems.

Following this, she took on a graduate and technical role with Ravensdown, gaining exposure and practical experience in the fertiliser and general agriculture sector.

Laura spent her childhood in the Balclutha and Hawkes Bay regions, coming from a sheep and beef background. Away from work she enjoys horse riding and exploring the general outdoors orienteering and tramping.

Laura is keen to keep learning and embracing the challenges that a nutrient specialist role with Ballance will involve, and being a part of the Top South Island team.

Hannah Best
Nutrient Specialist
Nutrient Specialist Napier

Hannah Best 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.

Gary Kirkman
Nutrient Specialist
Nutrient Specialist Wstn Sthld & Te Anau

Gary Kirkman is one of Ballance's longest-serving Nutrient Specialists, having joined the company (or rather, its precursor) in 1986. He brought with him considerable experience in the rural sector, having worked for four years as a livestock instructor for the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, and five years for Wrightson.

For Gary, the best part of his job with Ballance is meeting farmers and helping them achieve top production by providing them with good advice and quality products.

When he is not working, Gary enjoys keeping fit and fishing the local rivers and lakes. He is also a member of the Te Anau Lions Club.

Howie Wilson
Nutrient Specialist
Nutrient Specialist Nelson Buller

Howie Wilson is the Nutrient Specialist for the Nelson Buller region.

Howie comes from a dairy farming background, having grown up on a dairy farm in Taranaki with his share milking parents. He then moved south to Otago, Southland where he worked as a dairy farm hand for 2 years.

Howie moved to the Buller region with his wife and two children. He has certainly adopted this region as his new home and looks forward to helping the region grow its agricultural sector.

In his spare time, Howie challenges himself in the outdoors and the adventure racing scene, and also plays numerous sports such as Hockey, Rugby and Golf.

After having a break from the farming industry in tourism and studying an Environmental degree, Howie is excited to be back where it all began and is looking forward to meeting and working with you to find ways to sustainably add value to your farming systems. 

Neil Walker
Nutrient Specialist
Nutrient Specialist Mid North

Neil Walker joined Ballance in January 2011, having previously been the assistant farm manager on a 1500-cow farm in Hawke's Bay.

Born in Zimbabwe and raised in Johannesburg, South Africa, Neil spent his early work years in the retail, motor and property sectors. He and his family immigrated to New Zealand in 2008, and Neil embarked on a career in agriculture. While working on dairy farms, Neil took the time to complete a number of agricultural qualifications, to ensure that he could gain as much knowledge of the industry as possible.

Neil spent his first 5 years with Ballance as a Nutrient Specialist in the Far North and during this time, he was able to complete his intermediate and advanced sustainable nutrient management papers through Massey University as well as build and forge excellent relationships with his customers.

Neil is currently servicing the Mid North region where his combination of customer service, technical knowledge and practical farming experience make him an ideal representative for Ballance and Mid North farmers. When he is not working, Neil is an avid runner and a keen fisher-man

Thomas McDonald
Nutrient Specialist
Nutrient Specialist King Country East

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).

Geoff Barclay
Nutrient Specialist
Nutrient Specialist Matamata East

Geoff Barclay joined Ballance Agri-Nutrients in November 2006 bringing with him a wealth of experience in the wider Agricultural Industry.

With practical work experience across a range of dairy farming systems, Geoff is passionate and enthusiastic in conveying this experience and knowledge to help his clients achieve their farming goals, especially in relation to maximising the potential with their pasture based systems.

Outside of work Geoff enjoys playing squash and tennis along with tackling the great outdoors on his mountain bike.

Kate Good
Nutrient Specialist
Nutrient Specialist South Taranaki

Kate joined Ballance Agri-Nutrients in September 2016 as the Nutrient Specialist for South Taranaki.

After completing a degree in AgriCommerce from Massey University in 2011, she began working for LIC in a number of roles; the most recent being Reproductive Solutions Advisor for the Lower North Island. Kate is a trained InCalf Advisor, and has completed a Sustainable Nutrient Management Advisory Course.

Kate, her partner and young song George are based in Stratford, where they are sharemilking with their own herd. They milk 350 cows together and love putting their knowledge into practice.

Passionate about the dairy industry, Kate enjoys finding new and innovative ideas to improve and enhance farming businesses.

Shaun Broderick
Nutrient Specialist
Nutrient Specialist North Taranaki

Shaun Broderick is your Nutrient Specialist for North Taranaki.

Originally a teacher, Shaun decided to go dairy farming after returning from his OE. After 17 years milking cows, the last eight on his own farm, it was time for a change and Shaun sold the farm, moved to town and began working for the Taranaki Regional Council. Two years after working for the council, there was an opportunity to work for Ballance, the company he had used himself for nutrient advice while farming.

Shaun enjoys discussions around farming and loves the positive role he can play in assisting farmers achieve their farming goals.

Outside of work he follows the sporting endeavours of his 3 children, surfs and enjoys cycling.

Nick Riley
Nutrient Specialist
Nutrient Specialist Pukekohe

Nick Riley spent the first 8 years of his working life on a dry stock farm prior to formalising his experience with an Applied Science Degree majoring in Rural Valuation & Farm Management. Following on from this, Nick has spent time in banking and in the fertiliser industry.

Nick and his wife have a passion for farming and have an interest in a 550-cow farm in Southland.

One of the most enjoyable aspects of the Nutrient Specialist role for Nick is helping farmers achieve production goals, and ensuring he provides them with the most cost effective products to achieve these goals.

Nick returned to Ballance in May 2014, following 2 years in the animal health industry where he gained valuable experience.

When Nick is not working, he enjoys fishing and other outdoor pursuits along with spending time on the side line supporting his stepson at Cricket and Rugby.

Caroline Richardson
Nutrient Specialist
Nutrient Specialist Northern Hawkes Bay

Despite years away at boarding school and university, Caroline has not lost her passion for sheep and beef farming in and around the Northern Hawkes Bay region.

Caroline grew up on her parents’ farm just inland from Tolaga Bay. This influenced her desire to complete a Bachelor of Applied Science studying agriculture at Massey University. ‘The course was great and we learned a lot about various farming systems in New Zealand.’

Prior to joining Altum (now Ballance) Caroline spent four months in northern Queensland, working on a cattle station that had more than 20,000 head of cattle spread over 1.1 million acres.

The other major part of Caroline’s life is show jumping. She has represented New Zealand as a junior and young rider, and still has a couple of young horses that she rides competitively when she can.

Jenny Randall
Nutrient Specialist
Nutrient Specialist Gisborne

Born and raised in Gisborne, Jenny comes from a sheep and beef farming family.  Her passion for the agriculture sector led her to study Applied Science with a major in Agri-business at Massey University. 

Her first job out of university was with Ballance in the Whakatane/Opotiki region from July 2005 to May 2008.  Subsequently she spent 18 months working and travelling around the UK and Europe before returning home.  Jenny worked for Rabo Bank Whakatane as a rural officer assisting rural managers and for Westpac Bank in Gisborne as an Agribusiness Analyst.  In September 2013 she returned to Ballance as the Nutrient Specialist in the Gisborne region.

Jenny enjoys must outdoor activities especially netball in the winter months and show jumping over summer.  

Simon Cabout
Nutrient Specialist
Nutrient Specialist Ellesmere/Te Pirita

Simon grew up in the Canterbury region on a small horticultural property outside of Ashburton. This is where his passion for farming and the outdoors began.

He completed a Masters degree in Biochemistry from Otago University, with his thesis focused on phosphate uptake in blue/green algae and the surrounding issues of fertiliser runoff. Following this, he took on a research fellow role at the university focusing on pollen development in flowering plants.

Simon has recently returned from overseas and has been looking for an opportunity to combine his passions for science and agriculture.

Outside of work, Simon enjoys fishing, mountain biking, and snowboarding.

He enjoys being in a more agricultural based role and embracing the challenges associated with a nutrient specialist role with Ballance.

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