Ballance has a team of experts covering the entire country
Janelle joined Ballance in January 2009 after five years’ experience in the dairy and timber industry. Prior to this Janelle completed a Certificate in Applied Science at Massey University and travelled the UK for 2 years working with horses and in hospitality.
Janelle lives with her partner and two children on a hill country sheep and beef farm. Living and working in the industry gives her a wide understanding and depth of knowledge of all aspects of the agricultural industry.
Outside of work Janelle enjoys working on the farm with her family and riding her horses.
Nick joined the East Coast Sales team in July 2017 as the Nutrient Specialist for Gisborne.
His career with Ballance started in 2015 as part of our Customer Services team based in Tauranga, before joining the Sales Cadet programme in December 2016. This role saw him based in Northland, gaining experience working with both dairy and sheep and beef properties.
Growing up on a high country sheep and beef station on the edge of Lake Wanaka, Nick spent his school holidays working on the farm, fostering a passion for the red meat sector. He then completed a Degree in Marketing & Economics at Otago University, spending his semester breaks and summers working for rural contractors making silage or harvesting cereal crops on the Canterbury plains. He also completed two grain harvests in both Western and South Australia.
Nick enjoys all aspects of being on farm – particularly seeing what different things each farmer does, and absorbing the knowledge to transfer to the family farm.
Outside of work, he enjoys all sports, but especially surfing and tennis.
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 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 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 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.
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 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)
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 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.'
Feburary 2017 David completed the Te Araroa Cycle trail on his mountain bike, cape reinga to bluff in 18days.
He likes to run, cycle, swim and kayak and devotes time to his family, the and Shininglights Trust where he is a volunteer for the “Hope Project” initiatives.
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.
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.'
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
"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 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!
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 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 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 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 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.
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 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 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 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 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.
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 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 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.
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 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 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, 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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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 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
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 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 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 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.
Robert Cargill (also known as Blue) started in August 2017 as the Nutrient Specialist for the Eastern Bay of Plenty, based out of Edgecumbe.
He has spent most of his life in the rural sector, with the last 14 years working as a Technical Sales Rep with two of the country’s largest Rural Merchant companies.
Blue was previously based in the Horowhenua and Manawatu before relocating to the Bay of Plenty, and is passionate about the rural industry. He enjoys the interaction with his farmers and is looking forward to working alongside them, helping with solutions to increase profitability in their business.
Outside of work he enjoys golf, fishing and horse racing; his wife is a former Jockey and trained their own racehorses.
Holly Forde is the Nutrient Specialist for Reporoa.
Holly grew up on her family Sheep and Beef farm in Hawkes Bay before studying Communications at AUT, gaining a Diploma in Commercial Broadcasting.
Prior to taking up her current role with Ballance in December 2017, she was a Technical Sale Representative for Farm Source Reporoa and has also spent four years in the Rural Banking industry.
In Holly’s spare time she enjoys helping her partner with their 50/50 share-milking business, gardening, interior decorating and wakeboarding on the local river.
She is looking forward to following her passion for agronomy and helping farmers exceed their goals.
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.
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.