Our Teams

Owl Farm is operated on a day-to-day basis by a team of three permanent farm staff, and overseen by a number of committees: the Farm Management Committee is made up of technical representatives of each of the funding partners, the Demonstration Manager, and representatives from St Peter’s and local farmers.  The Governance Committee is comprised of senior members of the funding partners, the FMC Chair and the Demonstration Manager; it provides guidance on strategic directions.  The St Peter’s Farm Operations Committee is made up of the Farm Manager, Demonstration Manager, and school Board Trustees.

Jo Sheridan
Demonstration Manager

Jo was brought up on a dairy cow and goat farm in Taranaki, and after studying Applied Science (Ag) at Massey University she spent time travelling and working overseas on various farms. She has been involved for over 20 years in the dairy sector supporting farmers with education and extension on farm, and has her own business, Architects of Change: an independent facilitation and extension business. Jo is also involved on her local school’s Board of Trustees and local community projects. Their two boys keep Jo and her husband Carl busy, coaching and supporting numerous sport teams, mountain biking, sea kayaking, visiting skate parks and camping around as much of NZ as they can. In her spare time Jo has been known to compete in the odd Spirited Women adventure race – having completed three already.

Carl Hine
Farm Manager

Born and bred in a dairy farming background, Carl obtained his degree from Massey University in Applied Science (Agriculture), and has more than 17 years’ experience of leadership in both corporate farming and through running his own business. Carl is passionate about cows and animal welfare, and is keen to adopt new technology to improve farm productivity. He is looking forward to bringing his skills to help Owl Farm continue its sustainable dairying journey, and to encourage more young people into dairy farming.

LaArni Bayquin
2IC

LaArni Bayquin joined Owl Farm in 2016 as a Farm Assistant, and has grown to become an invaluable 2IC for the farm. LaArni is from the Philippines and after spending three years training in Japan started her career in NZ. Whilst working at Owl Farm, LaArni has completed her Levels 3, 4 & 5 ITO training. LaArni is renowned for always bringing a smile to work each day. She is boss in charge of calf rearing and effluent management. Her next goal is to learn how to be an AB technician.

Jules Wood
Farm Assistant

Jules is the newest member of the farm team, having started at Owl Farm in 2021. Jules has wide experience of the dairy industry and in her free time likes to compete on her western horse “Chilli”. Jules loves a good yarn and has a keen eye for animal health. She also names every calf born on the farm!

Bella Sheridan
Hostess

Starting in 2019 Bella is the youngest of all our staff members. Her job is to meet and greet all the visitors to Owl Farm and provide positive experiences for the many students who visit.

Emily Dawe
Chair of Governance Committee and St Peter’s Farm Ops Committee

Emily is an independent business consultant. She has more than 25 years’ experience working in commercial and strategic roles across the Dairy, Energy and Telecommunications sectors. Having grown up on a large sheep and beef farm in Southland, Emily went on to achieve a first-class Honours degree in Marketing Strategy and Statistics from Otago University (1993). She has a track record of leading high performing teams and has been involved in many exciting and intellectually challenging businesses in the past, both here in New Zealand and in the United Kingdom. A trustee on the St Peter’s School Trust Board, Emily also chairs the People and Culture Committee. Emily lives with her husband Mark in rural Cambridge and has three sons who attend St Peter’s School.

David Green
General Manager (NZ), PGG Wrightson Seeds

David has held the position of General Manager New Zealand Seeds since 2009. He is responsible for all facets of the New Zealand Seed business. David graduated from Lincoln University in 1990 with a B.Com (Ag) degree and since then has worked in many roles for PGG Wrightson Seeds Limited and its predecessor companies. David is a former executive member of NZGSTA and a current executive member for the NZPBRA and is the NZPBRA representative on the newly created Seed Industry Research Centre Governance Board. He is a Director of R&D companies Grasslands Innovation Limited and Forage Innovations Limited.

Mark Neal
Strategy & Investment Leader Productivity, DairyNZ

Mark works with the strategy and investment team of DairyNZ, which is responsible for investing the farmer levy. He was previously a farm systems specialist. He has worked on the analysis of farm profitability, economic modelling and optimisation of farm systems, farm systems design, and quantifying the impact of environmental regulation on farm profit. Before joining DairyNZ, he was involved with dairy farm operations in Australia with his family, and farms in Chile and the United States.

Charlotte Rutherford
Director for On Farm Excellence, Fonterra

Charlotte Rutherford is the Director of On Farm Excellence within Farm Source. This role is responsible for supporting Fonterra Shareholders in the areas of Milk Quality, Food Safety, Environmental Management and On Farm R&D. Charlotte has been with the Co-operative for 19 years, working largely in the area of sustainability. This time has included periods leading strategy and policy development and she continues to have oversight of all environmental policy at both a regional and central government level. The current regulatory environment presents both challenges and opportunities for agriculture in New Zealand and it is Charlotte’s job to ensure these opportunities are maximised for Fonterra Shareholders. Part of this work has included the introduction of the Co-operative Difference which is a way to work alongside farmers to ensure their businesses are sustainable into the future, and recognising great performance along the way.

Mark Wisnewski
Senior Manager – Corporate Business, Westpac Bank

Mark has been with Westpac since graduating from Massey University in 1994 and has an extensive background in agribusiness. He has spent 16 years in the Westpac Agribusiness team in a variety of senior roles which have included working closely with customers and Westpac staff. Mark’s current role as Senior Manager in Corporate Business involves managing the banking relationships of a limited number of corporate clients in the greater Waikato region.

Alison Bailey
Professor of Farm Management, Lincoln University

Alison has been at Lincoln University since May 2016. She has been an active researcher in Farm Management for over 25 years, primarily as a social scientist working within multi-disciplinary teams. The focus of her research is on the analysis of sustainable farming systems and wider agri-ecosystem resilience, with particular emphasis on the financial impact on farm productivity of alternative farming systems and agri-environment policy. Her work contributes to improvements in how government legislation is implemented, reducing the burden for both government and the farming industry whilst managing risk, maintaining food safety and quality, and/or reducing the impact on the environment. The work has been undertaken across the European Union, United Kingdom, Africa and most recently New Zealand for both Government, commercial and charitable organisations.

Ian Brown
Chair, Farm Management Committee

Ian Brown is a dairy farmer from Tokoroa. Along with his wife Karyn, he has progressed through the dairy industry from farm assistant, via sharemilking to farm ownership. He has also contributed off farm to the dairy industry through Fonterra shareholders council, the DairyNZ farmer audit committee, and local initiatives. He has two daughters who attended St Peter’s; both of whom are pursuing their own respective careers. Ian’s off farm interests include cycling and motor racing. As Chair of the Farm Management Committee, Ian has an important liaison role in the Governance Committee.

Ian Tarbotton
Science Extension Manager, Ballance AgriNutrients

Ian leads the Ballance Science Extension team who are based across New Zealand; they deliver training, regional projects and science-based advice to farmers. He is involved in a number of key projects in the Waikato and Bay of Plenty. Ian comes from a farming background, and studied Agricultural Science at Lincoln University. He then worked for AgResearch as a Social Scientist on many projects linked to agronomy, farm systems and environmental management. After this came a period of working for DairyNZ as Extension Strategist, helping support positive change in the dairy industry. He was part of the initial SMASH (Smaller Herds) committee and started the DairyNZ Dairy Connect service. Ian also sits on the Farm Management Committee.

Mark Ter-Morshuizen
Nutrient Specialist, Ballance AgriNutrients

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

Jo Sheridan
Demonstration Manager, Owl Farm

Jo was brought up on a dairy cow and goat farm in Taranaki, and after studying Applied Science (Ag) at Massey University she spent time travelling and working overseas on various farms. She has been involved for over 20 years in the dairy sector supporting farmers with education and extension on farm, and has her own business, Architects of Change: an independent facilitation and extension business. Jo is also involved on her local school’s Board of Trustees and local community projects. Their two boys keep Jo and her husband Carl busy, coaching and supporting numerous sport teams, mountain biking, sea kayaking, visiting skate parks and camping around as much of NZ as they can. In her spare time Jo has been known to compete in the odd Spirited Women adventure race – having completed three already.

Nic Boyd
Director of Finance, St Peter’s

Nic has been with St Peter’s as Director of Finance for nearly three years. In her capacity on the Farm Management Committee, she helps Jo produce the financial reports for Owl Farm, and represents St Peter’s financial interests on the Governance Committee.

Rob Campbell
Chief Operating Officer, St Peter’s

Rob originated from Dunedin, and graduated from Otago University with a degree in Economics, which he followed up with an MA in Economics from the University of Canterbury. He spent 35 years based in Auckland, working in banking and finance. Prior to joining St Peter’s, Rob worked at Dilworth School, managing endowment funding. He represents St Peter’s Cambridge on the Governance Committee.

Ian Brown
Chair, Farm Management Committee

Ian Brown is a dairy farmer from Tokoroa. Along with his wife Karyn, he has progressed through the dairy industry from farm assistant, via sharemilking to farm ownership. He has also contributed off farm to the dairy industry through Fonterra shareholders council, the DairyNZ farmer audit committee, and local initiatives. He has two daughters who attended St Peter’s; both of whom are pursuing their own respective careers. Ian’s off farm interests include cycling and motor racing.

Emily Dawe
St Peter’s Board Trustee

Emily is an independent business consultant. She has more than 25 years’ experience working in commercial and strategic roles across the Dairy, Energy and Telecommunications sectors. Having grown up on a large sheep and beef farm in Southland, Emily went on to achieve a first-class Honours degree in Marketing Strategy and Statistics from Otago University (1993). She has a track record of leading high performing teams and has been involved in many exciting and intellectually challenging businesses in the past, both here in New Zealand and in the United Kingdom. A trustee on the St Peter’s School Trust Board, Emily also chairs the People and Culture Committee. Emily lives with her husband Mark in rural Cambridge and has three sons who attend St Peter’s School.

Carl Hine
Owl Farm Manager

Born and bred in a dairy farming background, Carl obtained his degree from Massey University in Applied Science (Agriculture), and has more than 17 years’ experience of leadership in both corporate farming and through running his own business. Carl is passionate about cows and animal welfare, and is keen to adopt new technology to improve farm productivity. He is looking forward to bringing his skills to help Owl Farm continue its sustainable dairying journey, and to encourage more young people into dairy farming.

Frank Portegys
Senior Extension Partner, Cambridge-Pirongia, DairyNZ

Frank has been involved with farming all his life, being brought up on dairy farms on the Hauraki Plains and Morrinsville before attending Massey University. He has spent time working for MPI (MAF) and eight years in the fertiliser industry before joining DairyNZ in 2002 as a Consulting Officer and also working in the Environment Team. In 2008 Frank and his wife went dairy farming as an equity partner and sharemilker milking 400 cows between Morrinsville and Cambridge. While there they were finalists in the 2012 Waikato Ballance Farm Environment Awards taking out the Nutrient Management Awards and Best Dairy Farm Award. He is now back with DairyNZ as an Extension Partner in the Cambridge-Pirongia area. He is also an all-round good guy.

Rob Campbell
Chief Operating Officer, St Peter’s Cambridge

Rob originated from Dunedin; he graduated from Otago University with a degree in Economics, and followed this with an MA in Economics at the University of Canterbury. He spent 35 years based in Auckland, working in banking and finance. Prior to joining St Peter’s, Rob worked at Dilworth School, managing endowment funding. He is now the Chief Operating Officer of St Peter’s Cambridge.

Ian Tarbotton
Extension Team Leader, Ballance

Ian leads the Ballance Science Extension team who are based across New Zealand; they deliver training, regional projects and science-based advice to farmers. He is involved in a number of key projects in the Waikato and Bay of Plenty. Ian comes from a farming background, and studied Agricultural Science at Lincoln University. He then worked for AgResearch as a Social Scientist on many projects linked to agronomy, farm systems and environmental management. After this came a period of working for DairyNZ as Extension Strategist, helping support positive change in the dairy industry. He was part of the initial SMASH (Smaller Herds) committee and started the DairyNZ Dairy Connect service.

Charlotte Westwood
Veterinary Nutritionist, PGG Wrightson Seeds

Dr Charlotte Westwood has 25 years of experience in veterinary science, nutrition and farm management in both New Zealand and Australia. With a vet degree from Massey University and a PhD in dairy nutrition and reproduction from the University of Sydney, Charlotte enjoys all aspects of dairying systems but particularly ruminant nutrition, reproduction and animal health management. As a veterinary nutritionist employed by one of Owl Farm’s sponsors, PGG Wrightson Seeds, Charlotte has been a member of the farm management committee since 2014. 

Sarah Wood
Farmer Services Manager South Waikato, Fonterra

Sarah grew up on a large sheep and beef farm in North Canterbury. She moved to the Waikato to study for a bachelor of Management Studies at University of Waikato, and has never left. While raising a young family, she and her husband sharemilked their way to farm ownership in the Matamata Piako region over 12 years. During that time Sarah worked in the Technical Sales team in various roles at Ballance Agri-Nutrients, and then moved to her current role with Fonterra in 2009. Over the last 12 years she and her team have supported farmers through the highs and lows of dairying, and she firmly believes that the NZ dairy industry has a great future despite the global challenges. Sarah has represented Fonterra as a member of the farm management committee since 2014.

Jo Sheridan
Demonstration Manager, Owl Farm

Jo was brought up on a dairy cow and goat farm in Taranaki, and after studying Applied Science (Ag) at Massey University she spent time travelling and working overseas on various farms. She has been involved for over 20 years in the dairy sector supporting farmers with education and extension on farm, and has her own business, Architects of Change: an independent facilitation and extension business. Jo is also involved on her local school’s Board of Trustees and local community projects. Their two boys keep Jo and her husband Carl busy, coaching and supporting numerous sport teams, mountain biking, sea kayaking, visiting skate parks and camping around as much of NZ as they can. In her spare time Jo has been known to compete in the odd Spirited Women adventure race – having completed three already.

Richard Luxton
Farmer

Richard has a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Canterbury and a Diploma in Agribusiness. He has completed the NZID Directors’ course, and the Kellogg’s Rural Leadership programme. Richard is a St Peter’s alumnus; he sits on the St Peter’s School Foundation Committee and has been involved in a number of charitable trusts. He has extensive corporate farm governance and management experience. Richard is currently a director of Tatua Dairy Cooperative, JD & RD Wallace Ltd and Kotare Ltd (two large-scale corporate farming businesses). He also manages two family dairy farms in the Waikato, where he lives with his wife and two young children.

Kevin Old
Lincoln University

Kevin Old is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Land Management and Systems at Lincoln University. Kevin teaches and supervises students in the fields of agricultural systems and agribusiness. His research is in the areas of agribusiness governance and farm management decision-making, with a focus on co-operative decision making, primary sector governance in New Zealand and Australia, and land ownership and succession. He has a PhD from the University of Waikato.

Grant Wills
Farmer

Grant and his wife Karo live in Walton, Waikato, on their 780-cow dairy farm. Grant has transitioned from 100% on-farm involvement to contracting a sharemilker to take care of the dairy platform and runoff. Grant and Karo also have some farming interests in Otago. Grant has had a strong involvement throughout his career in research, management, and extension roles. He spent ten years as a Fonterra Shareholders Councillor, until his retirement in the 2017 season. He continues to be involved in the industry with a focus on environmental stewardship, and agricultural tourism. Grant and Karo enjoy spending time with their three adult children. Outside farming and family interests, Grant enjoys sport, particularly golf and tennis.

Jo Faber
Westpac

Jo is a Senior Agribusiness Manager for Westpac and has clients around the Matamata/Morrinsville area. She grew up in the Waikato where her family were involved in the dairy and drystock industries. Jo studied Biochemistry at Otago University and worked as a scientist in the US, UK and NZ where she specialised in freshwater restoration. After completing a post-graduate qualification in business at Auckland University, Jo moved into banking where she has worked in both business and agribusiness banking for the past eight years.

Nic Boyd
Director of Finance

Nic has been with St Peter’s as Director of Finance for nearly three years. In her capacity on the Farm Management Committee, she helps Jo produce the financial reports for Owl Farm.

Kate Hillerton
Owl Farm Administrator

Kate originates from the UK, where she gained a B.SC in Agricultural Management from Wye College, University of London. She has wide-ranging agricultural experience, both practical and administrative. Now semi-retired, Kate likes to keep her hand in by continuing to provide the administration role for Owl Farm, along with specific projects as necessary.

Daniel Bradbury
Associate Member

Daniel was born in the UK, and started his career in agriculture while on an OE in New Zealand in 2008, before returning to the UK where he spent five years working across three different dairy farms. He has been resident in New Zealand since 2014, and is currently sharemilking 260 cows in the Waikato. He was runner-up in the Waikato Dairy Industry Awards 2021 Share Farmer of the Year.

Rachael Foy
Associate Member

Rachael has a Bachelor of Agriculture degree from Lincoln University. In 2017 she was awarded Dairy Manager of the Year (Auckland/Hauraki) and placed third in the New Zealand Dairy Manager of the Year. In 2021 she was awarded Auckland/Hauraki Share Farmer of the Year. She has more than seven years’ experience of dairy management and is currently contract-milking a spring-calving herd of 750 cows on 300 ha near Huntly.