Being bold
for change

Speaker Bios

Julia Jones, Dealer of hope

Never really living in the moment but always being excited about the future is what drives Julia Jones.  Change is inevitable and she works hard to help others have confidence in navigating an uncertain future.   

Her time working with KPMG fuelled her curiosity and passion for global macro trends and their impact on NZ’s prosperity.   

Julia has had a series of highlights over her career, the reality is however her lowlights which are not typically included in bio’s have delivered some of the most impactful opportunities for growth.   

 Highlights include:   

  • Chairing Meat the Need, a food security charity, Current  
  • Winning the emerging leader scholarship to attend Stanford University, 2017 
  • Working in Russia, 2014 
  • AWDT Escalator Program, 2011 
  • Completing the Harvard Agri Seminar in China, 2010 

Robyn Pearce, Certified Speaking Professional,  GettingAGrip

Since 1992, as a keynote speaker, trainer and author, Robyn Pearce has helped countless clients and readers around the world to win their time battles, including many in the agricultural sector. She often appears as a productivity and time management specialist on a variety of both digital and physical platforms. She’s also a prolific author - eleven books so far, including two historical fiction titles.

Robyn grew up on a dairy farm, was a farmer’s wife for 15 years and these days is regularly involved with farm activities on the Northland Angus and Coopworth stud farm of two of her five sons.

As a young countrywoman, she constantly struggled with time. It was consumed by six kids, hundreds of cows, thousands of sheep, dogs that wouldn’t work for her—and a husband! She’s been down the road of stress, burnout and exhaustion, struggled mightily in the early years with her own time habits—and won.

Title of workshop: ‘Getting a grip on time management’

Farming families constantly cry: ‘There’s never enough hours in the day!’ You’ll enjoy Robyn’s blend of commonsense, humour and practical illustrations gleaned from both her personal experiences and those of her clients. Bring your questions for this interactive session.

Topics audiences typically ask for:

  • How to focus on high-value activities and spend less time on low-level time-fillers
  • Simple ways to plan and prioritise
  • Quick practical tips on sorting the farm office
  • How to find some time for yourself, without feeling guilty

Dr Suzanne Rowe, Senior Scientist at AgResearch

Suzanne is a quantitative geneticist working on the application of genomic tools for sustainable livestock breeding. Suzanne is leading a program of work using genomic information to breed livestock that naturally produce less methane. She works on the understanding the variation in gut microbiomes and the ability of our grazing livestock to digest feed more effectively.  Currently her main focus is the commercialisation of a decade of research with the implementation of genomic prediction for lowered methane emissions within the New Zealand national livestock industry, and what it means for meeting New Zealand’s environmental targets. Suzanne is leading a new collaborative research program between New Zealand and Ireland to co-develop new measurement technologies for breeding schemes that deliver sustainable meat and milk.

Elle Perriam, Founder at Will To Live

Elle is a dedicated advocate for promoting holistic health and well-being resources in rural communities. Her passion for this cause came from losing her partner, Will, to suicide in 2017. Frustrated by the lack of mental health support available to those in rural communities, Elle founded the Will To Live charitable trust in 2018 after waiting eight weeks for professional mental health support following the tragedy.

Today, Elle devotes her time to all things that improve well-being. She is studying towards a degree in Naturopathy & Herbal Medicine, is a qualified 200hr Yoga teacher, and is also a qualified NLP Master Practitioner. Through her expertise in coaching, Elle provides support to those who are struggling. Additionally, Elle manages fundraising projects, campaigns, and well-being programs for Will To Live. Elle's dedication to improving the well-being of rural communities is truly inspiring.

Will To Live description:

Suicide rates in rural New Zealand, especially among young people, are the highest in any demographic. In response to this, Will To Live, a Rural Health Charitable Trust, was founded in 2018 by Elle Perriam after her partner, a young farmer, tragically took his own life. Will To Live aims to promote mental health awareness, provide one-on-one support, and offer free education and wellbeing tools to small rural communities that often lack access to mental health resources.

To address the long waiting times in the public health system, Will To Live launched their Rural Change fund in 2021. This fund provides three private counselling sessions per farmer with a waiting time of only 2-3 days. Accessible to anyone employed, managing or owning a farming operation in New Zealand, the fund will cost $150-$250 per hour session and all donations will go towards the Rural Change fund.

Julie Brophy, Managing Partner at Hatch

As a leadership coach, I work with individuals and teams across a range of industries. I take a strengths-based approach to development (using the CliftonStrengths tool) to enable clients to explore their unique strengths and apply them to their most significant opportunities and challenges. I also use a behaviour design framework to help embed new habits relating to leadership effectiveness, personal productivity and resilience.
In addition to coaching, I design and facilitate a range of professional workshops and programmes. As a result, my exposure to leadership thinking and business context is always current.

Prior to starting Hatch Talent in 2016 with my business partner, Michelle Burman, I specialised in People and Performance for almost 20 years across a range of industries in New Zealand and the UK.

  • Tiny Habits Certified Coach – 2021
  • Certificate in Coaching Psychology - 2019
  • Advanced CliftonStrengths Coach – 2018
  • Accredited CliftonStrengths Coach – 2013
  • PGDip Human Resource Management – 2004
  • BA (Classics | Sociology) – 2000

Michelle Burman, Managing Director at Hatch

I have over 20 years’ experience in HR and Organisational Development, operating at senior levels across a wide array of industries including construction, distribution, manufacturing, primary industry and local government.

In 2016 I launched Hatch Talent Ltd with my business partner Julie Brophy. Providing coaching and learning programmes for corporate customers across the Asia-Pacific region, Hatch helps businesses lift individual and team performance, engagement and wellbeing.

My passion is helping others achieve their goals. As a strengths-based leadership coach, I help you appreciate and, importantly, apply your talents to achieve your career and personal goals. I am a highly experienced facilitator who brings an inclusive and down to earth approach that helps participants understand and connect with the material in a way that enhances learning and brings about change.

  • MSc (Organisational Psychology) – 2024 (underway)
  • BSc (Psychology) – 2020
  • Advanced CliftonStrengths Coaching – 2018
  • Accredited CliftonStrengths Coach – 2013
  • Coach – Helping Others Achieve – 2005

Lisa Tregenza - Founder of Intune Yoga & Moving Through Menopause

Lisa has been practicing and teaching yoga for over twenty years and has fully embodied her style of movement and mindset to support herself and her clients through many life challenges.  

Lisa is a qualified trauma informed Yoga Teacher, an Intuitive Life Coach, a busy mum of 3 and an entrepreneur, who delivers accessible body, mind and soul connected modalities that support physical wellness and emotional clearing.

Having transitioned through menopause early and suddenly, experiencing quite a rollercoaster ride, she is passionate about bringing forward the conversation of menopause and empowering women to move through menopause with ease and grace by embracing lifestyle tools and gentle movement.

Sandra Matthews, SM Coaching and Consulting

Sandra is a proud food producer with husband Ian on Te Kopae Station, a 536ha sheep and beef Hill Country property at Rere in Tairāwhiti. Her family, farm and personal values are at the heart of everything she does. Sandra has a financial and coaching background, and runs her own consultancy business working with farmers to grow efficient and viable agri-businesses.

Sandra is Board Chair of Rural Women New Zealand, Chair of Rural Communities Trust, and a Trustee of Endometriosis New Zealand. She is a life-long learner, and as a member of the Institute of Directors completed the Certificates in Company Direction and Chairing the Board. She is also a graduate of the Agri-Women’s Development Trust Escalator programme.

Sandra’s community involvement includes Deputy Chair of the B+LNZ Eastern North Island Farmer Council, Co-founder of Farming Women Tairawhiti Incorporated a Business Award winning charitable organisation, Tairāwhiti Rural Coordination Group, and is involved in her local catchment group. 

The commitment she shows to rural communities of the East Coast region, and around New Zealand, has been rewarded by winning the inaugural Beef + Lamb NZ Rural Champion Award in 2022.

Sandra continues to advocate for rural communities and primary producers to ensure a sustainable and viable future for generations to come.

Dr Diana Selbie, Senior Scientist & Team Leader – Environmental Science South, AgResearch

I was brought up on a high country sheep and beef farm in Northern Southland. I have always had a love of the outdoors and spent summer breaks on the hills at home or working on dairy farms.

I completed a B Ag Sci (Hons) at Lincoln University, focusing on grass/clover pastures, which first sparked the interest in soils as the most important resource underpinning agriculture and the environment. I then travelled to Ireland on a Walsh Fellowship to conduct my doctoral studies with Teagasc and Lincoln University on the fate of urinary nitrogen in grazed pasture systems, and was awarded my PhD in 2014.

I have been a scientist with AgResearch in Hamilton since 2012 and have contributed, in science and leadership roles, to the development of Overseer Nutrient Budgets, Pastoral 21 (reducing dairy footprint while maintaining profitability), Forages for Reduced Nitrate Leaching and the Our Land & Water National Science Challenge. I took on the role of senior scientist in 2017 and relocated to the Lincoln campus in early 2019.  In 2021, I became Team Leader of AgResearch’s environmental science team in the South Island, a high performing team spread between Canterbury, Otago and Southland.  An aligned role is the Vice Presidency of the NZ Soil Science Society, through which I can promote soil and soil-related issues on behalf of our soils community.

The primary aim of my current research is to provide farmers and rural communities with options to more efficiently manage nutrients and mitigate contaminant losses to water and air.

In my spare time, I love to travel, have a passion for food and wine with friends and family, and can either be found outdoors (tramping, sport, on the farm) or curled up on the couch with a good book.

Sarah Barr, Rural Coach

Sarah’s great understanding of everyday challenges, demands of rural life and running a business comes from lived experience - she grew up in a farming family and has spent her life living and working rurally.
Sarah feels a deep affinity with the goals and purpose of Rural Coach and it is this personal connection that allows her to provide relevant and individualised support, coaching and facilitation to her clients.

Passionate about seeing people get the results they are working towards, Sarah is admired for quickly determining whatever skills, knowledge or other supports are required. She is accomplished at challenging people while also ensuring they are listened to and understood; always providing a safe environment for individuals, families and teams to achieve their goals.

Sam Mander and Charlotte Senior - Co-Founders at Agri Intel

About Agri Intel

Agri Intel supports New Zealand farmers using strategic development initiatives that improve the value and sustainability of farming businesses. We offer specialist agribusiness expertise to help farm, horticulture and forestry businesses address increasing regulatory and market-driven challenges.

Agri Intel was established in 2022 by Charlotte Senior and Sam Mander. Based in Canterbury, our client base extends throughout New Zealand, including farm businesses, irrigation companies, agribusinesses, industry bodies, and central and local government.

Our approach

  • Future-focused, pragmatic, effective, solutions-based advice.
  • Strong focus on farm productivity, profitability, and sustainability, and optimising rural businesses.
  • Empower clients to position themselves for the future.
  • Involve farmers in the process – collaborative, educational and non-confrontational approach.
  • Flexibility, to tailor an approach to an individual needs – one size does not fit all!

Our services

  • Farm environmental consulting
  • Farm strategic planning
  • Forestry and Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) consulting
  • Greenhouse Gas Emissions (GHG) Management
  • Farm Mapping & Aerial Imagery

Follow Agi Intel on Facebook.

Rick Walker, General Manager, Sales and Marketing, ANZCO Foods

Rick joined ANZCO in 2017 and is responsible for sales of ANZCO’s portfolio of beef, lamb and processed food products via our global sales network, as well as our renowned brands such as Angel Bay, Maimoa Lamb, Ocean Beef and Greenstone Creek.

Rick spent 20 years in the New Zealand dairy industry prior to joining ANZCO, in a variety of government relations, ingredient sales and key account management roles based in New Zealand, Australia, the Middle East, Europe and North America.

Rebecca Harford, Founder at Adapted Yoga and Pilates

Rebecca is the founder of Adapted Yoga and Pilates, has a Degree in Physical Education, and 20+ years of experience in the Health and Fitness industry.

An ex rugby player, and fan of heading into both the hills and the ocean at every opportunity.

Rebecca has a strong focus on using her knowledge and experience to make life easier for the people she teaches, helping improve mobility, reduce pain, and reduce the chance of injury. The goal of each session is for you to feel calm, confident and in control of your body.     

Blake Holgate – Head of Sustainable Business Development, Rabobank NZ


As the Head of Sustainable Business Development, Blake helps the bank ensure its clients are in the strongest position themselves to best manage increasing environmental, societal and market risk as well as seizing opportunities created by a scarcity of resources and a growing global population.

This includes contributing towards Rabobank policy submissions to government on regulation affecting the sector, producing reports and podcasts for our clients which examine issues linked to sustainable farming and developing new products and services aimed at helping clients businesses be more commercially and environmentally sustainable.

Hailing from a sheep and beef farming family, Blake has an MBA from Otago University and practised as an environmental lawyer specialising in resource management before joining Rabobank in 2013.

Mark Chrystall - Director at Spring Farms (NZ) Limited

Mark is a director of Spring Farms (NZ) Limited, together with his brother Richard and Robert Collier and have been since 2008. Spring Farms leases 2550 ha from three different entities. The company is very much a hybrid model, only owning stock and plant being very strong on family values complemented with strong corporate governance.

The company is a sheep and beef enterprise running approx. 30,000 stock units made up of 18,000 sheep and 2000 cattle. We are classified as a breeder/finisher, finishing all progeny to specific market requirements. They fatten 18,000 lambs a year which are sold through the ANZCO network. 700 head of cattle are finished with a big focus on Marbling which are sold predominately into the US market.

Spring Farms has an ongoing focus on environmental sustainability and were recognised in the 2014 Ballance Farm Environmental awards winning three different awards. Three years ago, Mark became involved in the establishment of the Rangitikei Rivers Community Catchments which is a group focused on setting up farmer-initiated River Catchment groups with a bottom-up approach to lifting Sustainability initiatives across the Rangitikei region. Last year, his local Moawhango River Catchment group was awarded the Catchment of the Year in the Horizons Balance Farm Environmental Awards.

He is the Chairman of his local Rabobank Client Council and enjoys several other governance roles within the wider farming industry.

He is married to Jane and has two children; Emma is 24 and completed her Agricultural Science degree at Lincoln University. She is now working in Hawkes Bay as an agronomist with Farmlands. Jack is 19 and in his second year at Lincoln University studying a Bachelor of Agricultural Commerce.  

Nicola Shadbolt, Professor of Farm & AgriBusiness Management

Massey University Professor, delivering farm and agribusiness management research and education, particular interest in farm business strategy and business analysis and cooperatives; currently Chair of Plant & Food CRI, director of the Kiwifruit Breeding Company and CoopBusinessNZ and on the executive board of the International Food & Agribusiness Management Association (IFAMA). Previously on the board of Fonterra Cooperative and a Climate Change Commissioner. Shareholder/ Director/Manager of farming and forestry ventures, a mix of share and cash leasing arrangements within 5 equity partnerships – including 1000 dairy cows plus sheep, beef, deer & forestry. Nicola is a Fellow of the NZIPIM, IFAMA and the AIOD and an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit.

Hannah French, Agribusiness Consultant at Baker Ag

Hannah French is an Agribusiness consultant with Baker Ag based in Masterton. Hannah joined the Baker Ag team in 2018 with her previous role in Pamu’s Central North Island Livestock and Development teams providing her a good grounding and base skillset in farm systems modelling, financial budgeting, coaching and leadership. Her experience ranges from large scale breeding properties to intensive finishing operations.

Hannah and her husband Richard farm in an equity partnership in Eastern Wairarapa. This provides a great lifestyle and insight into day-to-day life on-farm, the good and the bad. Outside work and farm life Hannah enjoys spending time with her family and friends, playing hockey and a bit of DIY.

Farming is her passion alongside helping people. She strives to foster long term relationships with clients helping to support where needed, but particularly around feed budgeting, financial budgeting, business planning and strategy.

Dr Robyn Dynes, Strategy Lead Sustainable Production Systems at AgResearch

Dr Robyn Dynes is a farming systems senior scientist with AgResearch based at Lincoln. Her science in farming systems includes emissions to air and water and the current and future challenges facing our farming systems. Robyn leads the Whitiwhiti Ora; Land Use Suitability programme in the Our Land and Water National Science Challenge (, and AgResearch contribution to Ravensdown PGP and HWEN Extension and Adoption workstream. In addition, she contributes to projects across participatory research, farm systems and farm systems modelling. Robyn spent her early years in Southland on a sheep and beef farm, followed by a Canterbury mixed cropping farm, she started her science career with CSIRO in Western Australia before returning to AgResearch. Her passion is working with farmers to bring science to the questions that matter to farmers.

Sophie Hurley, Founder, Honest Wolf

Sam and Sophie Hurley are third generation farmers of a sheep and beef breeding operation in the Turakina Valley. Sophie originally from Wanaka and from a farming family moved up to the Turakina Valley six years ago after returning from their overseas travels. Previously working in various marketing and sales roles in Auckland and Feilding - she had hoped to one day be able to have their own business she could utilise these skills without a previous two-hour return commute to work each day. Sam is responsible for running the breeding blocks of Papanui Estate and his father and brother the finishing farms near Feilding. They live thirty minutes inland from Hunterville with their son Harry and daughter Gussie. They have had Honest Wolf for nearly three years and just opened their Flagship Store in Hunterville 9 nearly a year ago! 

Ben and Cheryl Richards, Rockwood Station

Ben and Cheryl are valued suppliers to ANZCO Foods.

Ben is a 5th generation farmer in the Windwhistle area. His great, great grandfather Henry Phillips settled at Rockwood in 1851 after living in Phillipstown, Christchurch.

Cheryl, originally from Scotland, came to New Zealand in December 2003. She was introduced to Ben through a Scottish friend. In 2004, Cheryl came back to Rockwood to visit - and has been here ever since!

Ben and Cheryl married, and live in the homestead at Rockwood Station with their daughter, Emma. Over their time together at Rockwood, they've reinstated the bushwalk through the 100 acres of native bush on the property and embarked on a major bush care and regeneration project with the removal of wild sycamores from the property.

Rockwood Station has a fascinating family history, a beautiful homestead and old English garden. Ben and Cheryl have found immense satisfaction in restoring it to its former glory, and regenerating the stunning native bush surrounds. Sharing this with guests is something they love!

Kārena and Kasey Bird, 2014 MasterChef NZ winners

Kārena and Kasey Bird are sisters who grew up in the beach side community of Maketu which is the landing ground of the Te Arawa waka and where they also still currently reside. “We were fortunate to be brought up in a community where everyone knows each other. Fresh fruit, vegetables and seafood were always shared between neighbours when they harvested a crop or came back in from diving and fishing. It was an idyllic childhood”. Kārena and Kasey are fluent speakers of Māori language and their cooking style is firmly rooted in their unique culture heritage.

Food was always a passion for Kārena and Kasey they spent a huge amount of time investing in food experiences and building their culinary knowledge. Before entering Masterchef Karena spent some time living in Wellington before returning to the Bay of plenty where she worked as an auditor. Kasey spent some time living in Melbourne before returning to the Bay of Plenty where she studied Accounting. During this time Kārena and Kasey both took up the opportunity to enter Masterchef New Zealand and in May 2014 Kārena and Kasey were announced the winners of that programme.

Since winning Masterchef Kārena and Kasey have travelled to over 50 destinations across the globe learning about food and culture whilst also being involved with a number of food events and activations throughout New Zealand. They have hosted 2 seasons of the award-winning series “Karena and Kasey’s Kitchen Diplomacy” which saw them travel to a new overseas destination each episode which was played on TVNZ 1 and on a number tv channels overseas. They have cooked for a number of NZ dignitaries and celebrations/events around the world including the NZ consulate Shanghai, ANZAC celebrations Los Angeles, NZ Embassy Jakarta Indonesia, NZ Embassy Italy, NZ Embassy Korea, Gary Player 'Support our kids' charity auction Japan, NZ Consulate General New Caledonia and the NZ Embassy Chile. They have been the food editors for Mana magazine and also food contributors for the Herald on Sunday. They have also self-published two award winning cookbooks “For the Love of...” & “Hungry”.

Valerie Walpot - Senior Quality Assurance Advisor at ANZCO Foods

Originally from Belgium, I grew up alongside my farming mother. I emigrated after doing a degree in Agricultural Production in the Netherlands.

I joined ANZCO in December 2021. Prior to this I was a farm manager for an intensive beef and lamb finishing farm in Kirwee, Canterbury. I am passionate about animal and pastoral production. In my time on farm I completed a Kellogg Rural Leadership programme focusing on supporting environmental sustainability in the red meat sector. I enjoy helping farmers and thrive on working on contributing to a better future for our beautiful red meat industry.

What do we do?

In our roles we ensure livestock suppliers meet all the necessary quality assurance requirements to regulatory, statutory and market standards. We are the bridge between farm and market access.