Every day, we work closely with farmers and farm managers to grow crops that deliver great commercial results. This is the team that delivers those results.

Leadership team

Patrick Davis

Company Director / Chief Executive Officer

Patrick completed his Bachelor of Agricultural Science at Lincoln University in 2011 and he’s has been building on his now extensive experience ever since. Coming from a farming family, he’s grown up knowing how a successful operation is run. And as one of the early supporters of fodder beet he has introduced several innovations that are now industry practice. Passionate about his core role at Catalyst, Patrick works to execute the strategic plan of the company while maintaining an active relationship with several key clients.

Lance Bellew

Chief Financial Officer

After spending 13 years in the telecommunications industry, Lance joined Wholesale Seeds in 2017. Having studied a Bachelor of Commerce in Accounting and Finance at the University of Canterbury, he brings with him broad skills in financial management, strategy and commercial operation. Based in our Ashburton office, Lance is responsible for the finances of the company, developing information systems and working alongside the management team on long term goals and strategy.

Ryan D'Ath

Chief Operations Officer

Ryan holds two undergraduate degrees from the University of Canterbury – a Bachelor of Forestry Science (Honours) and a Bachelor of Commerce (Finance). Additionally, he has recently completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Business Administration at the University of Otago and has begun studying towards a Doctorate in this field. Ryan has held several senior positions in across the agribusinesses sector, where he was involved in supply chain management, category management, marketing & sales. Based in our Ashburton office, Ryan oversees both the category and operations teams.

Derek Thelning

Regional Manager - North Canterbury

Derek is a Bachelor of Agricultural Science graduate from Lincoln University. He brings to the company a wealth of knowledge in fertiliser having worked in this industry for five years prior to joining Catalyst in 2018. Derek is based out of Christchurch where he resides with his family.

Jamie Ward

Regional Manager - Mid Canterbury

Originally completing his Diploma in Farm Management at Lincoln University, Jamie now has over a decade’s experience in the agriculture industry. A successful farmer in his own right, Jamie’s knowledge ranging from agricultural contracting to farm management is invaluable to our clients as he is able to relate to farmers and draw on his own experience. Someone who is passionate about our industry, Jamie is excited to watch it grow and become fairer for farmers as he passes on his knowledge and unique insight.

Geoff Mavor

Regional Manager - North Otago

With over 25 years’ experience, Geoff has a strong and sound understanding of what’s involved in growing and improving farming systems. He prides himself in providing farmers and growers with expert technical and chemical advice, as well as a great depth of seed knowledge to help clients get the best result from their crops.

James Smith

Company Director / Regional Manager - Central Otago

After completing his Diploma in Farm Management at Lincoln University, James worked as an Agronomist and Research Technician for nine years. Using his great depth of knowledge, he then moved into a farm advisory role for four years. Now James uses his expertise to coach the next generation of Agronomists and oversees sales operations across the Central Otago region.

Peter McRae

Regional Manager - Southland

Peter is based at our branch in Gore and oversees Catalyst’s business operations in Southland. He has 20+ years of experience in farm input sales and is passionate about finding solutions for farmers to increase their productivity. Outside of work Peter has a strong family focus, enjoying boating and a close involvement with the Waikaka Rugby Club in Southland.

Will Waddell

Business Development Manager - Upper South Island

Throughout his career Will has immersed himself in agronomy & farm systems, and brings extensive agricultural expertise to the Catalyst team. Will's passion for farming, coupled with his BCom(Ag) from Lincoln University, drives his commitment to the industry. He is known for his unwavering focus and determination, making him well-prepared to embrace the challenges ahead. Will takes the helm as Business Development Manager for the Upper South Island, covering South, Mid, and North Canterbury.

Ross Dowling

Business Development Manager - Lower South Island

With a focus on sourcing new business and ensuring exceptional customer satisfaction, Ross plays a crucial role in supporting and helping across our regions. Growing up on the family farm in Hyde, Ross has deep roots across the Central Otago community where he is based. He brings a wealth of diverse experience, including his previous roles as Agri Manager for Westpac Otago and Lower North Island territory manager for Datamars. Ross is a former professional rodeo rider in the USA & Canada, and holds the title of 2023 NZRCA Saddle Bronc Champion. Ross is happily married to his Canadian wife Ariane and they currently reside in Alexandra with their beloved sausage dog, Dave.

Tristan Arps

Operations Manager

Tristan started with Wholesale Seeds in 2016 and quickly rose through the ranks to be appointed Site Operations Manager in 2018. Bringing with him years of experience in the grain & seed industry, Tristan is responsible for all areas of our Ashburton based seed mixing & warehouse operations. Tristan also works with the management team to come up with and implement ways to drive operational excellence throughout the business.

North Canterbury

Derek Thelning

Regional Manager - North Canterbury

Derek is a Bachelor of Agricultural Science graduate from Lincoln University. He brings to the company a wealth of knowledge in fertiliser having worked in this industry for five years prior to joining Catalyst in 2018. Derek is based out of Christchurch where he resides with his family.

Reg Millar

Agronomist - North Canterbury

Growing up on a dairy support farm in Rangitata, Reg developed a deep-rooted passion for agriculture at a young age. After attending Timaru Boys High School as a boarder, he embarked on a journey in farming, starting with the family farm before transitioning to share milking with his wife Emma. Prior to joining Catalyst, Reg successfully managed a large-scale dairy support operation under CPW irrigation. His dedication to sustainable practices and personalised approach makes him a valuable asset to the farming community in the North Canterbury region. Currently residing in Darfield with his wife and kids, outside of work Reg enjoys embracing outdoor adventures as keen hunter and multi-sport competitor.

Ben Everett

Agronomist - North Canterbury

Ben is a graduate of BAgSci with Honours from Lincoln University, and grew up on a deer farm in South Canterbury. He is passionate about helping farmers with their own unique set of challenges and achieving their goals. He looks forward to gaining more experience with guidance from a mentor agronomist and putting his skills to practical use.

Mid Canterbury

Jamie Ward

Regional Manager - Mid Canterbury

Originally completing his Diploma in Farm Management at Lincoln University, Jamie now has over a decade’s experience in the agriculture industry. A successful farmer in his own right, Jamie’s knowledge ranging from agricultural contracting to farm management is invaluable to our clients as he is able to relate to farmers and draw on his own experience. Someone who is passionate about our industry, Jamie is excited to watch it grow and become fairer for farmers as he passes on his knowledge and unique insight.

Bridget McFadden

SureYield™ Coordinator

A graduate from Lincoln University, Bridget studied Agricultural Science for four years before being becoming one of our Junior Agronomists. After her initial tutelage under James Smith in Central Otago, Bridget now works closely with Patrick Davis to execute the SureYield™ fixed price agronomy programme.

Wouter Myburgh

Production Agronomist

After completing his studies in Agronomy at Stellenbosch University in South Africa, Wouter has amassed over 10 years' experience in agronomy, including nine as an agronomist in South Africa specialising in arable and vegetable crops. Wouter enjoys the diversity of his role – from desk to paddock, and the satisfaction that comes from seeing a crop through from planting to harvest. Wouter and his young family immigrated to NZ in August 2019. They love the outdoors and are all enjoying travelling to different parts of their new home country and look forward to the many beautiful places they are yet to see.

Holly Mallinson

Agronomist - Mid Canterbury

Always bright and bubbly, Holly has enjoyed the relationship side of farming since her childhood; her parents are farmers and shearing contractors and she always enjoyed networking with their suppliers and clients alike. At university she excelled in plant science and plant protection, and enjoys bringing her skills together in her role at Catalyst. Holly is supported by a great team, helping her build on her existing knowledge and seeing first-hand how agronomy theory is applied in the paddock.

Luke Brice

Agronomist - South Canterbury

Luke brings valuable experience from his time working as a pastoral agronomist in the South Canterbury area. With previous roles in finance at PGGW, Elders, and Farmlands, Luke's expertise is backed by a Bachelors degree in Agricultural Science from Lincoln in 2010. Off the field, he's a dedicated rugby player, representing Pleasant Point and South Canterbury in the heartland championship. Based in Timaru, Luke will serve our clients from both the Ashburton and North Otago stores.

Paul Swaney

Warehouse Manager - Ashburton

Paul is a highly skilled and dedicated professional serving as the Warehouse Manager at our Ashburton location. Known for his strong leadership and organisational skills, he fosters a positive work environment that promotes teamwork, exceptional service and customer satisfaction. Paul's attention to detail and commitment to excellence drives the success of our Ashburton operation.

Mike Sandrey

Delivery Driver - Ashburton

Known for his exceptional customer service and always going the extra mile to ensure client satisfaction, Mike is responsible for the smooth and efficient execution of our on-farm delivery operation. With his expertise, commitment, and friendly demeanour, Mike plays a vital role in the overall success of our Ashburton operations team. In his spare time, Mike enjoys playing golf and indulging in his passion for horse racing.

Central Otago

James Smith

Company Director / Regional Manager - Central Otago

After completing his Diploma in Farm Management at Lincoln University, James worked as an Agronomist and Research Technician for nine years. Using his great depth of knowledge, he then moved into a farm advisory role for four years. Now James uses his expertise to coach the next generation of Agronomists and oversees sales operations across the Central Otago region.

Thomas Bird

Senior Agronomist - Central Otago

Thomas began his career as a Pastoral Agronomist upon completing his Bachelor of Commerce at Lincoln University majoring in Agriculture. While studying, his exposure to a number of different farming systems meant he could study what made them successful. Bringing that knowledge into our industry, his attention is now focused on Central Otago where he’s based as a Senior Agronomist. He prides himself in his accurate, professional approach to agronomy and continues to build his unique skillset.

Linden Brackstone

Agronomist - Central Otago

Linden has a passion for pastoral agronomy, backed by strong experience in the seed and agri-chemical industry and an Agricultural Science degree with first class honours from Lincoln University. Away from the job, he is a keen outdoorsman and loves Central Otago, "the best region in the country".

Cameron Lowery

Agronomist - Central Otago

Cameron is a graduate of a Bachelor of Commerce in Agriculture from Lincoln University, and has been a part of our team since joining us in an Agronomy Support role in August 2020. Cam is passionate about helping farmers get the best utilisation from their crops and seeing the positive effects for their business that flow on from that. Away from work, Cam enjoys everything the great outdoors has to offer – hunting, fishing, tramping and helping out on the family farm near Milton.

North Otago

Geoff Mavor

Regional Manager – North Otago

With over 25 years’ experience, Geoff has a strong and sound understanding of what’s involved in growing and improving farming systems. He prides himself in providing farmers and growers with expert technical and chemical advice, as well as a great depth of seed knowledge to help clients get the best result from their crops.

Sam Sturgess

Training Manager / Senior Agronomist – North Otago

Sam is a Waitaki Boys old boy who has come home to North Otago after completing a Bachelor of Science at the University of Otago. Sam has amassed a wealth of knowledge in the field and is eager to show local farmers how Catalyst can get them growing. Sam excels at rugby, playing for the local Valley club and captaining North Otago in the national Heartland competition.

Craig Cox

Agronomist – North Otago

Craig joined the team in April 2021 after several years in the fertiliser industry. He has also travelled the world extensively as a shearer. He now resides with his wife Kara on their lifestyle block near Oamaru and enjoys hunting, golf and processing home kill in the weekends. Craig services the East Otago region and is stoked to be working with the growing Catalyst team in North Otago.

Sarah Dodd

Agronomist - North Otago

A familiar face around North Otago, Sarah has been part of our team in Oamaru as a Summer Scholar during semester breaks the last few years while completing her BCom(Ag) at Lincoln University. Now that she is onboard as a full-time team member her goals are to provide the Senior Agronomists with a high-level of support, to expand her knowledge, and continue to build relationships with the Catalyst customers in her region.

Southland

Peter McRae

Regional Manager - Southland

Peter is based at our branch in Gore and oversees Catalyst’s business operations in Southland. He has 20+ years of experience in farm input sales and is passionate about finding solutions for farmers to increase their productivity. Outside of work Peter has a strong family focus, enjoying boating and a close involvement with the Waikaka Rugby Club in Southland.

Nathan Bensemann

Senior Agronomist - Southland

Nathan joins the Catalyst team after 25 years in the fertiliser and livestock industries. He brings with him a wealth of knowledge about agronomic practices and nutrient management through course work at Massey and Lincoln Universities, and his long history of working with farmers to achieve the best outcomes for them is an asset. Outside of work, he is kept busy by his three children and 30 hectares but loves to find the time (and weather!) to take the boat out and enjoy a few water sports, or to coach and follow their junior rugby or cricket teams. As a Senior Agronomist, Nathan services customers all across Southland.

Eric King

Agronomist – Southland

Eric started with Catalyst in April 2021 as a Sales Agronomist in the Northern Southland region, bringing with him a wealth of experience in the agricultural sector. Like many of our Agronomists, Eric is from a farming family and now runs his own 65 ha sheep and beef trading operation. This gives him valuable insight into the industry and helps him offer great advice to his customers.

Amy Bryson

Agronomist - Southland

Amy joined the Southland team in September 2021, and she brings broad agricultural experience with her. Amy has spent several years as a Technical Field Representative, assisted on a variety of farms and worked in the banking sector. She is passionate about championing a brand that offers the “complete package” for farmers when it comes to their pastoral farming needs. Amy and her husband run their own sheep & beef property and love spending time playing rugby or being together in the outdoors.

George Duff

Agronomist - Southland

Farming and agriculture have played a big part in George's life from a young age; his father was an Agronomist before him, and George's first job was on a cropping farm in South Canterbury where he spent most weekends and holidays learning the ropes. Now that he has completed his BAgSci degree at Lincoln University, he is really looking forward to embarking on a career in an industry he has grown so passionate about. As he learns more about agronomy and crop management, he wants to work closely with farmers (the most hardworking and dedicated people he has met) to help them achieve their goals.

Leiana Hayward

Agronomist - Southland

With three years of experience in the rural reseller sector, Leiana is eager to expand her existing agronomy skills. Leiana's diverse background includes previous work in the Travel Industry and studies in Otago. Outside of work, Leiana is a passionate rugby player, representing Southland Country. She also enjoys netball and the great outdoors. Leiana is stationed in Gore, focusing on serving the Gore and South Otago areas.