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

James Smith

Company Director/ Business Development Manager

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 Southland & Central Otago regions.

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.

Jonathan Kennedy

Commercial Manager

After taking a break away from the agriculture industry, Jonathan has come back to his home town with his family. He brings a wealth of leadership and team building experience from his 14 years in the aviation industry. Combine this with 13 years as a production Agronomist, he owns the role of commercial manager leading the Agronomy team and overseeing the entire business' commercial reporting and chemical procurement.

Peter Mcrae

Southern Regional Manager

Peter is based at our branch in Gore and is overseeing Catalyst’s business operations in central Otago and 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, he enjoys boating and has a close involvement with Waikaka Rugby Club in Southland.

Canterbury

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.

Jonathan Kennedy

Commerical Manager

After taking a break away from the agriculture industry, Jonathan has come back to his home town with his family. He brings a wealth of leadership and team building experience from his 14 years in the aviation industry. Combine this with 13 years as a production Agronomist, he owns the role of commercial manager leading the Agronomy team and overseeing the entire business' commercial reporting and chemical procurement.

Tristan Arps

Site 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.

Bridget McFadden

SureYield™ Co-ordinator

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 Sure Yield fixed price agronomy programme.

Derek Thelning

Fertiliser Category Manager/Senior Agronomist - 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 the past five years. Derek is based out of Christchurch where he resides with his family.

Jamie Ward

Agrichemical Catergory Manager/Senior Agronomist - 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.

Mellory Watson

Agronomist - Mid Canterbury

Mellory grew up on a large arable farming operation in Chertsey, Mid Canterbury and has a passion for all things agriculture. A Lincoln graduate, having completed an Agricultural Science degree with an outstanding academic record, Mellory fills a key role in extension agronomy and advising a number of clients in Mid Canterbury.

Wouter Myburgh

Seed Procurement Manager

After completing his studies in Agronomy at Stellenbosch University in South Africa, Wouter has 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

Junior Sales 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, so she's looking forward to bringing all her skills together in the new role at Catalyst. Holly is looking forward to surrounding herself with a great team, to building on her knowledge and seeing firsthand how agronomy theory is applied in the paddock.

Central Otago

James Smith

Company Director/ Business Development Manager

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 Southland & Central Otago regions.

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.

Brendan Burrowes

Agronomist - Central Otago

Brendan has had a wealth of hands-on experience after growing up on a mixed cropping farm in Mid Canterbury and over 15 years’ experience in the grain and seed industry. He is passionate about getting out and about on farm with my clients, and working together to achieve great results. Before returning to his roots in the agricultural industry, Brendan worked in the oil and gas sector off the coast of Western Australia. Now back in Central Otago he enjoys all the area has to offer - you can often find him in the great outdoors fly fishing, hunting or golfing.

Cameron Lowery

Junior 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 in an Agronomy Support role since 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 have to offer – hunting, fishing, tramping or helping out on the family farm near Milton.

North Otago

Geoff Mavor

Senior Agronomist/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

Senior Agronomist/Sales Mentor – 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 already amassed seven years’ experience in the field and is eager to show local farmers how Wholesale Seeds 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 the their lifestyle block near Oamaru and enjoys hunting, golf and processing home kill in the weekends. As a Sales Agronomist operating out of the Oamaru store, Craig will service the East Otago region and is stoked to be the latest addition to the growing Catalyst team in North Otago.

Sarah Dodd

Junior Sales Agronomist

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 B Com (Ag) at Lincoln University. Now that she's onboard as a full-time team member, her goals are to provide the senior agronomists with a high-level of support, to build her knowledge in seed bed preparation and agrichemicals and continue to build relationships with the Catalyst customers in her region.

Southland

Morgan Lindsay

Agronomist - Southland

Morgan has been onboard for since early 2020 and draws on his experience as an agricultural field representative for the eight years prior to that. He is passionate about building strong relationships with his customers, ensuring they are satisfied with the service and achieving their desired outcomes in the paddock. Away from the ag industry, Morgan and wife Sarah are kept busy by their three kids, and he also enjoys relaxing with a round of golf or a barbeque.

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 rep for another rural supplier, has assisted on a variety of farms and worked in the banking sector. She is looking forward to 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

Junior Sales Agronomist

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 B Ag Sci 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.