Book a free no obligation farm review

Learn why we call our approach Performance Agronomy™ with a free one-on-one session with your local agronomist. We’ve forged a reputation for having the most technically astute agronomy field staff across the pastoral retail sector, achieving extraordinary yield results for winter-feed crops, including frequently winning yield competitions across regions.

Your free no obligation farm review includes:

  • One-on-one time with your local agronomist
  • Analysis of your farm’s unique climate and environmental constraints, and historical trends
  • Evaluate and calculate which crops work best for your farm system
  • Discuss what success looks like for you
  • Advise on specific solutions and sowing times to maximise chances of success
  • Plan for and secure the right inputs before any further price rises.
  • Morning or afternoon tea on us!
Book your farm review

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.


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.


Nathan Bensemann

Regional Manager - Southland

Nathan joins the Catalyst team after 25 years in the fertiliser and livestock industries and oversees Catalyst’s business operations in Southland. 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

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.

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.

We're in it with you from the ground up

Every day, we work closely with farmers and farm managers to grow crops that deliver great commercial results. We’re side by side with them in the field delivering tailored agronomy advice on the correct seed variety, planting methods, fertilisers and chemical controls.