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Sheep and Beef Cattle

Select the links below to view the speaker details. This page will be updated as information becomes available.

Peter has worked in Marlborough as a Rural Practitioner for 40 years. During his career as a general practitioner he has undertaken numerous sheep and beef cattle studies and trials but nowadays as a StockCARE advisor most of his work involves herd and flock management and the means to increasing productivity and profitability of sheep and beef operations. He retired as a partner and from clinical work at The Vet Centre (Marlborough) three years ago.

Doug and Wendy are directors of Bonavaree Farm Co which operates in Eastern Marlborough. 2300 ha Bonavaree bases its production on legumes and gets some of the best animal performance from these pastures of any New Zealand farm. It runs sheep and cattle and dairy support and around 18,000 stock units at peak year. The business is run by oldest son Fraser and his wife Shelley. In 2014 they set up Resilient Farmer. 2018 will see the roll out of our “Woolshed Workshops” which will be two-day mind challengers based from Blenheim. In July 2017 Doug launched his book “The Resilient Farmer” which has become a best seller, now selling worldwide. Doug spends much of his life speaking in support of his book. In 2017 Doug was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for his services to agriculture and mental health.

David has been in IT and software development for the past 20 years, specialising in animal genetics systems for the past 10. He has led the development of a range of genetic solutions targeting Australasian and North American markets.

Michael has been working at Vet Services Hawkes Bay for two years, specialising in sheep, beef and deer. Originally from Auckland he has a special interest in sheep farming and vetting.

Bio to come.

After graduating from Massey in 2008, Will started working in rural practice in Te Awamutu. In 2010 he followed his interest in sheep and beef production medicine and shifted to VetEnt, working out of the Te Kuiti clinic. Will’s role is now split between clinical work and sheep and beef farm consultancy with StockCare.

Dereck is the Agronomy Manager for the 8,500 hectare Brownrigg Agriculture business in Hawkes Bay. Dereck works with the management team to run the squash and maize programmes for the cropping enterprise, and forage programmes for the livestock business. Prior to this Dereck spent 14 years working for Agricom providing pasture and forage cropping advice to farmers, seed retailers and consultants in New Zealand and overseas. His focus was driving performance from pasture and forage crops and integrating them in farm systems. Dereck holds a Bachelor of Commerce and Agriculture majoring in farm management from Lincoln University.

Carolyn is a senior lecturer in veterinary epidemiology at Massey University. She completed her veterinary degree at the University of Pennsylvania and went on to complete a PhD at the University of Edinburgh focusing on the use of national livestock movement databases to model infectious disease transmission. Her current research interests are in finding innovative ways of bringing animal health information together so that clients, veterinarians, and policy-makers have the resources they need to make the best evidence-based decisions. She is also responsible for teaching epidemiology, economics, and production medicine into the BVSc and MVS programmes at Massey University.

Matt Goatley completed a Bachelor of Veterinary Science degree at Massey University in 2017, tracking Production Animal/Equine in his final year, and has worked at South Waikato Veterinary Services in Tokoroa since January this year. Matt is originally from Auckland, but has embraced large animal work since his entrance into Vet School and the Vet industry. His current work includes a mix of Dairy Cattle medicine and small animal practice. Matt has an interest in parasite management and the role of current practices in the sustainability of anthelmintic regimes.

Bio to come.

Melissa completed her BSc with Honours degree in 2015 where she investigated the behavioural responses of goat kids to cautery disbudding. Currently, Melissa is in the final year of her PhD research supervised by Dr Mhairi Sutherland at AgResearch and Prof Joe Waas at The University of Waikato. She has been investigating ways to improve the current disbudding protocol for dairy goat kids by evaluating potential alternatives to cautery disbudding including clove oil, liquid nitrogen and caustic paste and pain mitigation strategies to reduce pain associated with cautery disbudding. Her research on disbudding in goat kids has been presented at several national and international conferences and accepted for publication in international peer-reviewed journals.

Brendan is representing the Veterinary Business Group and presenting the results of a job-sizing project they have being carrying out.

Associate Professor Rebecca Hickson is a scientist at Massey University specialising in beef cattle production. She has a PhD in heifer calving and her research interests include all aspects of beef cattle performance and production systems, with a particular interest in dairy beef. She also has a range of projects looking at improving sheep performance through selection and breeding. Originally from a sheep and beef farm near Tolaga Bay, Rebecca has been working at Massey for the past 11 years.

Richard graduated from Massey in 1990 and is large animal practice in Waipukurau, working mainly with sheep, beef cattle and deer. He is a shareholder and director of Vet Services (HB). Despite recently graduating to the role of General Manager he does try desperately hard to stay involved in clinical work. Richard is a past member of the committees of the Deer Branch and the Society of Sheep and Beef Cattle Veterinarians. Richard’s main focus is flock and herd health, working closely with clients on all manner of farming and stock decisions and issues, without ever making it as a real consultant. He is an original veterinary sheep scanner, having scanned about 1.5 million ewes before his wrist gave up. He instigated and completed the POP Group ewe vaginal prolapse study in 2001-2002 with Ron Jackson, involving about 40000 recorded ewes. Richard facilitated a Deer Industry Focus Farm for three years, helps host the BVSc V Deer Special Topic and Sheep & Beef Special Topic groups every year, and is currently facilitating the very successful Hawkes Bay Originals Advance Party for DINZ. Like all good older vets, what he doesn’t know he simply makes up on the spot.

Ben graduated from Massey in 2002 and spent his first four years in practice at VetEnt in Wairoa. After a brief stint overseas, he returned to NZ, and has been working since then based in Te Kuiti, working with clients ranging through the Waikato and Northern King Country. Most of his work is Sheep, Beef, Deer and Dairy Grazers, and is a blend of on-farm clinical work and advisory type work.

Jo’s passion for production animal health started whilst growing up on a dairy farm in Nelson. Since graduating with a veterinary degree in 2000, she has worked as a production animal veterinarian both in New Zealand and in the UK and has experienced life from the other side of the fence by owning and operating a farming enterprise. Jo joined the animal health industry 9 years ago and is currently MSD Animal Health’s Livestock Technical Manager where she leads the veterinary technical team in providing support to MSD’s production animal products including sheep and cattle vaccines, antimicrobials and pharmaceuticals. Jo has strong ties with the veterinary profession throughout the country and is the immediate past-president of the NZVA Sheep & Beef Veterinarians branch.

Robyn has worked in the Semen processing industry for over 27 years and has set up Semen Collection and Embryo Transfer centres in Australia, China and NZ. Robyn set up the Tararua Breeding Centre in 1998 and has recently sold her company to the Totally Vets Group but still manages the centre. Robyn developed her method of collecting unhandled bulls on farm after watching Mike Blockey demonstrate the “Blockey” method of testing bulls. Robyn realised the advantages and disadvantages of this method and with consideration of both the bull and the cow, developed her method of AV collection on farm. This method is now used to collect over 3,000 bulls annually using the AV method.

Lisa completed her degree in veterinary science at Massey University in 1999. After working in a number of mixed animal practices in NZ and the UK, she completed a PhD in veterinary haematology at Murdoch University in Perth, Western Australia. This was followed by five years at the University of Glasgow working as a clinical pathologist. In 2012, Lisa returned to New Zealand with her husband, who is a large animal veterinarian, and their young family. Since this time she has been working for Gribbles Veterinary Ltd’s Auckland laboratory. Lisa has a broad range of interests and has published papers on neutrophil function, haematology, and blood-borne parasites. More recently she has been involved in co-authoring a chapter on Bovine cytology in a new veterinary cytology textbook and is kept busy with day to day diagnostic work and various CPD projects.

Alan graduated with a BVSc from Massey University in 1973. He was a Veterinary Investigation Officer at Wallaceville Central Animal Health Reference Laboratory from 1975 to 1986. During this time he became a Diplomate American College of Veterinary Pathologists. In 1986 Alan was employed at Ruakura Animal Health Laboratory as a Veterinary Pathologist before taking the same role at Gribbles Hamilton in 2003. In 2014 he was employed by New Zealand Veterinary Pathology/IDDEXX Laboratories where Alan is currently a Veterinary Pathologist.

Kim Kelly is a veterinary technical advisor for MSD Animal Health. After graduation as a Veterinarian from Massey University 20 years ago, she has undertaken post-graduate training in the veterinary area. In 2014 she also completed the AWDT Escalator women’s leadership and governance programme. She is a member of the S&B committee. Out of work hours she is often found training for her next athletic endeavor, or with her small flock of black and coloured sheep.

Paul is a Professor of Sheep Husbandry and was the Head of the Institute of Veterinary, Animal and Biomedical Sciences until early 2018 when the School of Veterinary Science was formed at Massey University. His research aims to improve on-farm productivity and profitability. He has a number of research linkages and programmes nationally and internationally and works with veterinarians throughout New Zealand.

Cassie is from the high desert country of central New Mexico in the US. She received a Bachelors of Science in Biology from Portland State University in 2007 and a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Colorado State University 2011. She worked in clinical practice in Southern New Mexico for three years before moving to New Zealand to pursue her interests in farm animal practice. Currently Cassie is working as a mixed animal vet at VetSouth in the Gore/Tapanui area, and is enjoying the challenges of a diverse caseload.

Massey University Veterinary graduate, with 22 years clinical practice sheep and beef practice in the East Coast and King Country regions. Started practice in Wairoa at the time when bull soundness examinations involving mating ability and service capacity gained traction as a tool for veterinarians to improve beef herd reproductive performance of their sheep and beef clients. Since 2002, have been offering a sheep and beef consultancy service with FarmCare NZ Ltd, using the StockCare programme for farm business improvement on sheep and beef farms in the North Island.

Over the Last 13 years Andy has been employed in the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI), with a major focus on investigation, response and surveillance. He has contributed at the government industry interface in the Salmonella working group, the theileriosis working group, Mycoplasma bovis Government Industry working group and in the technical advisory group for TB free NZ. Over recent years provided technical expertise for several short term projects involving regional control of foot-and-mouth disease and other transboundary animal disease in East/South East Asia.

From a farming background, field veterinarian for about a decade prior to moving into Industry in 2001. Various technical roles over that time, now Product Development & Research Manager. Interest in epidemiology, clinical trial design and analysis, and infectious diseases especially leptospirosis.


We farm an 1100ha sheep and beef breeding-finishing unit in the King Country. We participated in the B+LNZ Innovation Farm program from 2012 to 2016, our project was titled “Precision Nutrition and Animal Management”. Blair is a 1993 Massey University BAg, graduate. Following a stint of rugby playing in Scotland he has been farming sheep and beef since then. Anna has a Massey University BVSc graduating in 1996. She worked in production animal and equine practice then gradually reduced her time in vet practice and increased her involvement in the family farm business.

Anthony graduated from Massey University in 2001. Since then he has worked in predominately sheep and beef practice around New Zealand. Areas of interest include bull soundness evaluation, internal and external parasites in sheep, farm consultancy and orthopaedic conditions of working dogs.

Mixed practice vet at The Veterinary Centre Oamaru. Has been working in the area of beef cow fertility research for the last six years (with Neil Sanderson and funded by Beef and lamb Genetics), in particular antral follicle counting of ovaries.


David is a Farm Systems Specialist with AgResearch at the Invermay Research Centre, researching farming systems, genetic interactions with nutrition, and promoting and contributing to the implementation of new technologies which will enhance on-farm productivity. He is a recipient of the NZ Grassland Association Regional Agriculture award and the NZ Society for Animal Production Sir Arthur Ward award, both for contributions to delivering science to farmers. He is also immediate past-president of the New Zealand Grassland Association. His work has covered all major farmed ruminants and the nutritional contributions of all major pasture species used in New Zealand, specialising in on-farm applications of that knowledge.

Jess grew up in Hawkes Bay on a sheep and beef farm in Elsthorpe. After qualifying as a vet she spent two years in mixed practice in Southland. She's now doing predominantly large animal work in Gisborne.

Helen graduated in 2002 from the University of Bristol and has spent the last 10 years working full time in NZ with production animals. A good proportion of her work load is beef and sheep reproduction, primarily bull testing with semen evaluation, along with semen handling and AI programs. Spare moments are spent attending to native species including little blue penguins and north island brown kiwi.

Max is the National Beef Genetics Manager for Beef + Lamb NZ Genetics. This role involves a combination of research and applied science in beef genetics as well as facilitating industry advisory groups, ensuring feedback loops and extension. Max is also farming in Northern Hawkes Bay where he is breeding registered Angus cattle. He has travelled around the world pursuing his passion - beef cattle.

Bio to come.

Amy is a 2012 Massey University graduate working as a sheep, beef and deer vet for VetEnt in Central Otago. Amy is currently treasurer of NZVA Deer Branch and has recently become a member of the Australian and New Zealand College of Veterinary Scientists in Sheep Medicine.


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