statistics

Milksolids - 2.9m kgMS
People employed - 65
Cows - 9500
Area farmed - 4090ha
Dairy Farm land - 2900ha
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Senior Management Team


Manager - Profit - Rachael Riddell

 

Manager - Production - Doug Dolan

 

Manager- People - Nicola Whittle

 

Operations Manager - Anthony Williams

 

Operations Manager - Michael Oakly

 

Asset Manager - Paul Phippen

 

Analyst - Amanda Pottinger

 

 

Manager - Profit - Rachael Riddell

Rachael originally came to BEL Group in May 2010 for a six-month role as the Animal Health Programme co-ordinator. Five years on, she is an integral part of the leadership team. From her initial role spending many long, cold days in the Longrow office inputting animal health data, Rachael’s role branched across many areas of the business. It was this experience – including financial administration and reporting, annual farm budget planning, through to workplace safety – that saw her promoted to Business Services Manager in 2012. She took responsibility for the team providing training, HR and financial support to the farm units. During a management restructure in June 2014, Rachael was appointed Finance Manager – a role which utilised her financial skills, impressive eye for detail and good working knowledge of the business. From there her role evolved into the GM - Profit. She is currently completing her Diploma in Accounting, having already obtained a Bachelor of Applied Science from Charles Sturt University (NSW, Australia) in 2007. It was a previous role with Equestrian Sports NZ (where Rachael was involved with project coordination, events management, administrative and financial management) that she first worked with Justine Kidd, who was CEO of that organisation at the time. An ‘OE’ in London followed the role at ESNZ, but only strengthened Rachael’s view that city life was not for her. Upon her return to NZ, she joined BEL Group, relishing the opportunity for a rural lifestyle. Born and raised in Lower Hutt, Rachael was ‘horse-obsessed’ from an early age. A move to a lifestyle block aged 11, allowed Rachael’s childhood dream of owning her own horse to come true. (By that time she had literally saved every dollar ever earned to buy her own pony.) Now married to Sam, a local electrician, Rachael enjoys rural living in Central Hawke’s Bay with their son, Archie, a dog and a cat.

 

Manager - Production - Doug Dolan

Doug has extensive farm management experience in the Manawatu, Taranaki, Hawke's Bay and Australia with an Ag Science Degree.

Doug's initial involvement with BEL Group was in 1994, after meeting Peter Barry at a conference and taking up a position at Longrow to manage Cloverlea for two seasons and assisting with the Kowhai Terrace dairy conversion. 

In the years that followed, Doug entered various 50/50 sharemilking contracts and was share milking for the last five years at the Snee Road property, purchased by BEL Group 1st June 2012, now known as Reigate. In June 2013 Doug took on the role of Operations Manager for Ashcott Road, overseeing Ashton and Fairlea and is also Farm Manager for Ashton.

 

Manager- People - Nicola Whittle

 

Operations Manager - Anthony Williams

From the United Kingdom, Anthony grew up on a family owned dairy farm and was educated at college, achieving National Certificate in Dairying and National Certificate in Agriculture.  Continuing his career development, Anthony completed a 12 month day release training programme during farm employment. 

Remaining in the agricultural sector, Anthony was self employed for 25 years as an agricultural contractor specialising in cropping and fencing in the UK.  During this time, Anthony activily supported the industry through his role as chairman of the Young Farmers Club and facilitated an American/UK dairy exchange student initiative.

Anthony arrived in New Zealand in the 1990's, through a Waikato Farming Agency and relief managed various dairy farms over three years.  On his return to the UK, he managed an organic dairy farm for three seasons. 

Returning to New Zealand, with his family for lifestyle opportunities in the rural sector, Anthony was employed by BEL Group in 2010 as Farm Manager of Cloverlea, a 950 cow dairy farm and completed two season.  Entering his third season with BEL Group, Anthony undertook the role of Operations Manager Ashley Clinton, overseeing two dairy farms, Ellingham and Hedley. In 2014 the dairy support block, Peterdale, was added to his portfolio.

 

 

Operations Manager - Michael Oakly

Born in the Wairarapa and raised on dairy farms, Michael brings a wealth of knowledge and three decades of experience to BEL Group. Apart from a brief stint as a professional fencer, he has spent all of his working life in the dairy industry. He brings a disciplined approach to achieving farm targets, and is always looking for ways to improve performance and get the most from his team and farms. Seconded into an Operations Manager role early in 2015, this role was made permanent a few months later. Heading into the 2015-2016 season Michael will oversee the running of four BEL farms - Reigate, Cloverlea, Kowhai Terrace and Parkhill. Hard-working and setting high standards, Michael has a great ability to develop new team members and help them build the skills required to work their way up through the various roles on-farm. Michael first worked for Peter and Andrea Barry back in 1991 as the Parkhill Farm Manager. The following season he returned to his roots in the Wairarapa where he, wife Katherine, and their family leased dairy several dairy farms until 2013. Michael re-joined BEL Group as the Reigate Farm Manager for the 2013-2014 season. When he manages to take time away from the farm, Mike enjoys fishing off the Wairarapa coast and hunting in the Tararuas and Cape Palliser region; these activities often resulting in extra delicacies ending up on the BEL staff BBQ. Mike lives at Reigate Farm with wife Katherine and has a large blended family of 10 children and six grandchildren.

 

Asset Manager - Paul Phippen

Paul has had a wide and varied career in the New Zealand dairy industry after completing his study toward a Bachelor of Agriculture at Massey University. Over the past 20 years, Paul and his wife Sandra have managed large herd dairy farms in North Canterbury, Waikato, Hawke’s Bay and Manawatu.

Initially Paul was employed as a farm manager/sharemilker for Whakamaru Dairy Partnership in Taupo then with Amapex Holdings in Culverden before moving to J.D. & R.D. Wallace in Cambridge.

From 1994 through to 2003 Paul held various positions with BEL Group, across both Longrow and Springfield. Within these roles Paul was responsible for the supervision and monitoring of three farms and their managers, including the planning and management of converting property into dairying. Paul developed and implemented systems for monitoring, reporting and other general management of the properties to provide a consistent, best value overall result. Paul was also involved with staff recruitment and management and during this time took the lead in liaising with tour groups and visitors to the farms.

Paul moved from BEL Group to farming opportunity in Mangatainoka in 2003 and then on to an Operations Manager role in the Manawatu for Te Marama Farm in 2005. In 2007 Paul took a one year relief position with Arran Trust Ltd, as the Operations Manager to a 1000 cow farm plus support land, which operated through two dairies. Paul was at Everest Agriculture in Georgia, USA at the time of Peter Barry's death in 2008 and when he returned to New Zealand he joined the BEL Group team again.

With BEL Group Paul holds the Operation Manager, Paget Road role and is focussed on supporting and coordinating the farm management teams to achieve their targeted people, profit and production goals.

 

Analyst - Amanda Pottinger

Amanda joined BEL Group in December 2014 as a Business Assistant to Doug Dolan, the Operations Manager at Ashton Farm. Following a structural review in June 2015, Amanda’s role was redefined resulting in her joining the Operations Team as their Analyst. Her primary role is to assist the Operations Team in data management; collating and providing one set of accurate data to drive better, timelier on-farm business decisions. Before joining BEL Group permanently in 2014, Amanda graduated from Massey University with an AgriScience degree. She then spent four months on a working ‘OE’ as an eventing student in several stables in the UK - including a stint at former NZ equestrian legend, Mark Todd’s stable, where she received coaching from him. Outside of work, Amanda is an accomplished equestrian. She is part of the NZ Talent Development Eventing Squad, giving her access to top level coaching, vet facilities and nutritional advice. She currently has four horses in her stable and her ultimate goal is to compete at the world’s premier equestrian events - the Badminton and Burghley Horse Trials. At the height of the eventing season, Amanda spends about 35 hours a week preparing and competing. She receives great support from both parents – Dad, Andy, and Mum, Tinks, herself a bronze equestrian medallist from the Seoul Olympics. This is not Amanda’s first role with BEL Group. She spent time during several university holidays back in 2012 and 2013 - both in the office and out on farm - assisting with pregnancy testing and administrative roles. This gave her a good insight into the business and its goals.

 

 
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