ABOUT US / Our history and our team

Our History

In 2009 neighbouring Waikato dairy farmers, Fran Allcock and Joyce Brown, decided to organise a series of conferences for smaller herd farmers. They realised that the needs of smaller herd farmers are different from large herd farmers and that there was an opportunity to develop events specifically for them.

They started by gathering an enthusiastic group of volunteer farmers to form an organising committee and then enlisted the support of DairyNZ. The formation of the SMASH Trust and some highly successful conferences were the result.

The feedback from those first conferences was overwhelmingly positive and since then the team has gone from strength to strength.

The SMASH Team

National Committee Chairperson

Noldy Rust

Hi I’m Noldy, current Chair of SMASH, your farming organisation run for farmers and by farmers. I have been involved with SMASH since we started several years back, and still enjoy seeing SMASH connecting with and encouraging farmers through our various events.

My wife Bev and I own a 200 cow farm in Te Pahu near the slopes of Mount Pirongia. We employ a contract milker to run the farm as I work off farm as a real estate agent for Ray White.

We have three daughters, all of whom have now left home. The eldest is married to Petrus and they have a bubbly 2 year old daughter who loves spending time with Poppa and can’t believe how young he looks and acts. She is a great source of delight to both her Nana and myself, especially in small to medium doses! Hayley our middle daughter works at Vetora, our local vet club, as part of the management team and loves her job. Her farm upbringing has certainly been of value in her job and she now appreciates all the “training” she got on the farm. And our youngest, Carmen, is a teacher in town and enjoys her job, especially when they’re marching! We all look forward to the pay increase that this government will eventually give her as then she may be able to pay her student loan back to us! Last, but not least, our foster son Hayze is now 14 and loves rugby, mountain biking and X box, almost in that order. English and math aren’t quite as up there as the aforementioned topics! He loves to have strong interactions with his Deans at college.

Dairy farming has always been my life and it’s a real buzz to be involved in all sorts of ways. The SMASH concept has been hugely successful in bringing people together to network, share and learn.

Will Rolton

Originally from a town family in the UK, Will first started milking high input Holstein cows indoors having left school without any grand plans. After reading for a BSc Ag he went into managing mixed Arable and Dairy farms until itchy feet got the upper-hand.

Following a desire to have his own cows, he gave the dog to Mum and Dad and backpacked to NZ in 2010. He now has a Kiwi wife and two children and enjoys sharemilking in the beautiful Waikato.

Executive Secretary

Louise Hanlon

I was brought up on a Canterbury sheep/beef/cropping farm (now a dairy conversion!) before attending Massey University to gain a degree in agricultural science and an MBA.

After starting my career in Massey’s Vet Department, helping to carry out large animal research, I worked for eight years at AgResearch in the farm software development team, before I branched out into contracting.

In this role I have worked for a variety of organisations including: DairyNZ, Ballance Agri-Nutrients and Fonterra, and have been involved in a wide range of activities, anything that combines agriculture, science, and communicating complicated ideas in a simple way! Some of the most enjoyable work I do is for SMASH: helping farmers to achieve their goals and build rewarding dairy careers.

Regional Coordinator

Anna Kalma

Anna farms 240 cows on 72 hectares in between Te Aroha, Morrinsville and Matamata (or specifically Ngarua) with partner Paul and daughter Greta. Anna came to dairy farming relatively late in her career after working in finance and marketing both in NZ and overseas – although it was always in her long-term plan to return to dairy farming (it just took a while to persuade her London-born partner that it was in his long term plan also!).

Anna joined the SMASH committee, after hosting a field day at her farm in 2016 following making the final of Dairy Business of the Year in 2015 and 2016, as she was impressed with the SMASH ethos and the committee culture.

Anna has recently completed her Masters in Agribusiness through Melbourne University and she undertakes regular market research and facilitation projects on behalf of a couple of agribusiness clients.

Her hobbies include playing contract bridge (she is also on the Waikato Bays regional bridge committee).

Wade Bell

I am based in Te Awamutu with my wife Racheal and two daughters Olivia and Ashlee. I have been involved with SMASH since 2012 as a management committee member and facilitating some events.

I have been involved in the dairy industry for over 20 years, starting out as a farm assistant on a 400 cow dairy farm in Rukahia before heading to Massey University to complete my Bachelor of Applied Science. I then went on to hold various roles with DairyNZ and in Rural Banking, where I have had the opportunity to work with a wide variety of farmers in achieving their farming goals.

I strongly believe in the value of farmers learning from farmers, and SMASH certainly provides this opportunity.

Regional Coordinator

Anne-Marie Case-Miller

I live in Hamilton with my husband Justin and three children: Bridie (17), Daniel (15) and Maggie (11). My roots are firmly embedded in dairy farming – I grew up on small herd farms in Hungahunga and Motumaoho.

I enjoy staying active through boxing, cycling and running. I’ve recently completed a challenge of running 12 half-marathons in 12 months with three friends. We were raising money and awareness for Farmstrong and the excellent work they do providing mental health and wellbeing support for rural communities. We raised nearly $3,000, which helped to make all that running bearable!

I’m Media Liaison for the New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards, and an Executive Committee member of the New Zealand Guild of Agricultural Journalists and Communicators.

I’m looking forward to organising future SMASH seminars and field days around the country and meeting you all.