About Us

Our History

In 2009 two 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 decided to start 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

SMASH Trust Chairperson and Regional Coordinator

Joyce Brown

As small herd farmers, Warwick and I continue to find ideas, friendship and vision as we meet with people in similar situations.

It is very heartening to find so many farmers are feeling positive, regardless of weather or payout, or any other challenges that come our way. These are people who appreciate the benefits and opportunities that farming brings for their families, and communities.

Our connection with other farmers is a really important tool to keeping life, business and shared struggles in proportion, and as SMASH sets off further progression, I hope the events and information we deliver can continue to be relevant and supportive.

In my new role as Regional Co-ordinator I have been able to meet new people, and support SMASH events around the country, and feel excited and appreciative to find so many willing helpers. Thank you one and all for your efforts and friendship offered.

I also continue to follow my passion regarding farmer health and wellness, encouraging people to recognise their own physical and mental challenges and seek help when needed.
Enjoy your day at the conference and take home information and your vision for the future.

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 fulltime farm manager to run the farm as I work off farm as an area manager for Pioneer Brand Products.

We have three daughters and a foster boy, the eldest two daughters having left home a few years back, whilst the 20 year old is still living at home as she studies for a degree at Waikato University… home life is much cheaper than flatting…Hayze, our foster boy, is now 12 and growing into a strapping lad, only too happy to tear around on his moto x bike or play on the Playstation as much as possible. Anything is better than schoolwork!!

Dairy farming has always been my life and it’s a real buzz to be involved in all sorts of ways such as my Pioneer job, SMASH and other things I am involved with relating to dairy farming. The SMASH concept has been hugely successful in bringing people together to network, share and learn.

Daniel Baker

I have been farming for 15 years since leaving school and have worked as far away as Invercargill and on herds as big as 3000 cows.

In the past 5 years my partner Liz and I have settled in with smaller herds and are enjoying the challenges that come along with that. We are currently taking the big step into our first contract milking position on a 400 cow farm at Ngutunui, 20 minutes from Te Awamutu.

I got involved with the SMASH committee after attending a few field days and the Waikato conference. I wanted to get involved to give something back to the farming industry, while using the opportunity to develop my organisation and planning skills and networking with like-minded farmers and industry leaders.

I think SMASH plays a key role in the industry in bringing topics and events relevant to the smaller herd farmer.

Ele Duncan

Ele Duncan is the third generation on a 58ha farm on the outskirts of Cambridge.

Ele joined the SMASH committee after attending SMASH events and wanted to put something back into the smaller herd community.

She’s passionate about the benefits of smaller farms and believes SMASH is a great forum for smaller herd farmers to come together to learn new things, share ideas and remind themselves and the wider industry of the importance and benefits of smaller herds. “SMASH have some great events on offer throughout the year. It can be hard to find the time to attend events but it’s well worth the effort.” Ele is looking forward to seeing you at SMASH events and encourages you to spread the word about SMASH amongst the smaller herd community.

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 working for 8 years at AgResearch in the farm software development team I branched out into contracting. In this role I have worked for several organisations including: DairyNZ, Gallagher and Fonterra, and have been involved in a range of activities: technical writing, research, analysis and generating reports. Some of the most rewarding work I have done has been "at the coalface", talking with farmers and seeing what is happening in the industry.

I enjoy helping SMASH achieve its goals and meeting the great people that make up the SMASH community. I hope to see you all at our events!

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) and she plays social netball for as long as the body holds up.

Ian Tarbotton

Originally from a farming background in Canterbury, Ian is currently the Science Extension Manager for Ballance Agri-Nutrients. Prior to this he was an extension strategist for DairyNZ for eight years after having worked as a social scientist for AgResearch and studying at Lincoln University.

Ian has been involved in developing and testing new approaches in Extension. In 2013 he was pivotal in initiating a successful Extension Conference in Canterbury as part of the Australasia Pacific Extension Network (APEN).

He is passionate about making a difference in agriculture through strategic planning, knowledge management and networking. He has willingly worked with the original SMASH farmers and expects the support for and profile of smaller herd farmers to increase rapidly over the next few years.

John van der Goes

Together, with my wife Cathy, we farm a 57 ha milking platform (plus 30 ha runoff) milking 165 cows this coming season.

I call myself a life style farmer as I believe that farmers have got too carried away chasing production and forgetting about the basics of farming. We are dropping our stocking rate each year to find the correct level that looks after both the cows and our bank balance. I also believe that we should enjoy our life and not let the farm rule it. I find it hard to implement this but I am trying.

As a member of the SMASH committee I’m enjoying the challenges and meeting people involved in smaller herds. I don’t think that you need to be big to be successful.

John van der Poel

My wife Josephine and I are self-contained traditional dairy farmers milking 200 cows.

We believe smaller herds are an important part of the industry, as a career choice or stepping stone to other things. I became involved with SMASH as I believe it is an important that smaller herd farmers have the opportunity to communicate with like-minded people.

Regional Teams


Trent Guy, Gavin Hogarth, Brian Hughes, Barbara Woolhouse.


Beck and Kerry Hindson

Bay of Plenty

Mac and Lynda Pacey, Gary and Kathy O'Donnell, Alastair Neville, Corinne Rushbrooke


Grant Leigh


Ian Passey and Linda Sievwright

West Coast

Karamea: Peter Langford
Grey Valley: Debbie Bland