Our team comes from a variety of backgrounds in the agricultural industry.

Our team

Our team comes from a variety of backgrounds in the agricultural industry and share a passion for improving the profitability of New Zealands’ sheep, cattle and deer farmers and the future of the New Zealand red meat sector on the global stage.

We work hard, we like to have fun thrive on the challenge that in the agricultural industry there are some factors out of our control so it’s crucial to ensure we fully leverage the ones we can control.

Ultimately what makes us get up and come to work each morning is our desire to deliver a product and service that is consistent, reliable and enjoyable that makes a positive gain to the farm system and profitability of our clients.

Our breeders

Our breeders are the people driving our operation. While we work hard to ensure the rams, stags and bulls you buy give you a genetic advantage, its the farmers breeding our livestock on the ground who ensure they stack up commercially.

They understand the challenges you face and won’t let a good scientific story get in the way of what is going to make your operation more profitable and productive.

Would you like to make an order or enquire about one of our sires?
Please call Dave (Norm) Alderson (Livestock Business Manager) on 027 446 9884 or alternatively
the Focus Genetics office toll free on 0508 159 159.

Our frontline team

norm alderson

NORM ALDERSON

Livestock Business Manager
“Farming is in my blood.”

I love the farming lifestyle. My wife and I farm a small block in Central Hawke’s Bay and it’s a great lifestyle for our three children. After graduating Massey University with a Bachelor in Ag Business I worked as a Livestock Manager and Buyer in the Red Meat industry for years. I worked on the family sheep and beef farm for 16 years before joining the Focus Genetics team.

MOBILE 027 446 9884
EMAIL NORM

RLeeSheep

DR RICHARD LEE

Technical Services Manager
“I work with a highly-skilled team that has the potential to make a difference at farm, regional and national level – that’s exciting!”

Before joining Focus Genetics I was a production animal veterinarian in Hawke’s Bay for more than 30 years. During this time I was involved in animal production from grassroots individual animal level through to corporate farming and national sheep, beef, deer and veterinary industry programmes. I hold an active veterinary practicing certificate which helps significantly with our animal health planning and protocols.

MOBILE 027 444 7588
EMAIL RICHARD

duncan elliott

DUNCAN ELLIOTT

Cattle Programme Manager
“I love the people we deal with; they cut to the chase, they’re genuinely passionate and not afraid to defend what they believe in.”

I grew up on my family Angus Stud, have experience with AI, and operated on an Australian Simmental Stud. I have a strong stakeholder relationship approach and have significant senior management experience in the Food and Beverage industry. I’m experienced with big data capture and analysis, including establishing trends and looking for anomalies or outliers, this gives me the grounding to analyse our herds and look for bulls that can add value aligned to our index.

MOBILE 021 222 7324
EMAIL DUNCAN

Our sheep and deer team

danni bagley

DR. DANNI BAGLEY

Senior Geneticist & Maternal Sheep Scientist
“I get excited when farmers see the benefits of our breeding programme on their farms.”

Prior to Focus Genetics, I was a research scientist at AgResearch investigating targeted nutritional effects on fetal and placental development in sheep. I have a PhD in Animal Science from Massey University, where I studied the effects of ewe size and nutrition during pregnancy on productive, metabolic and lactational performance of female offspring. I also have a Master’s degree in Animal Science from Netherlands’ Wageningen University, majoring in Reproduction and Physiology. Born and raised in the Netherlands, I now call Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand home.

dr natalie pickering

DR. NATALIE PICKERING

Terminal Sheep and Deer Scientist
“The farm system can be put together in various ways; and to play a part in putting that puzzle together is hugely inspiring.”

An Animal Breeding Scientist (Terminal Sheep and Deer), my previous role was a post-doctoral scientist at AgResearch, identifying the possibilities to breed for low methane emitting animals. I have a PhD in Animal Science investigating the genetics of flystrike, dagginess and associated traits. Part of the AgResearch Animal Genomics team for seven years, I am lucky to have had first-hand experience of the research into sheep SNP chips and genomic selection, and have extracted and analysed DNA from Focus Genetics
sheep ears and bloods.

marius van niekerk

MARIUS VAN NIEKERK

Livestock Database Administrator
“We’re in a unique position where we make science interface with the commercial world.”

Responsible for the management and integrity of our sheep database, I oversee one of the largest privately-owned animal databases in New Zealand. Focus Genetics is known for high animal data integrity, which comes from the strict way we maintain all records provided from the breeding programmes farms and how we import them into the sheep, cattle and deer information systems. I love helping staff gain understanding and expertise to operate the software required for the job at hand.

Our office team

gavin foulsham

GAVIN FOULSHAM

CEO
“I love working with smart business people; people who are genuine, work hard and care deeply about the red meat sector.”

My first experience with selective breeding came in the late 1980s on my parents’ raspberry farm. My father developed a new cultivar selected for its ability to produce high-quality dessert raspberries for the local market, and it’s now available world wide. I’m passionate about the positive contribution science and technology can make to New Zealand’s primary sector, and I’m proud to lead the Focus Genetics team on our journey of continuous improvement in the Red Meat sector. I’ve held leadership roles in pharmaceuticals, healthcare and agriculture, including four years as General Manager of Farmlands Card prior to joing Focus Genetics.

Gavin reports directly to the Focus Genetics Board of five and is responsible for the overall strategy direction and running of the company.

james tod

JAMES TOD

Finance Manager
“Crunching numbers one day, drafting rams the next – I love this job!”

I grew up on our family farm in Hawke’s Bay. My dad runs a romney stud, so you could say breeding is in my blood. I worked at Ernst Young and Landcorp in their financial departments before joining the Focus Genetics team. I enjoy working with honest, driven and passionate people and seeing the success our clients can achieve through our programmes.

hine grant

HINE GRANT

Customer Service & Sales
Support Co-ordinator

“Each day I’m blown away by the knowledge of the people I work with and how willing they are to share that with me.”

I spend much of my working day in head office, but am equally happy getting out and amongst it where I can learn from our passionate clients and breeding partners. I have marketing experience in New Zealand and Australia, and bring expertise and experience across multiple industries, including five years working in various marketing roles at Farmlands. Based in beautiful Hawke’s Bay, I spend my time out of the office enjoying the fruit of the local Hawke’s Bay vines and keeping up with my young family.

nz genetic breeders

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