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How our Technical Field Representatives add value to farmers' businesses

How our Technical Field Representatives add value to farmers' businesses

How our Technical Field Representatives add value to farmers' businesses

A driving motivation for PGG Wrightson’s network of Technical Field Representatives (TFRs) is to bring value to farmers’ businesses. Dion Schreiber and Loryn Robertson share their experience working alongside farmers.


Dion’s decision to work in agriculture was an easy one having grown up on his parent’s farm in Taranaki.

“Here in Rotorua, I work alongside sheep and beef, dairy, and deer farmers. I offer advice and recommendations, whatever is needed, I’ll help find a solution.”

Animal health plans form an important part of Dion’s work, creating them in consultation with Andrew Dowling, Veterinarian and PGG Wrightson Technical Expert – Animal Production. A plan includes a schedule of routine drenching, making it an easy document for farmers to refer to throughout the year. One of the main outcomes is to protect the farming system from developing resistance. Dion offers the example of a newly converted sheep and beef farm bringing trade lambs onto the property. “When trading stock,” says Dion, “a farmer is not always aware of the resistance status of the animals coming on-farm. This is where implementing preventative measures through an animal health plan is important and helps future-proof the operation.”

Introducing new products to farmers is one of the benefits of working with a TFR, says Dion. “I recommended Cervidae Oral, a drench used for the treatment and control of gastrointestinal parasites in deer, when it became available to a farmer. Not only has the farmer found Cervidae effective on his deer, but the withholding periods have allowed him to sell his stock earlier than before.”

Dion believes the technical advice he gives farmers contributes to positive outcomes for their businesses. “I bring up-to-date information and timely advice which is vital as farming is always evolving.”


Through first-hand experience, Loryn has acquired a sound knowledge of dairy farming and sheep and beef operations. Based out of the Ranfurly PGG Wrightson store, Loryn supports dairy farmers and sheep and beef operations who finish their own stock.

Loryn offers advice and support through the entire agronomy process – soil testing, planning crop rotations, and recommending spray programmes. Planning starts in autumn with most permanent pastures and winter crops being planted from November through the summer. Once a crop is sown, Loryn monitors for weed, disease, and insect pest pressure. There is plenty of variety in the crops and pastures she is involved with, which includes chicories, clovers, and forages.

Recommending new crops to boost yields on-farm, Loryn says, is one of the benefits of working alongside a TFR. “I introduced Cleancrop™ Brassica System to some farmers who were experiencing issues with certain weeds. This system fitted easily into their cropping rotations with short-term grass or cereals. The outcome saw farmers happy with the results. One of the swede crops reached over 20 tonnes.”

Loryn says her fresh perspective is also of value to the farmers she works alongside. “Recently, a farmer who always grew green globe turnips moved to Cleancrop™ Bulb Turnips. The outcome was impressive tonnage at harvest compared to the previously grown crop. Farmers appreciate my agronomy advice and my ability to tailor my recommendations to meet the local conditions.”