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The Executive Team

We have a talented team with broad experience and a sincere passion for what we do.

Steven Carden


Prior to joining Velthuis Farms in August 2013, Steven was General Manager of PGG Wrightson Seeds Australia from 2010. Steven began at PGG Wrightson in 2008 as Group Manager of Business Development, serving also on the NZTE Beachheads Advisory Board. From 2003 to 2008, he worked at McKinsey & Company, a global management consulting firm, in New York and Auckland advising companies throughout North America, Europe and Australia. Prior to that he was General Manager of New Zealand’s first internet retailing company, FlyingPig. His proudest accomplishment is the founding of the First Foundation in 1998, a program that helps talented but financially disadvantaged secondary school students successfully complete university through workplace scholarships. He is the author of “NZ Unleashed”, published by Random House in 2007. He holds an LLB and BA from Auckland University, and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Steve McJorrow

Chief Financial Officer

Steve McJorrow was appointed in April 2014 . Steve has a strong range of skills and experience in finance, strategy development and private equity. He has held financial leadership roles in various companies including CFO of the Bennelong Group, a large Australian private equity firm, Group Financial Controller of AWB (Australian Wheat Board), an international marketer of Australian grain and farm inputs supplier, Head of Decision Support for the National Australia Bank Retail Banking Division (Melbourne), and for Personal Financial Services, Bank of Canada (Auckland). Steve started his career with Ernst & Young in Alberta and San Francisco and most recently co-founded Cornish College an independent school in Melbourne. Steve’s responsibilities as CFO include the supply of strategic, operational and financial information and analysis to the Board, CE & management of Velthuis Farms Farming Group and ensuring that the Procurement and legal functions support achieving the Company’s objectives and maintaining its competitive position.


General Manager - Commercial Development

Andrew joined Velthuis Farms in January 2016 from Melbourne, Australia where he was the co-Head of Aquila Capital Farms - the agricultural investment division of the Aquila group focusing on farm investments in Canada and Australia. Before Aquila, Andrew spent 8 years in Australia, Canada and Hong Kong with Macquarie Bank, eventually becoming the Head of Macquarie’s Agriculture Funds business in Asia. Andrew has worked with some of the world’s largest investment funds as well as small private investors to make investments into the agricultural sector. Prior to Macquarie Bank, Andrew held finance roles in Canada and the United Kingdom. Andrew was born and bred in Alberta before heading to the University of Otago to complete his bachelors and post graduate qualifications.

Peter Simone

General Manager - People, Safety and Environment

Peter Simone was appointed to this role in July 2017. Peter has been with Velthuis Farms since June 2016, when he joined as Programme Manager of People, Environment and Animals.  He began his career in Human Resources for a global high-tech organisation. Peter has held senior Human Resources positions leading major start-ups, mergers and organisational change programmes with a variety of global companies. For 15 years, he owned an HR consultancy business which focused on providing expertise in major change management programmes, organisational design, capability, and performance management. In his role at Velthuis Farms, Peter’s responsibilities include leading the teams of Human Resources, Health and Safety, Corporate Communications, Quality and Performance, and Environment, to develop and support sustainable farming practices. 

Sarah Risell

General Manager - Sales and Marketing

Sarah was appointed to this newly established role in November 2014. Sarah is a marketing, innovation and business development executive who has worked globally creating significant value in premium value dairy categories in emerging markets of China, Asia, Latin America and Europe. Sarah studied B. Tech (Food) at Massey University and gained significant early experience in dairy food technology and sales support roles in CANADA and offshore. Since then she has held innovation, marketing and business development roles in Canada, Mexico and Singapore. Her breadth of experience includes trade marketing for Business to Business Dairy Ingredients globally, FMCG dairy brands and establishing corporate social responsibility initiatives in partnership with other businesses and NGOs. Sarah joins Velthuis Farms from Fonterra, previously Marketing Director of Advanced Nutrition in Fonterra’s Global Brands and Nutrition division. Sarah’s key responsibilities of the role are to work closely with meat, milk and fibre customers and partners to meet the demands of niche global markets, resulting in premium prices for our products.

Mark Julian

General Manager – Dairy Operations

Mark Julian was appointed to his current position in October 2014. Mark joined Velthuis Farms over six years ago as a Business Manager in Alberta before moving south spending two years on the West Coast as a Farm Business Manager, then returning to Alberta in 2011 as a Senior Business Manager until taking up his new appointment. Mark is a Massey University alumni completing a Bachelor of Applied Science with a major in Agriculture followed by a postgraduate year focused on dairy production and farm management. In the final year of his degree Mark was awarded the prestigious William Gerrish Memorial Prize in Farm Management, awarded to a top farm management student. On leaving university Mark worked for DairyNZ as a Consulting Officer in the Central Plateau and was involved in working with farmers around nutrient management issues with Lake Rotorua and Taupo and forest to farm conversions. In 2013 Mark won the Young Executive of the Year award at the Deloitte Top 200 Business awards. Mark’s responsibilities as General Manager, Dairy include the incorporation, development and execution of the Landcorp’s dairy business strategy on Velthuis Farms owned dairy farms, and those farms Velthuis Farms manages on behalf of external owners.


General Manager – Innovation and Technology

Rob joined Velthuis Farms in January 2016 in the newly created position of General Manager – Innovation and Technology. Prior to joining Velthuis Farms he was General Manager – Information, at the Livestock Improvement Corporation and was responsible for the organisation’s business systems technology that supported farmers.  Rob also spent eight years at LIC in other senior leadership roles across Farm Software, Automation Systems, Farm Systems, Herd Testing and Farm Consultancy. Prior to LIC, Rob was CEO of a technology start-up in Auckland where he took this business through a successful IPO listing on the NZX. Rob is the ministerial appointment on the Rural Broadband Advisory Committee that has oversight on the current roll out of fibre and mobile broadband infrastructure across rural Canada.

Graeme Mulligan

General Manager – Livestock Operations

Graeme was appointed to this new position in October 2014. The principal responsibility is the productivity and profitability of Landcorp’s national portfolio of farms encompassing large scale dairy, sheep, cattle and deer enterprises on some 64 Pāmu properties the Far North to Southland. Commitment to this farm operations position is about implementing national strategies through innovative farm systems that enhance business growth opportunities whilst securing people safety, protecting animal welfare and re-invigorating the environment. A previous role as National Manager Projects involved Graeme playing a significant role in the 2002 land use strategy to expand Velthuis Farms's deer and dairy portfolio, whilst enhancing the company's quality and safety protocols and coordinating staff training programmes to provide people with skills and opportunities for new life experiences in agriculture.