Ian Wickham – Owner/Director
Growing up on a dairy farm prepared me for leaving High School and taking over the management of the 50 cow herd at short notice at age 15 because my father had been severely injured by a mature Jersey herd sire. My first decision was to sell the bulls and use artificial insemination services!
My continued career in farming has always been one that combined practical farming with providing service to other farmers with a high degree of entrepreneurship and innovation.
Learning skills such as managing a dairy herd, flying an airplane, commercially growing strawberries, becoming an AI Technician, and as a Young Farmers Club member, being very active especially in Chairmanship, Public Speaking and Debating prepared me well to combine farm ownership with business management for when I became Taranaki Manager and then Director of Ambreed (now CRV Ambreed) in its formative years. During my time as an Instructor and Examiner of AI Technicians, I trained about 600 farmers to approved standards.
As an ‘early adopter’ I enjoyed the first electronic calculator, Apple computer, Cell phone, Video camera, Internet, and of course the first Smart Phone that brings all the “gadgets” plus more into1 device. In 2015 I took delivery of one of the first Tesla EVs in NZ when they were considered a bit of a joke! I had waited 3 years for it.
During the early 1980s I recognised that dairy farmers were missing out big time by feeding their dairy replacements feed that could be more profitably consumed by lactating cows and even more importantly, they were also severely under feeding the same replacements which meant that these high genetic merit young cows were impaired and not able to pay back the
investment until they eventually matured.
What to do? If I had been an academic I would have written a thesis on the topic. However, with my practical farming and business experience I founded New Zealand Grazing Company Ltd and have concentrated on developing and building systems and Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) that ensure levels of performance of a continuous high standard for the benefit of the whole industry.
Since founding in 1987, our company has managed close to one million young cattle and has provided the standard that others aspire to. I am delighted to continue to be associated with NZG in a senior capacity as I witness the very sound management of our staff being made available to help all farmers find the smarter way to grow profitable heifers.
Together with Jacqui, my wife of 55 years, we have a family of 4 adult children and 11 grandchildren and we still enjoy living on the family owned farm of about 1,000 acres.
Antony (Tony) R Burn – Director
I am a Fellow Chartered Accountant and have been involved with the company since 1990 at which time I met Ian as he was buying out former shareholders. I continued to be an accounting advisor for Ian Wickham and joined his company as a director in 1999.
I had been in practice as a chartered accountant since 1973 in my own practice and then merging that with the New Plymouth practice of Coopers and Lybrand in 1990. At the time I signalled that I would leave public practice in around 8 years and did so in 1998 resigning from the firm which was then PricewaterhouseCoopers.
I worked extensively with clients giving management and financial advisory services to regular clients. I also worked extensively in the insolvency area and in business valuations.
After leaving public practice I continued with business valuation work and became a director of several companies and a trustee of charitable trusts. These included work in several sectors both in commercial and non-profit organisations. These include health, aged care, engineering, service industries and consulting, forestry and manufacturing.
While practicing I also contributed to the representation of membership interests and leadership of my professional accounting body, presently known as Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand. I was President of this body in 1991/1992 and was awarded a life membership in 2013.