2016 Conference Speakers

 Speakers for the WGCF World Conference 2016

Hamilton New Zealand  14-16 April 2016

The Convening committee would like advise that the following speakers are currently confirmed to participate in the Conference Programme.  The Committee endeavours to update this as further speakers are confirmed.

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Conference Moderator


 Brian Wickham


Brian Wickham is the Managing Director of ConsultWickham a consultancy business focused on using genetics and animal breeding to help ensure a healthy, high quality and sustainable food supply for the future.  Current clients cover sheep, dairy and beef cattle in Europe, North America and Oceania.

Brian was the chief executive of the Irish Cattle Breeding Federation Society Limited (trading as ICBF) from 1998 to 2012.  He led the development of ICBF from its inception.  ICBF operates Ireland’s cattle breeding database, conducts genetic evaluations for all breeds (dairy and beef) and traits.  It provides cattle breeding information services to a number of service providers (Milk Recording, Herd Books, Artificial Insemination Field Services & Bull Studs), to farmers and the wider community via its website.  ICBF provide a large amount of data for research and participates with partners throughout the world in a wide range of cattle breeding research.

Brian gained his PhD from Cornell University under the direction of Prof CR Henderson in 1975.  For the first twenty two years of his career Brian worked in New Zealand for LIC and its predecessors in a number of scientific, technical and managerial roles.  He represented LIC internationally and chaired the Interbull Steering Committee for its first thirteen years of operation.

Brian’s association with the Guernsey breed includes: being a guest speaker at the 1995 conference in NZ, as part of long and productive collaboration through Bill Luff with ICAR and Interbull, moderator for the 2013 conference in Guernsey.




 Peter Marwood (Guernsey NZ Secretary)


Peter Marwood is in his last season of being a hands on dairy farmer.

Born to dairy farming parents Peter has been involved in the dairy industry most of his working

Climbing the ranks to farm ownership through the various stages of sharemilking. Firstly, farm worker then 29% sharemilker. This was followed by 50/50 sharemilking before, along with his wife Raewyn, they purchased their farm which they have owned the past 25 years.

Over the years Peter has been involved in many organisations with connections to farming. He trained as an AB Technician in the late 1970’s and is still inseminating dairy cows to this day. He held the position of President for the Te Awamutu A&P Show for 2 years. He was also convenor for the shows on Farm Herd Competition for a number of years. He is the current Chairman for the local water supply scheme which supplies water to local farms for stock use over an area of 1200 ha.

He has been involved with the Guernsey cow from the mid 1980’s and they have given him an added interest in his farming career. He is the current Secretary/Treasurer of Guernsey NZ and has been in this position for the past 15 years. He has attended World Guernsey conferences in NZ, the USA, South Africa, England, Australia and once again in NZ.

He is honoured to have been asked to fill the position left by the late Jim Lichtwark.


 Dr Tim Mackle  
Tim grew up on his family’s dairy farm in the South Island and graduated from Lincoln University with a B.Agr.Sc. (Hons).  He worked in the pharmaceutical industry, and then as a dairy scientist, first on cow nutrition and then milk characteristics. He received a scholarship and attained his PhD in animal, food and nutritional sciences at Cornell University, New York.

Upon his return to New Zealand he worked on healthy components in milk and then for the New Zealand Dairy Board as a Commercial Strategist, followed by a Corporate Support role to the inaugural CEO of Fonterra.

Tim’s next Fonterra position was General Manager of Anchor Ethanol. He was appointed CEO of Dexcel in August 2005, and is now CEO of DairyNZ.

He and his wife Aroha have four young children and when he’s not working, they keep him busy.

 Jemima and Tom Bebbington


Jemima and Tom Bebbington are currently share milking 250 cows in Te Aroha, New Zealand. Jemima studied at Canterbury University, BA Geography and Mass Communications. She now works as an export manager for her family business who manufactures and wholesale cosmetics for the Spa and Tourism market. Dairy farming was new to her but being very hands on and working alongside Tom she has picked it up quickly.

 Tom has dairy farming in his blood after growing up on a dairy farm and working on his family farm from a young age. After managing the family farm of 750 Friesian cows for over 10 years and snagging himself a lovely wife in Jemima the opportunity to go 50/50 sharemilking came up. The herd purchased to take this position had a strong line of 70 Guernsey Cows. These cows have proved themselves and topped herd tests over the last few years. Tom and Jemima hope to continue to breed not large numbers but strong foundations for the breed. We have taken the breed to national dairy farming competitions and done well. Tom and Jemima also try and promote the breed through giving a calf or two away each season to other farmers so they can work with the minority breed and see how they proform against their own stock, promoting the breed and getting other farmers involved. Producing 440kg/ms per cow Tom and Jemima have high hopes for the breed.


WGCF Development  
 Courtney Walker  
Courtney Walker is the newly appointed Secretary of the World Guernsey Cattle Federation. She grew up on a 200-cow dairy farm in North East Victoria, Australia. Pursuing a double degree in Agricultural Science (Hons.)/Commerce (Mgt & Marketing), with an exchange at Cornell University (Dairy Science major) she has a keen interest in nutrition and genetics.

Courtney holds numerous community positions being involved with the local Agricultural & Pastoral society. She initially became involved with the Guernsey breed having purchased a number at dispersal sales for the family herd, and meeting the Cleggett family at a Melbourne Royal show, striking up a friendship and enjoying the passion for the Guernsey breed.

Courtney currently works in transport logistics for Mars Chocolate Australia, maintaining an interest in dairy through manufacturing/commercial interests, whilst keeping a number of milking animals on friend's farms.

Fertility Focus


 Jeremy Bryant  

Jeremy Bryant is the Manager of NZ Animal Evaluation Limited (NZAEL), NZAEL is a subsidiary of the farmer levy body, DairyNZ. In his role he oversees the ongoing development of national genetic evaluation system for dairy cattle encompassed in Breeding Worth, and manages the national Dairy Industry Good Animal Database (DIGAD) which was established in 2014.

Previous to his current role, he was heavily involved in the development of a genetic evaluation system for ryegrass at DairyNZ encompassed in the Forage Value Index. He was also the chief technical developer of the Farmax Dairy simulation model used by farmers and consultants throughout New Zealand.

Jeremy gained his PhD in dairy cattle breeding and simulation at Massey University under the direction of Nicolas Lopez-Villalobos. Jeremy comes from a dairy farming background in Taranaki and spent three years sharemilking prior to commencing his studies.

 Bryce and Rosemary Costar
Bryce and Rosemarie Costar currently share milk their 300 cow fresian herd on Bryce's father's farm in Onewhero, 20 minutes south west of Pukekohe.  The property is 115 effective hective and has a 40 hectare young stock support block next door.  
Bryce has grown up on the property, and Rosemarie joined him there in 2003, having previously been the Marketing manager at an equestrian wholesale company.   They have two children, Jack (9) and Isabelle (7).

Bryce and Rosemarie are in the process of purchasing the family farm, with farm ownership being one of their long tem goals.  They are both passionate about their cows with another goal being to breed a fresian bull calf for the LIC premier sires team.  Perhaps that goal will be fulfilled this season with 13 contract mating calves due.

In 2014 Bryce and Rosemarie won the Auckland Hauraki Share Milker of the Year title, winning the following merit awards : Ecolab Dairy Hygiene, Meridian Environment, LIC Productivity and Recording, Westpac Financial Planning, Triplejump Risk Management and Federated Farmers Leadership awards.

Outside of farming both Bryce and Rosemarie are actively involved in their community, with Bryce being a member of the Tuakau Lions Club, and Rosemarie being the chairperson of the Board of Trustees at Onewhero Area school and the Onewhero Te Akau ward councillor for Waikato District Council
 Nate Church

Nate Church operates Oak Knob Guernsey Farm along with his parents, Craig & Gladie Church.  His wife, Naomi, and their five children - Zeke, Emily, Elise, Avery and Sam are also involved in the operation.  The farm located near Cresco, Iowa is home to 110 Registered Guernseys and a few Jerseys.  Corn, alfalfa, and peas & barley are also raised with the balance of land in pasture.  The milking herd is housed on the home farm, while calves and heifers are raised at Nate's located  a half mile from Oak Knob.  Guernsey steers are also finished out.

Nate earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Dairy Science from Iowa State University in 1996.  He served as the current President for the Howard County  DHIA.  He has been a Howard County 4H leader for the past 6 years.  He was named Outstanding Young Guernsey Farmer in 2009.



 Sophie Eaglen

Sophie Eaglen is a Dutch born trained quantitative geneticist with a particular passion for the conversion of new science into understandable and practical applications to the benefit of dairy cattle farmers worldwide.

Sophie gained her MSc from Wageningen University in the Netherlands. Her PhD was obtained from the University of Edinburgh under the supervision of Prof. John Woolliams, Prof. Eileen Wall and Prof. Mike Coffey. For the last 6 years, Sophie has worked in multiple European countries including Austria as a postdoctoral researcher in the field of genetics and genomics. Her research contributed to multiple national evaluations for dairy cattle as well as the collection of data and development of new genetic evaluation schemes for small local breeds. Sophie currently works for a large AI company as a global business development manager and is responsible for products regarding the genomic testing of females

During her postdoctoral research for  the EU funded Gene2Farm project, Sophie became associated to the Guernsey breed. She fell head over heels for the breed and has ever since, also when moving on in her career, voluntarily helped the Guernsey breed in their introduction to the genomic era. Sophie visited Guernsey Island multiple times, presenting to the local farmers why genomics can benefit the breed. She has also been a connector and gatekeeper for the Global genomic breeding value estimation effort, which will yield the first official American Guernsey genomic breeding values April 2016.

 Brian Schnebly  
Brian Schnebly is the Executive Secretary of the American Guernsey Association, based in Columbus, Ohio, United States.  He has been employed with the AGA for 15 years, having previously served as Programs Coordinator, where his main duty was a breed classifier and also worked collaborately with other breeds, classifying Brown Swiss, Ayrshires and Milking Shorthorns as well.  Brian works primarily from a home office and travels to Ohio at least once a month to work with other staff members.

Brian is a graduate of the University of Maryland, College Park with a degree in Animal Science. He grew up on Crown Stone Guernsey Farm in Clear Spring, Maryland.  He still owns a few cows that are part of the current herd.  Currently the herd is comprised of 80 Holsteins, 35 Guernseys, 5 Jerseys and 3 Brown swiss.

Brian and his wife, Heidi, live in Hagerstown, Maryland and have two daughters, Grace and Claire.
 Bevin Harris  
I am science leader for genetics and genomics at LIC.

I received my Masters of Agricultural Science from Massey University in New Zealand (NZ).

I received my Ph. D. from Iowa State University in USA.

I have working in dairy cattle genetic, breeding scheme design and genomic evaluation since 1992 – highlights have been the implementation of Breeding Worth index and across breed ​animal models in NZ in 1996, implementation of test-day models for genetic evaluation in 2006, implementation of genomic evaluations in NZ since 2008.

I have been a member of Interbull Steering Group.

I am a current member of the ICAR board.

I am a current member of the science advisory committee for NZ animal evaluation.

 Melissa Stephen


Melissa is a Developer at DairyNZ, specialising in Genetic Evaluation. In her role she is responsible for the development and deployment of extension material, including tools and resources which support genetic improvement on-farm.


Melissa studied at Lincoln University, graduating with a bachelor of commerce majoring in agricultural management, and has since completed post graduate study in the field of genetics.


Following her graduation she was employed by CRV Ambreed, working initially in farm information systems, before making the move to the breeding team, as a Sire Analyst.


In her current and previous roles she has worked closely with breeding enthusiasts and farmers alike, and has developed a detailed understanding of the New Zealand animal evaluation system.



International Distribution and Trade


 Dave Trotter
Dave Trotter is currently the President of the American Guernsey Association, Business Manager for the Pennsylvania Guernsey Breeders Association, Partner with family in Trotacre Farms LLC and husband and father to 4 daughters and 1 son in law.  Trotacre Farm is currently milking 150 head of dairy cattle.  We have always had Guernseys, but also have had all the US Breeds for the last 3 years.  They also farm 500 acres, mainly corn and soybeans as well as Alfalfa hay. Trotacre hosted  a farm tour for the WGF in 2000.  Dave graduated from Penn State University in Dairy Science.

Maximizing the Value


 Lyn Haycock  
Lyn Haycock is the owner operator of The Glenbrook Cheese Company – a small artisan cheese making company that has been operating for three seasons and is located in the Franklin region.
Lyn was a registered nurse running clinical drug  trials at Middlemore Hospital for five years.  Prior to this, she had extensive experience working in the operating theatres of hospitals throughout New Zealand.
Her love of cheese came about by chance some nine years ago.
Much like cheese, her interest has matured and developed since then, with her earlier nursing experiences helping her gain Artisan Cheese making qualifications. These experiences, combined with her project management skills, also helped with the designing, building, registering and certifying of the cheese plant based on the home property, alongside her engineer husband James.
The quietness of the cows and the quality of the milk for cheese making was a very important factor in choosing the breed of cow. The fact that the Guernsey is predominantly A2 was also a significant factor following trials conducted in New Zealand.
 Peter Cullinane  

Peter is a founding partner of Assignment Group as well as founder and Chairman of Lewis Road Creamery. Additionally he is a director of SkyCity Entertainment, STW Communications and APN News and Media.

Peter is a Kiwi. His career included roles as CEO of Saatchi and Saatchi New Zealand and Chief Operating Officer, Saatchi & Saatchi Worldwide.

Since returning to New Zealand and establishing Assignment Group New Zealand Limited, Mr Cullinane has specialised in providing strategic advice to a wide range of New Zealand and international clients.

As a dyed in the wool believer in the power of brands, he established Lewis Road Creamery in 2011 as a personal mission to demonstrate the value of brands in an industry which has traditionally been solely focused on commodities.

 Roland Ripley

Roland Ripley is a lifelong Purebred Registered Guernsey Farmer from Cortland, New York in the United States.  He began full time farming at the age 16, due to the loss of his father in an accident.  He has raised purebred Guernseys since that time, with his wife, Patty, and five children, 23 grandchildren, and 13 great grandchildren.  There are 57 of them all together with their spouses.

Roland has been active in the New York State Guernsey Breeders Association as Secretary for over 40 years, and is involved in other community events as well as his church.  He has exhibited at local county, state, and National shows as well as the World Dairy Exposition.  He has had several Grand Champions at the New York State Fair, at Pennsylvania All-American Dairy Show, and at a National Guernsey Show.  He has bred and raised many All-American cows.  He also has been the dairy cattle judge for many county shows, as well as the Junior All American Show and National Livestock Exposition in Louisville, Kentucky, the Royal Melbourne National Show, and Royal Winter Canadian Show.

Roland was chosen as the National Outstanding Young Farmer in 1974, and both of his sons, Tom and Dan, followed in that award in 1999.  He partners with his two sons on their 1400 acre farm, and has recently purchased an additional farm to help with crop land.  They crop 700 acres of corn and 630 acres of alfalfa/grass.  The farm ships 31,000 pounds of milk per day, currently milking 155 Guernseys of which 99 have been tested a2, and 341 Holsteins.  There are currently 975 head of dairy cattle on the farm.

More than 50 Excellent Guernseys have been bred at Ripley Farms.  One notable Excellent cow, Low Brook Goldfoot Connie, a cow purchased out of Canada was flushed several times to produce over 100 Connie offspring.  Over 20% of the top 100 CPI were Connie's offspring in 2015.  Several bulls have been in AI Service from Ripley Farms including Ripley Farms Banner Dallas, Ripley Farms Royal Oak Royalty, Ripley Farms Aarons Cordell, and several others.  IVF has been very successful with sorted semen realizing a 99% success rate on the farm.  150 IVF calves have been born on the farm.

Ripley Farms newest diversification is leasing a milk bottling plant where they plan to bottle and market a2 Guernsey milk, as well as a2 cheese and butter. 

Roland and his wife, Patty, winter in Sun City Center, Florida where he is kept busy with his woodworking hobby, supplying cattle auctions with additional revenue from his donated craftsmanship, as well as his many children and grandchildren's requests.

Roland enjoys most any activity as long as it includes Guernsey Cattle.

 Digby Gribble

Grew up with Guernseys and Ayrshires on the family farm in Kent . After 2 years at Shuttleworth College returned and became partner in family business.

After a second farm was rented the best of the Ayrshires were moved and the remainder were crossed with at first British Friesian and latterly with Holstein.

In 1982 the original tenanted farm was purchased and after a couple of years was sold and a farm purchased in West Wales and the Guernseys and Holsteins were moved.
In 1999 the herd was sold to allow me to become Field Officer for the English Guernsey Cattle Society and that has given me the opportunity to visit  Australia, Canada , New Zealand ,South Africa and the United States and have attended the WGCF Conferences since 2004.

In 2001 was involved with the launch of the GGBP breeding scheme , the first Index designed for a specific breed and which has proven successful in improvement in all aspects of the Guernsey in the UK.

Have in recent years become involved with the export of Guernsey animals to Europe and semen further afield .

Continuance of the Guernsey Breed


 Chris Simpson


Chris Simpson is a strategist with global experience in international trade, project management, economics/economic development and crisis leadership.

He strongly believe that leadership and governance expectations should be expertly communicated at the operational level for the very best results in any situation.

In the international trade arena he has worked closely with many organisations at a project level ensuring quality B2B outcomes were consistently delivered.

He has a strong background in the fields of international trade, business, economics/economic data analysis, public policy, crisis leadership and government relations.

His roles in the past are:

International operations Australian Trade Commission - based in the Australian Embassy in Wellington

Chief Operating Officer at the NZ Institute - Private Sector Think Tank

GM of the NZ National Party

CEO of the Property Council of NZ

Director of the Government Research Unit based in Parliament



 Quintin Lichtwark


After graduating Massey University with a Post-graduate diploma in Applied Science (Agriculture) in 1998, Quintin worked for Pacific Basin Exports, specialising in trading in agricultural technologies to South America.

Since 2007 Quintin has sharemilked on the family farm, Oakhill Guernseys.  Oakhill farm has been farming Guernseys since 1982 and currently supports 314 Guernsey stock. Quintin purchased his first Guernsey cow in 1988 and formed the Goldtop Stud and continues to have a long term dedication to the Guernsey breed. He has goals to not only succeed the family farm, but to also maintain the families achievements with the Guernsey breed by developing a strong breeding herd of Guernsey cows.

Quintin has been a member of the New Zealand Guernsey Association since the mid 1980’s, initially as a Junior Member and then for the last 20 years as a Senior Member. Currently he is a member of the Council and has undertaken numerous projects as required. Attendance of WGCF Conferences in Australia (1986), Canada (1989) and Guernsey Island (1992) and a continued following of subsequent conferences has set a foundation for the 2016 conference in Hamilton, New Zealand.



 Lyndon Cleggett

Lyndon was introduced to the Guernsey breed in 1964 when his father Gil Cleggett registered his first Guernsey. The family was involved with showing cattle but the primary reason for the first Guernsey's cows was to supply a local milk run.

In 1976 Lyndon supported his father in a share farmer role at Langhorne Creek. In 1981 the Guernsey herd was passed over to Lyndon & Joyce; the Brookleigh Guernsey herd continued to expand. In  1993 a tough decision was made to sell the Top 40 cows from the herd to help fund a pipeline for much needed water from Lake Alexandrina. In 1998 the family sold up and bought a beef/sheep property at Glencoe in the Lower South East of South Australia. This land they converted to a 300 milking herd dairy farm, and are still farming there today.

Lyndon has been involved with the dairy industry beyond the farm gate holding positions on South Australian Dairyman's Association for 20 years, 6 years of which as Vice President.  He also spent 4 years as Federal President of the Australian Guernsey Cattle Society, and held a position for 25years on the Type committee. He currently holds a position as a board member of ADHIS (Australian Dairy Herd Improvement Scheme).

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