John Nicholls


After completing a Bachelor of Agriculture, majoring in production and management and a Post Graduate Diploma in Ag Science from Massey University in 1989 I embarked on my OE.  Whilst in England I worked on two major cropping farms and returned to New Zealand with Kelly in 1992.

I began working for Ballance Agri-Nutrients as a Sales Rep for the Pukekohe region and then progressed to a Sales Manager’s role at Wrightsons for the North Island fertiliser division.

In 1996 Kelly and I purchased a sheep farm in the Wairarapa and converted this to dairy – I was very hands on until I completed the Rabobank Executive Development Programme in 2002.  I realised quickly that to grow the business I needed to get out of the shed, employ top people to run the day to day aspect of the farm so I could focus on the big picture and drive the business to produce the results we needed to get the necessary traction for growth.

A few highlights during the early years for Kelly and I were winning the NZ Westpac Kiwi Farmer of the Year – Lower North Island Regional Winners for 2001 and also the NZ Westpac Kiwi Farmer of the Year – Communication Award that same year. 

I actively run the business in conjunction with our Senior Management team, concentrate on making sure the business runs on an active balance sheet,  and always looking for opportunities for growth.    

I am very passionate about our industry and enjoy developing my skills.  Outside of Rylib Group I have enjoyed being on the Fonterra Shareholders Council (2009-2011) and are continuing to develop directorship roles.  I am Chair of Mayfield Hinds Irrigation Ltd, Chair of Irrigo Centre Ltd and the Advisory Board Chair of the Quigley Group.


John Nicholls

Contact Details

P: 027 541 6117