Everything we do revolves around our team and our culture.

Our People


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.

Job opportunities

at Rylib Group

We offer great opportunities to grow within the Group and foster long term working relationships with every member of our team.