Meet our nominees for Board director. 

Two Director's are retiring by rotation at the next AGM.  There are three nominees going for these two positions, see following profile information for each candidate.  Voting is now open, to vote click the button below and use your personlised voting login credentials provided by


Rt. Hon. David Carter

Member of Parliament / Farmer


Successful farming business owner for 47 years. Senior and respected participant of the New Zealand National Party Caucus. Current Member of Parliament but intend to retire in 12 months, completing a 26 year political career. Member of the International Parliamentary Union Committee on Human Rights, based in Geneva. I am responsible for investigating human rights abuses of fellow parliamentarians around the world.

I have chaired numerous select committees as a Member of Parliament and became a Senior Cabinet Minister 2008 to 2012. I was involved in all major decisions of Government at that time. Elected Speaker of the NZ Parliament at the start of 2013, until the end of 2017. Effectively the country’s major governance role.

As a sole trading farming enterprise I have purchased, developed, farmed and sold 7 farm properties over a 47 year farming career. Currently farm a 10,000 stock unit sheep and beef breeding and fattening operation, spread over 3 properties: Manor Farm and Burnt Hollow on Banks Peninsula, and Cat Hill in North Canterbury. After obtaining a B.Agr.Sc degree in 1974 I was founder and managing director of NZ Transplant Breeders Ltd, New Zealand’s first commercial beef embryo transfer company that achieved a turnover of $1 million in its second year of operation.

• Speaker of NZ Parliament 2013 to 2017.
• Minister of Agriculture, Biosecurity, Economic Development, Forestry, and Primary Industries 2008 to 2012.
• Minister of Customers 1998 to 1999.
• Associate Minister of Revenue and Education 1998 to 1999.
• Member of the NZ National Party caucus 1994 to current day.

Though city born and bred, my passion was always to be a farmer. Armed with a B.Agr.Sc from Lincoln, I started farming at West Melton in 1972. I established New Zealand’s first commercial embryo transplant company to help introduce the new “exotic” cattle breeds to Australia and New Zealand. But Politics was my other passion. I was elected to Parliament in 1994, and on the pathway to achieve my ambition—Minister of Agriculture. This was finally interrupted when Parliament elected me to be Speaker, a privileged position that I held for five years. But, after 25 years as an MP, it’s time to let another generation have a go. It’s a chance to offer my experience to my first passion—NZ agriculture. Ruralco has a unique history. I believe with good governance, good management and a dedicated staff, it has potential to deliver even greater benefits to its shareholders.

Jessie Chan-Dorman

Dairy Farmer / Director

Jessie Chan-Dorman was elected to the ATS Board of Directors in 2013. During her six years on the Board, Jessie has contributed her governance experience, along with her extensive agribusiness background and diversity of thought. Jessie is currently on the Board of Ngai Tahu Farming Ltd, Alpine Energy Ltd and the Bio-protection Research Centre. Jessie is a member of the Institute of Directors and New Zealand Asian Leaders.

Jessie has previously served on the Board of Connetics Ltd, DairyNZ Ltd (as an Associate Director), Business Mid Canterbury and Federated Farmers Mid Canterbury.

Jessie and her husband Hayden lease 420 ha at Dorie, milking 850 cows. She has an Honours degree in Animal Science and has worked in a range of rural professional positions over a fifteen-year period. Jessie and Hayden have a six-year-old son, Adam and 10-month-old son, Noah.

Tony Coltman

Farmer / Director

Tony was elected to the board in 2016 and is the Chairman of the Health & Safety Committee. He graduated from Lincoln University with a B.Com.Ag and a Diploma in Farm Management (with Distinction) and completed the Fonterra Governance Development programme in 2016. He is also a member of the NZ Institute of Directors.

Tony has over 25-years’ experience in corporate leadership and advisory roles, both in New Zealand and abroad.

Tony is Equity Manager and Director of a 3,400 cow equity partnership in Dunsandel and is a Director and shareholder for Focal Dairies, a 3,500 cow pasture based dairy operation in Missouri, USA. He has held several senior management positions in rural banking, in both New Zealand and Australia. He was also the General Manager for Development and Extension for Dexcel (now DairyNZ) prior to spending 4.5 years as General Manager for Focal Dairies. Tony has a passion for rural business, both inside and outside the farm gate, and is dedicated to the sustainability of dairy farming. He is particularly interested in creating profit while protecting the environment and is an active leader for the highly successful Forages for Reduced Nitrogen Leaching Programme. Tony and his wife, Dana, have four children between them. Tony enjoys hunting, motorbiking and skiing, both snow and water, when time allows.

As the organisation evolves and implements its strategy to grow and continue to be competitive, it needs consistent governance. After three years, I have a solid understanding of the business, which will strengthen the significance of my contribution going forward. As Chairman of the H&S committee, I’ve been pleased to see the organisation begin to evolve into health and wellbeing. But there is still a lot to do to lead in this space as we do in the safety area. I also bring unique contributions to the board. Most importantly, a strong, hands-on farmer perspective ensuring shareholders’ interests are at the forefront of everything we do. My international farming and banking knowledge, as well as strong financial focus is also an asset. Last, I believe we have a role to play in supporting farmers through the myriad of changes coming and I am passionate about seeing the farming sector thrive.

Meet Our Nominees For the remuneration committee

Mark Saunders

Mark Saunders (43) Farmer of Lagmhor offer myself for election to the Remuneration Committee.

I feel I have a sound perspective of Board requirements and skills to contribute to the Remuneration Committee.

I served on the Ruralco Board for six years and am presently a Director of  irrigation co-op MHV Water. Being away from the Board and Ruralco commitments for the past year I can offer an Independent view with recent experience.

I have up to date, first hand knowledge of modern risks not exclusive to: health and safety, financial, Anti Money Laundering and liability's a Director takes on.

I am aware of time commitments in preparation and commitment to personal development and training. The sacrifices to family and personal business one makes as a Director of a farmers coop.


Gary Wilson

Having been a member of the Ashburton Trading Society for almost 25 years, I understand that our Directors need to be adequately rewarded for their input into our co-operative.

The remuneration should be able to attract Directors with sufficient governance experience to ensure the prosperity of our co-operative and maximise shareholder value.

Having past and current governance roles in our community, I believe I have the skills to ensure that the appropriate remuneration levels are set correctly.

Account Selector