BrightSIDE Speakers & Presenters

Fred Hoekstra

Fred Hoekstra is NZ’s only qualified hoof trimming instructor. He immigrated from the Netherlands in the early 1990’s and introduced the functional hoof trimming method to NZ. This has proven a very effective method for NZ farming systems to deal with lame cows and for preventative trimming.

Fred has a passion and talent in teaching people hoof care, is easy to understand and has an extensive knowledge on every aspect of lameness and hoof trimming. Fred will do hoof trimming demonstrations and speak on a number of hoof health related issues.

Sarah Watson

Sarah has led and managed her own teams and held senior HR Manager roles in companies with 500-1500 staff. She is an experienced trainer and coach capable of developing and delivering training on a range of people and systems topics.

Experience in sharemilking and farm supervision for large-scale operations means Sarah has a real-world understanding of the challenges leaders and managers face when leading their teams.

Sarah was contracted to develop, manage and deliver DairyNZ’s FarmTune® programme. The programme has been successfully delivered throughout Southland, Canterbury and Waikato. Farmers continue to report positive outcomes for their people and their businesses, including increased productivity, safety, time management and team engagement. 

Trevor Gee

Trevor has managed and developed a variety of different dairy farming systems in New Zealand, Ireland, and the UK. He has an excellent understanding of grassland management for profitable milk production. Trevor has a real passion for the dairy industry with areas of expertise in pasture management, reproduction, systems analysis and group facilitation.

Trevor has a wide range of skills and experience across the dairy industry which he uses to create solutions to problems he encounters on a daily basis, with a key focus on profit. Trevor lives near St Andrews in South Canterbury with his wife Trudy and two children Hannah and Sam. He enjoys mountain biking, hunting, fishing and exploring the harder to reach places in New Zealand

Tony Dench
Synlait Milk

Tony’s passion for animals goes back to his childhood. With dreams of becoming a veterinarian, dairy farming drew him in. Tony has managed dairy farms in New Zealand and Australia utilising various dairy farming systems and developing a practical farming skill set along with an acute understanding of the challenges dairy farmers and their cattle face. A decade within DairyNZ’s Animal Care team allowed Tony to focus his passion for the care and wellbeing of dairy cattle alongside supporting farmers and rural professionals lifting their animal care knowledge. This support of farmers and dairy cattle continues in his current role with Synlait Milk.

Tony has a wide range of skills and experience across the dairy sector with a passion and talent for teaching practical animal care knowledge in a fun and engaging approach.