Meet the team

Samantha Tennent

WelFarm General Manager

Armed with a Bachelor in Veterinary Technology from Massey University, Samantha’s career has predominantly surrounded the dairy sector. She has been an AI technician, a Farm Solutions Manager at LIC and the programme manager for InCalf as a Developer at DairyNZ as well as a stint in the AgriMedia world.

She stepped into the GM role in February 2021 and is pulling on all sorts of network connections to help raise WelFarm’s profile among the dairy sector. 


Jo Howes

WelFarm Resource Manager

Originally from the UK, Jo was involved with the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food as well as an AI technician before working in roles in vocational training, including the meat and poultry industry and the land-based sector. She moved to New Zealand in 2007 with her husband and worked with LIC for a number of years across various technological products. 

She has also worked with the Dairy Women’s Network and is the president of Mt Pirongia Pony Club. Her role with WelFarm is to support member clinics and onboarding new ones as they sign up. She is also available for clinics to hire to help deliver their WelFarm programme.

Ashton Nichols

WelFarm Resource Manager

Currently studying to be a Rural Animal Technician through Otago Polytech, Ashton has been involved in a range of roles, including administration type work and she spent a season in Methven calf rearing and Dairy Farm assisting but she found the isolation a bit daunting! 

She is the whizz behind our social media and is building her knowledge to support our member clinics. She will also be available for clinics to utilise to help deliver their WelFarm programme.

Mark Bryan

XLVets NZ Managing Director

Mark qualified from Glasgow in 1988, and spent the next seven years moving between intensive dairy practice in the North of England and climbing mountains. A stint in New Zealand convinced him that this was the best place to do both, so in 1995 he moved to the Waikato in the North Island.

In 1997 he moved South to head up the dairy side of Central Southland Vets in Winton. He became a director in 2001 by which time the practice had doubled in vet numbers and quadrupled in dairy farm numbers. In 2005 Winton and Gore vets joined to form VetSouth, in an attempt to create a well-resourced clinic environment with top clients that would attract and retain the best vets in the country.

Mark has been instrumental in developing the links with XLVets in the UK and is visionary in his thinking.

WelFarm has been designed by XLVets NZ and formally endorsed by the New Zealand Veterinary Association (NZVA). Running on New Zealand Dairy farms since 2013.

MEMBER PRACTICES