Born in 1976 and brought up on a farm in Devon, Rich was always going to be a farmer. After school he went to Seale Hayne College the agriculture campus of Plymouth University.
Having caught the NZ bug during a gap year he emigrated in 2004 with his wife Lou having gained experience in the UK as a large scale arable and dairy youngstock manager (Turney Farms) and then working for 'The Gittisham Estate' expanding their Ruby Red beef herd and marketing the meat through local farm shops and farmers markets.
In NZ they went straight into dairying, first into farm management and then as lower order sharemilkers, followed a year later as 50/50 sharemilkers (where they owned the 280 cow herd). Rich's last position with Lou was as major shareholders (equity partners) in a 400ha dairy farm on which they also sharemilked 850 cows.
Rich and Lou's progression in the dairying industry was impressive but achievable because of their hard work, the structure of the NZ dairy industry and the abundance of opportunities to share farm. In all of his roles Rich was keen to mentor and develop his staff and had recently started to work as a networker for Fonterra.