Behind the bull fence with Johan Fourie

category Our People

Production Farm Manager at the CRV Bellevue Production and Logistics Centre

It’s not an area people often see.  In fact, it’s a quarantined area with strict biosecurity procedures in place, so it’s completely closed off to visitors.  Yet, the bull farm, animal barns and semen collection facilities are often seen as the most fascinating parts of CRV Ambreed’s business.

Johan Fourie is the production farm manager at the CRV Bellevue Production and Logistics Centre.  Together with his team, they continue a legacy of delivering 50-years of proven performance to farmers through their exceptional stockmanship skills, patience, and understanding of animal behaviour and health.

Johan always gets a kick telling people he works in the “sex industry,” especially unsuspecting townies.

Originally from South Africa, he’s responsible for the semen harvesting, animal health care and wellbeing, and general semen production of CRV’s bulls.

“It takes someone who is dependable and able to think on their feet to work so closely with bulls,” he says.

There are about 160-180 bulls on the farm at any one time, with a maximum capacity of 250.  The farm is set up in different parts; the internal barns and paddocks make up the EU Facility and the outer parts of the farm are the isolation and pre-quarantine areas.

Johan and his team usually start each day at 7:30am, bringing between 15 and 35 rostered bulls into the collection facility. It takes on average 10 minutes to collect each bull, and a single collection usually produces anywhere from 600 to 1000 straws.

Starting part-time while he was studying at Waikato University, Johan has been with CRV since June 2011.  He began as a farm technician and loved dealing with the stock and enjoyed the CRV Ambreed environment.

After exams in 2011, Johan was offered and took a full-time role.  He became 2IC in 2013 with former farm manager Dave Smith as his mentor, and was involved in the development of the CRV Bellevue Production and Logistics Centre when CRV relocated from its facilities on Cambridge Road.

Eventually an opportunity arose for Johan to step in to manage the farm permanently.  He continues to study but has changed focus from Business Management to Agri Commerce extramurally through Massey university.

“I enjoy working in this position; I want to continue developing my management skills with CRV and aim to always be involved in production management.”

Johan Fourie’s story is part of a series of client and staff stories celebrating CRV Ambreed’s 50th year of proven performance in New Zealand. 

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