Being part of the Halter movement is a journey Collegians Steve Crowhurst (Williams 1996-2000) and James Hunt (Hall 2009-2013) are incredibly proud to share.
Halter is a smart collar device allowing farmers to shift cattle remotely, set virtual boundary fences and proactively monitor animal health through a state-of-the-art software application.
“What’s impressive about Halter is it’s a product where farmers are part of the development. We can improve our technology and then send updates to the customer with the touch of a button. Our customers are always up to date with the latest information,” says Steve.
Despite different academic and career backgrounds, Steve and James have wound up working for one of the fastest-growing agribusinesses in New Zealand. While attending St Paul’s, Steve Crowhurst excelled in the sciences even undertaking exams an academic year ahead of himself. Embracing his passion for the subject, Steve completed a Bachelor of Science, with a double major in chemistry and textiles from the University of Otago.
Using his textiles qualifications, Steve began his career in the manufacturing sector, advising major global brands such as ADIDAS and Quicksilver. With a passion for textiles and a natural gift of the gab, Business Development was the next logical step for the professional.
After working abroad for several years between China and the United Kingdom, Steve eventually returned home. Steve’s experience in sales, alongside a childhood spent on the family farm, meant he was the perfect fit for the job as Head of Business Development role at Halter when it became available.
He describes it as ‘a perfect marriage.’
Steve is currently building up a sales team to work with farmers across the nation, introducing them to the Halter technology. As the product gains more exposure around the country, he believes it won’t be long before the company launches the product globally.
For James Hunt, he immersed himself in chemistry, physics and mathematics while attending
St Paul’s, preparing himself for engineering at tertiary level. Initially, believing civil engineering would be his academic path, James instead completed a degree in Chemical and Process Engineering from the University of Canterbury.
After landing his first role out of university as a Technical Assistant of Operations at Tatua Dairy Company, James gained valuable experience working within the production line, optimising processes and productivity. With a piquing interest in the agricultural sector, particularly in the technology space, Hunt was eager to be part of the revolution when the role of Fleet Operations Lead at Halter came up.
After taking on the role in early 2021, his job continues to evolve as the company rapidly grows. Confidently leading a team of three, James’ responsibilities include planning the collar deployment,
scheduling, warehouse and stock management, and quality assurance.
“My fleet are the collars. From the moment the collar leaves the factory to when it gets fitted, I am responsible for them,” says James.
Nearly doubling the number of employees over the last year, Halter recruits only the best business developers, app developers, engineers, software developers, customer service and marketers on offer. With colleagues hailing from NASA, Rocket Lab, McLaren and Google, the workplace often buzzes with
"Working with sophisticated technologies attracts the most talented minds. This continually grows the team in the best way possible," says Steve.
The tight-knit culture of Halter means there is a real sense of urgency for everyone to play their part. Staff are labelled as ‘leaders in the field’, and both men describe the environment as ‘unique.’
“It’s exciting to be part of a business that could potentially end up on every farm worldwide – the opportunities within the technology space are endless,” says James.
With no sign of slowing down for Steve, James or Halter, it is undoubtedly a thrilling time to be part of the movement.