Meet the Team

Peter and Chelley Howe

Managing Directors

Peter and Chelley work together to ensure that Rock Ridge Farming continues to operate smoothly. You’ll find Peter out and about on the various farms, monitoring the crops and getting updates from the Farm Managers. Occasionally you’ll find Peter in the office – usually when Chelley has decided that he should be reminded of how painful all the emails and paperwork can be and drags him in from the paddock. Chelley is mostly tied to the desk and deals with the project-management and day-to-day operations of the business.

Thomas Howe

Operations Management

Thomas’ role on the farm is as an Operations Manager. He works closely with Peter and is heavily involved in the day-to-day management of the farming organisation. Thomas also manages our Willows Road avocado orchard. Thomas was heavily involved with the planting of the Willows Road Farm in late 2018. Since then, Tom’s job has been monitoring the growth of these avocado trees and ensuring they have all the essential nutrients and water required for optimum health. Thomas also assists with machinery operations on the other farms and enjoys developing land prior to planting.

Jess Leeming

Operations Management

Jess generally works out of our Main Office in Atherton and spends her days guiding the office-based team, managing development projects and liaising with other managers to ensure the smooth operations of the organisation. With the expansion of our office-based team in recent years, Jess delegated various aspects of her role (such as Seasonal Workforce Coordination, WHS Compliance, Packhouse Management and other responsibilities) to newer team members. She now prides herself on being able to generally assist and guide those responsible for these tasks while focusing on the continued growth of Rock Ridge Farming.

David Howe

Operations Management

David’s day-to-day role as an Operations Manager involves liaising with farm managers and assisting with the coordination and training of staff across multiple properties. He generally oversees paddock-based operations such as spraying, fertigation, watering, harvesting and the like. However, he is also very handy when it comes to operating and servicing machinery across various farm locations.

David Ruiz

General Manager – Bananas

David joined the Rock Ridge team with roughly 15 years of banana experience under his belt. David has been a huge contributor to the success of our banana operations and has been involved in each step along the way, from planting the first banana tree to packing our first 1,000,000 cartons. David oversees approximately 200 employees year-round across our four banana farm locations. His unparalleled knowledge in growing, producing and packing bananas is invaluable to our operations and gives Peter and Chelley peace of mind knowing that David has it all under control.

James Leeming

Packshed Manager

James is the Manager of our avocado packshed facility throughout the season. He’s tasked with the tricky job of ensuring both the sorting machine and packshed crew are working efficiently, and making sure we’re sending good-quality fruit to our customers when and how they want it. James manages a team of approximately 20 people within the shed, and also liaises with our Avo Farm Managers and other growers to ensure we have the right amount of fruit coming into the packshed each day.

Georgie Serra

Office Manager

Georgie joined Rock Ridge in 2012 as Chelley’s right-hand-lady. In earlier years, they managed all aspects of the payroll and administration between themselves. Now, Georgie has stepped into a management role within the admin team, ensuring all the administration staff work together to make sure nothing is missed. Having been with the team such a long time, Georgie has learned a lot about Rock Ridge and plays a vital role in our operations.

Hannah Lindsay

Financial Operations

Hannah makes the complex financial side of the operation seem like a breeze and is forever completing forecasts and budgets for Peter and Chelley. She is an integral part of the Rock Ridge team who turns simple numbers into meaningful data, providing us with the information we need to make decisions for Rock Ridge Farming’s future. She also has experience with HR and Payroll, making her a very handy addition to the team.

Monique Karsten

Operations Analyst

Monique wears many hats in her role as an Operations Analyst, however her primary responsibility lies in collecting and analysing data to inform management decisions. Whether it’s predicting crop yields, measuring carbon output, scheduling harvest operations, tracking input usage and costings, or assessing fruit pricing performance – Monique is your go-to! Turning this data into comprehensive and meaningful information for relevant stakeholders is what Monique does best. She also assist in various other areas of the business such as payroll and accounts.

Ashleagh Bergmann

Seasonal Workforce Coordinator

Ashleagh is our Seasonal Workforce Coordinator, ensuring we have the right number of staff to meet our fluctuating growing, harvesting and packing requirements throughout the year. With a mixture of local, backpacker and Pacific Islander employees, Ashleagh’s role is to recruit, onboard and meet the welfare needs of Rock Ridge Farming’s seasonal workforce – and what a great job she does!

Hannah Wood

Payroll Officer

Hannah is our amazing Payroll Officer who handles the enormous task of ensuring that our 200-300 employees are paid on time each week. She is also the superwoman who completes all our employment contracts and stays up to date with legislation changes.

Abi Vickary

Compliance Officer

Abi is our Compliance Officer and is responsible for ensuring our company’s practices are compliant with all relevant legislation, licensing requirements and industry accreditations. Abi’s role involves interpreting and implementing legislative documents, organising all internal and external audits, promoting a safe working environment, conducting risk assessments, and implementing controls to prevent incidents in the workplace.

Jess Ryan

Welfare Officer

As Welfare Officer, Jess is the first point of contact for our seasonal workers whenever they have a query, illness or any other kind of wellbeing concern.  Jess is responsible for arranging and assisting with medical appointments, setting up workers’ bank accounts and eftpos cards, aiding them to send money home to their families, monitoring their recovery from injuries and illnesses, and much more! Jess is the seasonal workers’ ‘Mum away from home’ and it’s clear to see they love her for it.

Jade Irving

Operations Supervisor

Jade’s role as Operations Supervisor involves liaising with farm managers and agronomists, conducting field checks, analysing fertiliser program and spray schedules, monitoring pest pressures, assessing moisture levels and checking other crop-health factors. She monitors and analyses data and information to ensure continued improvement within the business. Jade also assists with the general operations and compliance for Rock Ridge.

Zoey Wilce

Administration Officer

Zoey is likely to be the friendly voice you’ll hear on the other end of the phone when you call through to our Main Office! Her day-to-day tasks include responding to general enquiries, entering data, monitoring stock levels, ordering consumables, providing general administration support within the office, and smashing out the other 101 tasks that come her way each day. Zoey also helps out with various projects such as setting up accommodations, pricing reviews, and much more!


Banana Administration Officers

Emily and Alina spend their days making sure critical tasks are completed across the various banana farms to ensure our operations continue to run smoothly. Their time is generally spent ordering stock, filling out required records, entering production data into business systems, investigating incidents, assisting with return to work coordination, and completing many other vital tasks! Emily and Alina also assist with quality control in the packing shed to ensure specifications are met.


Banana Farm Managers

Our Banana Farm Managers include Billy, Matt and Oleks M. These men are each responsible for their own sites, but also share their knowledge and skills across all the banana farms. Each of these Managers has years of experience in all tasks involved in the planting, growing, harvesting and packing of bananas. They coordinate and liaise with their teams each day, ensuring that every job is completed to the highest standard.



Oleks M

Avocado Farm Managers

We currently have a team of Avocado Farm Managers at Rock Ridge. Paul, Peter, Mark, Jack and John work together across several farms to ensure that the correct growing techniques are being implemented.

These dedicated farmers work tirelessly to ensure that our avocado trees are getting just the right amount of water and nutrients to produce those delicious avocados that Rock Ridge has become known for. This demanding role ramps up during the avocado picking season when these managers must supervise the harvesting process on top of their usual tasks. This is no small task when the additional 60-80 employees come onboard in early February to assist with the harvest.


Dispatch Managers

Scott and Mil perform the difficult task of allocating our banana orders each day, among their other leadership responsibilities. These guys are responsible for making sure we fill all of our orders each week, and that they arrive at their destination at the exact right time! This is no easy feat.


Maintenance Team

Julian and Ben work together to ensure that all of the farm vehicles and machinery are regularly serviced and maintained. Whether it’s the banana packing machine, tractors, water pumps, EWP’s, forklifts or even irrigators, these guys can fix it all. Ben and Julian work across all the farms and are also often involved in setting up the paddocks and irrigation on new farms.