Jono was born in Dunedin and grew up in Duntroon, North Otago in a family of agricultural spraying and sheep dipping contractors where the smell of chemicals was a normal part of life.
At age 11 Jono got his first job on a local dairy farm, where he worked every weekend and during school holidays.
At age 15 Jono was deemed disruptive at school and was offered the opportunity to leave, as it was clear school was not a place that supported his learning style and interests.
That started Jono’s farming career, in which he thrived.
Jono climbed the ranks within the agriculture industry, working in Dairy, Arable and Sheep and Beef, becoming an award-winning farm manager.
After a car accident which left Jono with a broken Femur and kneecap, Jono discovered he did not do well sitting down.
Rather than wait for full recovery Jono decided to pursue a less physically demanding career in the agricultural spraying and fertilizer industry where he started as a machine operator and became the manager of a ground and aerial chemical and fertilizer application company where he became well known as a go agronomist and a respected professional in that field.
Jono had 2 beautiful children during this time. It was not easy working the big hours and raising a family.
Jono was also watching the health of some family members involved with the spraying business decline, respiratory issues from people that hadn’t ever smoked. Also the rivers Jono grew up swimming in became dry and polluted, Jono knew deep down the way he had been farming had something to do with it.