People on the move

People on the move in the grain and cropping industry

Grain Central, September 24, 2021

Who is on the move in the Australian grain and cropping industry? Catch up with our latest update of industry appointments, rewards, retirements and achievements.

  • GrainGrowers elects northern directors
  • Large takes helm of Grain Producers
  • Hart new CFO at CBH
  • ADM makes SA appointments
  • Interim CEO for Port of Brisbane
  • Hewitt heads QTLC
  • Moore ends 55-year pulse pathology career
  • GPSA Board changes
  • GGA appoints drought resilience director
  • Lachstock promotes Wyld
  • Science award applications open for agricultural innovators
  • AgriFutures Rural Women’s Award

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GrainGrowers elects northern directors

GRAINGROWERS members have elected northern region growers Nigel Corish and Ian Gourley to the Board of the national farmer representative body.

Nigel Corish

Mr Corish is the managing director of New Leaf Ag, farming at Condamine in southern Queensland and Mr Gourley has a significant farming enterprise at Narrabri in north west New South Wales.

“I would like to congratulate Nigel on his re-election to the GrainGrowers’ Board, his contribution over the past three years has been greatly valued, particularly his work driving our sustainability agenda. On behalf of the board, we warmly welcome Ian,” GrainGrowers chair Brett Hosking said.

“Ian has been part of our National Policy Group for many years, and we are excited to now welcome him to the Board of Directors.”

Ian Gourley

The organisation has farewelled long-serving board member Andrew Carberry who finished up his rotation after many years, as member of the Committee of Advice, Board director, and as chairman.

“Andrew’s contribution to GrainGrowers and the grains industry has been immense. Andrew’s relentless focus on delivering to a high standard and commitment to the organisation while at the same time running a highly successful farming operation have been really appreciated by all the team at GrainGrowers,” Mr Hosking said.

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Large takes helm of Grain Producers

WESTERN Australian farmer Barry Large has taken up the position as the new chair of national farmer representative organisation, Grain Producers Australia (GPA).

Mr Large farms at Miling and has served Australian growers on the GPA Board since its inception. He was also an integral part of the grower-driven process behind the representative body’s establishment in 2010.

Barry Large

He has been GPA deputy chair since 2013 and is also chair of GPA’s biosecurity committee which acts as a conduit for managing national biosecurity issues for Australian grain producers, working with key government and industry stakeholders.

His election also represents a significant change in leadership with long-serving GPA chair and Victorian farmer, Andrew Weidemann, Rupanyup, stepping down from the top role after eight years.

However, Mr Weidemann will remain on the GPA Board to continue his strong focus on policy and advocacy matters as GPA’s National R&D Spokesperson and managing strategic projects.

Mr Weidemann replaced inaugural GPA chair, Peter Mailler, who stepped down from the role in 2013, having also led the peak representative group’s development and establishment.

GPA northern region director, Andrew Earle, who farms at on the NSW-Queensland border, has been elected GPA’s new deputy chair. Mr Earle joined the Board in 2013 and plays an important role representing growers as GPA’s representative on the Grains Australia Steering Committee.

At this year’s annual general meeting held virtually, WA farmer Gerard Paganoni was returned to the Board as one of GPA’s two western region grower directors, to serve his second term.

A vote was held to appoint the two GPA grower directors for the northern region, with Mr Earle returned, while NSW farmer Matthew Madden, from Moree, was elected to serve his first term.

Mr Madden replaced Queensland farmer Luke Arbuckle. Mr Arbuckle, who farms at Bungunya, was first elected to the GPA Board in 2013 as a director for the northern region and has chaired the GPA audit committee.

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Hart new CFO at CBH

CBH Group has appointed Stewart Hart as its new chief financial officer, effective November 1.

Mr Hart has over 30 years’ experience as an international finance and commercial leader at BGC Australia, Western Power and BHP Billiton, where he worked in Australia and internationally.

Ben Macnamara

CBH Group acting chief executive officer Ben Macnamara said Mr Hart’s previous experience would contribute valuable expertise to the co-operative.

“He has a strong focus on people and relationships, which I believe will make him a good cultural fit for the group,” Mr Macnamara said.

Mr Macnamara thanked outgoing chief financial officer Doug Warden for his leadership of the finance, strategy and information technology teams.

“Doug has been a key member of our lead team and his expertise and capabilities have helped to navigate CBH through the past three years,” he said.

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ADM makes SA appointments

GRAIN marketer Nick Jordan has joined the ADM team to manage its grower origination program in South Australia.

Originally from Riverton, Mr Jordan joins ADM following six years with Viterra. His early experience spanned grower communications and logistics with Viterra’s storage-and-handling business, a solid grounding for his move to its marketing and accumulation team in 2018.

“ADM is excited to have Nick on board to manage our South Australian grower-origination program. Mr Jordan’s industry experience and long-held relationships with local grain and pulse growers are a great fit for ADM,” the company’s group accumulation manager, Damian Bradford, said.

“Our local operations are evolving in step with industry, so it is imperative we draw on local SA talent to drive our business forward and continue the evolution process.”

Mr Jordan is taking over the grower-origination program in SA from Zac Ellis and more recently George Treloar, who have both accepted internal promotions at the company’s Australian head office in Adelaide.

“ADM is creating different avenues of getting grain to port and exporting grain from SA and that’s exciting,’’ Mr Jordan said.

“It’s good to talk with growers from that perspective.’’

In other ADM changes, Fred Samuel has been appointed manager of grower administration.

New ADM recruits Fred Samuel and Nick Jordan will lead the company’s SA grain accumulation and grower administration this harvest.

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Interim CEO for Port of Brisbane

FOLLOWING the resignation of Port of Brisbane Pty Ltd (PBPL) chief executive officer, Roy Cummins, PBPL chief financial officer, Neil Stephens, has been appointed interim CEO.

Roy Cummins

PBPL chairman Guy Cowan thanked Mr Cummins for his service as CEO.

“Roy has provided six years of dedicated leadership of our company, where he not only ensured excellent stewardship of our asset, but also delivered key value accretive asset enhancement projects,” Mr Cowan said.

“On behalf of the Board of Directors and the entire organisation, I’d like to thank Roy for his significant contribution, and wish him well in his future endeavours.”

Mr Cummins said he was proud to lead the PBPL team for the past six years, during which time major capital projects including the Port Drive updates and the Brisbane International Cruise Terminal were delivered.

“Most of all, I’m proud of the team I built and led; I thank them for all their efforts and their support.”

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Hewitt heads QTLC

QUEENSLAND Transport and Logistics Council (QTLC) has appointed agriculture policy professional, Lauren Hewitt, as its chief executive officer.

Lauren Hewitt

Ms Hewitt’s appointment follows the appointment of its outgoing CEO Renata Berglas as Queensland business leader for the Australian Road Research Board.

QTLC chair Neil Findlay said Ms Hewitt brought extensive advocacy experience in Queensland to the role, and thanked Ms Berglas for her invaluable contribution.

“Renata’s vision and skills, particularly relating to framing the future energy needs of the sector, will be sorely missed,” Mr Findlay said.

“However, we are very much looking forward to working with Lauren to map a path forward between government and the freight and logistics sector in Queensland.”

Ms Hewitt was formerly the general manager of policy for AgForce, and has worked in the energy sector developing new and emerging technologies.

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Moore ends 55-year pulse pathology career

NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) senior plant pathologist, Kevin Moore, is calling it a day on his stellar career after 55 years of contribution to the nation’s grains and pulse industry (see earlier Grain Central story).

Dr Moore is one of the longest serving plant pathologists in Australia, dedicating over half a century of hard work, research, development, innovation and extension to deliver sustainable farming systems.

Among his many achievements, the Tamworth-based pulse specialist was instrumental in developing integrated disease management strategies to assist chickpea growers to respond to a national outbreak of Ascochyta blight in 1998.

Dr Moore’s research findings and his collaboration with the NSW DPI chickpea breeding program has resulted in the release of varieties that have increased Ascochyta blight resistance which has supported the expansion of chickpea production in northern NSW.

He has also contributed to disease management strategies for significant pathogens, including Phytophthora, Botrytis and Sclerotinia in chickpea.

Dr Moore’s efforts have been acknowledged with numerous accolades, including the 2002 GRDC Seed of Light Award for excellence in communication in grains industry research; 2005 Pulse Australia Achievement Award for outstanding contribution to the Australian Pulse Industry; 2010 Brownhill Cup as part of the chickpea breeding team in recognition of their outstanding contribution into the research, development and extension of chickpea breeding and disease management; and 2017 Lester Burgess Award for Diagnostics and Extension by the Australasian Plant Pathology Society Management Committee.

Hayley Wilson has been appointed to maintain pathology capacity at Tamworth and will be the main contact for chickpea growers for any diagnostic support following Dr Moore’s retirement.

Kevin Moore

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GPSA Board changes

AT ITS annual general meeting in August, Grain Producers South Australia (GPSA) farewelled producer-elected director and Eyre Peninsula grower Jared Sampson, who retired from the GPSA Board after four years of service.

Adrian McCabe

Both Adrian McCabe, Hamley Bridge, and Dion Woolford, Kimba, were re-elected to the Board, and Mr McCabe was also re-elected chair.

Eyre Peninsula grower Peta Willmott was appointed to the GPSA Board. Ms Willmott’s appointment follows the retirement of Mr Sampson.

Ms Willmott, who farms at Koongawa with her husband Dean, said her priorities for the grains industry in SA were well aligned with those of GPSA.

“A profitable and sustainable grains industry is what I am passionate about – so I am really looking forward to being able to contribute further to this cause through my new role with GPSA,” she said.

Ms Willmott also advocates for regional development, in terms of employment, services, infrastructure and education.

“The grains industry, like other rural industries, is experiencing a massive shortage in labour. We need to work co-operatively with all levels of government to improve infrastructure and services in the regions, particularly housing, to encourage people to move to the regions to fill the ever-increasing employment vacancies.”

Ms Willmott is treasurer of Buckleboo Farm Improvement Group and a councillor with the District Council of Kimba.

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GGA appoints drought resilience director

THE Grower Group Alliance (GGA) has announced the appointment of Tom Davidson to the role of director of the South-West WA Drought Resilience Adoption and Innovation Hub (SWWA Hub).

Tom Davidson

“Tom brings to the position significant experience and expertise in strategy, innovation and commercial management, and the GGA is pleased to have him on board to lead this important new initiative,” GGA chief executive officer Niki Curtis said.

“His skills and capability will be ideal for overseeing the SWWA Hub which aims to improve the drought resilience and preparedness of local farmers and regional communities.”

Prior to joining the GGA, Mr Davidson was Head of Strategy & Digital at Elders Limited – an ASX 200 listed agribusiness.

He also has extensive previous experience from running his own management consulting business and through roles with PwC, Strategy& and iiNet.

The SWWA Hub will provide networks for researchers, farmers, communities, First Nations people and other stakeholders to work together to enhance drought resilient practices.

It is one of eight Hubs established around the country through the Australian Government’s $5 billion Future Drought Fund.

The SWWA Hub is led by the GGA, is a producer-led network that earlier this year was awarded an $8 million Australian Government investment to lead the Hub until at least 2024.

Hub partners are providing cash and in-kind co-contributions worth several million dollars, and represent all segments of the supply chain for WA’s southern agricultural growing region.

Visit the SWWA Hub on the GGA website: https://www.gga.org.au/activity/drought-innovation-hub

Information about the Australian Government Future Drought Fund is available at: www.agriculture.gov.au/fdf

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Lachstock promotes Wyld

HENRY Wyld has been promoted to Lachstock Consulting dairy relationship manager in Melbourne.

He joined Lachstock early this year with degrees in law and finance from the University of Adelaide and several years’ experience in banking.

Mr Wyld has filled the role vacated by Louis Davidson who, after two-and-a-half years with Lachstock, has taken a position in Melbourne with Rabobank wholesale corporate banking.

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Science award applications open for agricultural innovators

GRANT applications are now open for the 2022 Science and Innovation Awards for Young People in Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry.

The competitive annual grants program supports young Australians aged 18 to 35 by funding projects that will benefit Australia’s primary industries.

In partnership with Australia’s leading research and development corporations and industry associations, there are 12 industry categories: biosecurity and digital innovation; cotton; eggs and poultry (layers); established, new and emerging rural industries; fisheries and aquaculture; forest and wood products; grains; horticulture; pork; red meat processing; viticulture and oenology; and wool.

Each category includes a $22,000 grant, and winners of those are then invited to apply for the Minister for Agriculture and Northern Australia’s Award, which provides additional funding for an extended research project.

Applications close 5pm AEST Friday 1 October 2021.

Apply at: https://www.agriculture.gov.au/abares/conferences-events/scienceawards

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AgriFutures Rural Women’s Award

APPLICATIONS are now open for the 2022 AgriFutures Rural Women’s Award and the new AgriFutures Rural Women’s Acceleration Grant.

The Rural Women’s Award is Australia’s leading Award empowering and celebrating the inclusive and courageous leadership of women involved in Australia’s rural and emerging industries, businesses, and communities.

The award has a revised and tightened criteria for 2022 which requires applicants to have an existing project, business or program which falls into a Community, Collaboration or Commercial category.

Each state and territory winner receives a $15,000 bursary provided by Platinum Sponsor Westpac, as well as access to professional development opportunities and national Alumni networks.

The AgriFutures Rural Women’s Acceleration Grant is a new program developed to foster growth and development in women involved in Australia’s rural and emerging industries, businesses and communities.

It will run separately to the Rural Women’s Award, however it will complement the process, aiming to provide a leadership and development opportunity to women who are not quite ready to apply for the Award.

Seven Australian women per annum will be granted with a learning and development bursary of $7,000 to enable them to bring their idea, cause or vision to life.

The AgriFutures Rural Women’s Acceleration Grant encourages innovation and problem solving, looking for women with an idea, cause or vision that benefits rural or emerging industries, businesses or communities. The idea needs to have a community, collaboration or commercial focus and align to the values of the Grant.

Applications for both the AgriFutures Rural Women’s Award and the new AgriFutures Rural Women’s Acceleration Grant are now open and close on Friday, 8 October 2021.

Apply at www.agrifutures.com.au/rwa or www.agrifutures.com.au/acceleration-grant

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