People on the move

People on the move in the grain and cropping sector

Grain Central, October 28, 2020

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.

  • Wiese elected GIWA chair
  • Palmquist joins TeleSense Board
  • Luxton continues lead role at CropLife
  • Cotton RDC appoints directors
  • Morton to lead irrigators
  • AgriFutures directors announced
  • Griffiths takes reins of fodder industry
  • New directors for Grower Group Alliance
  • Cassidy joins BOM
  • Bulkeley new FarmLink CEO
  • ADM appoints Muirhead
  • Rabobank’s new southern manager
  • Queensland Ag Awards
  • Business kick-start for young farmers

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Wiese elected GIWA chair

AT its annual general meeting in early October, the Grain Industry Association of Western Australia (GIWA) elected Narrogin farmer, Ashley Wiese, as the new chair, and InterGrain chief executive officer, Tress Walmsley, as deputy chair.

Ashley Wiese

Mr Wiese will continue as chair of the GIWA Oat Council and Ms Walmsley as deputy chair of the GIWA Wheat Council.

Mr Wiese replaced Kalannie farmer, Bob Nixon, who stepped down from the GIWA Board and as chair of GIWA after three years of service.

GIWA chief executive officer, Larissa Taylor, thanked Mr Nixon for his “hundreds of hours of voluntary service in support of GIWA’s industry good functions for the WA grain industry” and congratulated him and Munglinup grower, Gemma Walker, on their recent appointments to the Grains Research and Development (GRDC) Board.

“All the best in your new roles and we look forward to supporting you in GIWA’s continuing service relationship with GRDC, and with the newly formed Grains Australia,” Ms Taylor said.

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Palmquist joins TeleSense Board

AGTECH company TeleSense has appointed former GrainCorp chief executive officer and current ASX-listed United Malt CEO Mark Palmquist to its global Board of Directors.

Mark Palmquist

TeleSense is an industrial Internet of Things (IoT) innovator revolutionising grain storage and securing the food supply chain.

Expanding into key international markets including Australia, the company recently established a local office headed by executive chairman Marcus Kennedy, a former GrainCorp executive.

TeleSense also announced the closure of a $10.2 million Series B round of financing led by foundation TeleSense investor Finistere Ventures, an ag and food investment pioneer, and the appointment of Soren Wolck Schroder, former CEO of Bunge, to the global Board.

Australian alternative investment fund Artesian was among several institutions joining the funding round. Artesian’s investment involved participation from GrainInnovate, a $50 million venture capital fund established by the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) and Artesian to invest in startups to help drive the future profitability and sustainability of Australia’s grain growers.

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Luxton continues lead role at CropLife

SYNGENTA’s country head and managing director, ANZ, Paul Luxton, has been appointed for another term as president of Australia’s national peak industry organisation for the plant science sector, CropLife Australia.

Paul Luxton

Mr Luxton will be joined on CropLife’s executive by fellow industry leaders:

  • Damien Ryan, managing director, Sipcam Pacific Australia as vice president (Crop Protection)
  • Joerg Ellmanns, managing director, Bayer CropScience as vice president (Crop Biotechnology)
  • Gavin Jackson, head of Agriculture Solutions Australia and New Zealand, BASF Australia as chair of the Corporate Governance Committee

In addition to the executive, the following will serve as directors on the CropLife Australia Board for 2020-21:

  • Tony Brookes, managing director, Sumitomo Chemical Australia Pty Limited
  • Kristina Hermanson, managing director ANZ, FMC Australasia Pty Ltd
  • Darrin Hines, chief executive officer, Adama Australia
  • Rob Kaan, managing director Australia/NZ/Japan/Korea, Corteva Agriscience
  • Peter O’Keeffe, ANZ regional general manager, Nufarm Australia Limited

The CropLife management team is led by chief executive officer, Matthew Cossey.

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Cotton RDC appoints directors

SIX directors have been appointed to the Board of the Cotton Research and Development Corporation (CRDC) by the Minister for Agriculture, Drought and Emergency Management, David Littleproud.

Richard Haire

Led by incumbent chair Richard Haire and CRDC’s executive director Ian Taylor, the CRDC Board will comprise former directors Les Copeland and Rosemary Richards, who have been returned for a second term on the CRDC Board, and new directors Ross Burnett, Gary Fitt, Danielle Kennedy and Peta Slack-Smith.

Mr Haire welcomed the directors and paid tribute to CRDC’s outgoing board, whose term finished on September 30.

“I thank outgoing deputy chair Kathryn Adams, and directors Liz Alexander, Greg Kauter and Jeremy Burden for their invaluable contribution to CRDC and the wider cotton industry,” Mr Haire said.

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Morton to lead irrigators

THE National Irrigators’ Council (NIC) has elected Moulamein rice farmer, Jeremy Morton, as its new chairman, replacing long term chairman, Gavin McMahon, from the Riverland in South Australia who has retired, but remains on the Board.

NIC chief executive officer Steve Whan said under Mr McMahon’s leadership over the past eight years the organisation had built a reputation for making a constructive and positive contribution to very difficult policy debates around water and energy.

“Gavin has been a leader in driving home the message that high energy costs harm Australia’s capacity to be a competitive producer of food and fibre. NIC over that period has made it clear that we seek that vital triple bottom line outcome healthy rivers, healthy communities and a continuing capacity to produce food and fibre,” he said.

Mr Whan said Mr Morton brought a wealth of leadership in the irrigation sector.

“Jeremy is a Board member of ASX listed Sunrice, a former chairman of Ricegrowers and a farmer – among other things.  He lives in an irrigation community that has felt the day-to-day impact of water recovery and drought.”

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AgriFutures directors announced

THE chair of AgriFutures Australia, Kay Hull, has welcomed the appointment of five new non-executive directors to the Board of AgriFutures.

The new Board directors are:

  • Andrew Harris (NSW)
  • Cindy Cassidy (NSW)
  • Diana Gibbs (NSW)
  • Daniel Le Feuvre (SA)
  • Emma Robinson (Qld)

Dr William Ryan (WA) was re-appointed as AgriFutures Australia non-executive Board director and Ms Hull continues as chair.

AgriFutures Australia’s managing director, John Harvey, also continues as the sole executive Board director.

Ms Hull thanked the outgoing directors for their commitment and leadership during their tenures.

“I would like to sincerely acknowledge and thank the significant contributions made by the outgoing directors: Dr Tony Hamilton, Dr Kate Andrews, Mr Ian Henderson and Mr Ric Clark,” she said.

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Brad Griffiths

Griffiths takes reins of fodder industry

SOUTH Australia grower Brad Griffiths has taken the reins of the Australian Fodder Industry Association (AFIA), replacing NSW farmer and agronomist Frank McRae.

Farming at Mallala, Mr Griffiths manages his family’s business which focuses on cropping, domestic and export hay production. He has been an AFIA Board member for two years.

Mr McRae said Mr Griffith’s experience in the fodder supply chain, including growing, contracting and transport, would be invaluable to the leadership of AFIA.

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New directors for Grower Group Alliance

AT the recent annual general meeting of the Grower Group Alliance (GGA) in WA, existing member directors Nicole Batten (Yuna Farm Improvement Group) and Nathan Craig (West Midlands Group) renominated and were voted in to return for another two-year term.

Nominee Debbie Gillam (Mingenew Irwin Group) was newly elected, also for a two-year term, filling the place of retiring member director Jon Holmes.

GGA chair for the past two years, Kevin Goss, has stepped down. New chair is existing Board director Peter Roberts. Erin Gorter remains as vice chair.

The Board also introduced Graham Smith as the newly appointed independent director to fill the position created by Mr Goss’s departure.

Former South East Premium Wheat Growers Association (SEPWA) executive officer, Niki Curtis, will step in as interim GGA chief executive officer to cover for incumbent, Annabelle Bushell, who will be on parental leave for the next year.

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Cassidy joins BOM

FARMLINK is seeking a new chief executive officer following the departure on 23 October of Cindy Cassidy, who has had seven years in the role.

Cindy Cassidy

Ms Cassidy has been appointed general manager of agriculture at the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM), effective 2 November.

“It is an existing position that has been shared in an acting capacity by two of the experienced staff in the BOM’s Agriculture team for the past 18 months.

“This is an exciting change for me and a huge opportunity to further the interests of our ag sector.”

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Bulkeley new FarmLink CEO

FARMLINK Research has appointed Andrew Bulkeley as its new chief executive officer, effective November 9.

Mr Bulkeley has a background in systems agriculture and business administration, and spent 25 years with the British American Tobacco Group, developing and deploying business, R&D and operations strategies in Australia and internationally.

Since returning to Australia in 2017, he has been consulting with agricultural firm Rounding Up.

Mr Bulkeley owns a mixed-farming operation in northern NSW and has a long family history in broadacre cropping, and said he was delighted to join the FarmLink team.

“Since its establishment in 2003 FarmLink has, through focused effort, hard work and extensive collaboration, delivered an impressive suite of research and new knowledge to the agricultural community.

Outgoing CEO Cindy Cassidy said she believed Mr Bulkeley’s blend of commercial and people leadership skills will enable FarmLink to continue its strong trajectory of growth into the future.

“The business is ready for the next stage of its evolution and Andrew has the skills and experience to take it there,” Ms Cassidy said.

Andrew Bulkeley

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ADM appoints Muirhead

GRAIN marketing consultant Clare Muirhead has joined the ADM team to manage its grower origination program in NSW.

For the past 13 years, Ms Muirhead has run her own business, Elite Commodities, and prior to this held senior accumulation positions in the central west of NSW and on southern Queensland’s Darling Downs.

“Clare’s long-held relationships with customers and growers, pulse accumulation expertise and industry knowledge are a great fit for ADM,” ADM group accumulation manager Damian Bradford said.

Mr Muirhead has replaced Peter Dorney, who recently resigned from ADM after 13 years with the company.

She will be supporting growers and industry in the Port Kembla and Newcastle port zones, while Michael Vaughan will oversee ADM’s Queensland operations.

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Rabobank’s new southern manager

RABOBANK has announced the appointment of Deborah Maskell-Davies to the role of regional manager, southern Victoria and Tasmania.

Ms Maskell-Davies has taken over the position from Hamish McAlpin, who has moved to the role of head of relationship management for Rabobank’s southern Victoria and Tasmanian region.

Rabobank group executive for country banking Australia Marcel van Doremaele said Ms Maskell-Davies, who joined the bank in July, would be responsible for leading the continued growth and development of Rabobank’s rural banking business in the region.

Ms Maskell-Davies has close to 30 years’ experience in banking. Most recently, she was executive director, Global Head of Financial Institution Solutions at Commonwealth Bank of Australia.

She has previously worked in senior roles with JP Morgan, in both Singapore and Australia, and for BNY Mellon, where she held a number of roles over a 17-year period.

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Queensland Ag Awards

OUTSTANDING contributors and innovators in agriculture, fisheries and forestry were recognised in the annual Queensland Agriculture Award.

Stuart Armitage

Darling Downs farmer and former Queensland Farmers’ Federation president, Stuart Armitage, won the prestigious Peter Kenny Medal and Jerome Leray, who founded AgTech company InFarm, was named the Minister’s Emerging Leader Award winner.

The winners were announced at AgFutures 2020 in Brisbane.

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Business kick-start for young farmers

SIX farming businesses from across NSW have been selected to participate in the NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) Young Farmer Business Program’s individual coaching program.

Young Farmer Business Program Coordinator, Tim Flynn, said they were excited to receive over 40 applications from across NSW.

The 10-month program provides one-on-one business coaching with Richard Groom, a business coach with over 20 years’ experience working with primary producers to help young primary producers to expand their business aspirations and to reach their goals.

Participants in this round of the individual coaching program include:

  • Billy Browning, manages his family’s irrigated and broad-acre cropping farm near Narromine in Central West NSW.
  • Jason Finlay is an oyster farmer from Moruya, who, together with his two brothers-in-law, supplies oysters to top-end restaurants, as well as wholesale and local markets.
  • Doug and Georgie Kelly run a mixed farming enterprise at Gulargambone, which is currently comprised of winter cropping and Angus cattle. Doug and Georgie are in the process of transitioning into management/ownership of Doug’s family business through succession planning.
  • James and Kimberley McClure operate a mixed farming enterprise of Merino and Demara sheep, rangeland goats and cattle near Wilcannia.
  • Tom and Joscelin McMillan, free-range pastured egg farmers from Bemboka, who operate their business on leased land.
  • Henry and Rosie Moxham from Coonamble operate a dryland cropping, cattle and Merino sheep farm near Coonamble as well as a contracting business.

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