People on the move

People on the Move in the grain industry

Grain Central, April 29, 2024

Cotton Australia has appointed Renee Surawski as regional manager for the Dawson and Callide valleys and Howard Coggan in the Darling Downs role.

  • Moore joins Loam Bio
  • Job to lead carbon initiative
  • Viterra appoints Abell
  • New Cotton Australia regional managers
  • NSW Young Judges competition
  • National trucking industry awards
  • AFI leadership changes
  • Juttner takes on new GRDC role
  • New CSIRO deputy chief executive
  • ACIAR council president named
  • Moore joins Rice Marketing Board

Moore joins Loam Bio

Agribusiness scientist Narelle Moore has joined Loam Bio as the company’s new director of product development. 

Based at Orange in central New South Wales, Loam Bio has developed novel technology and carbon programs that deliver additional return on investment and carbon revenue to the agriculture sector.

Dr Moore spent the first 10 years of her career at the CBH Group, where she started as a grain research scientist and moved up to become the technical marketing manager.

During this time, Dr Moore held industry roles including three years on GRDC’s Western Panel, two years as the Grain Industry Association of Western Australia’s Wheat Council chair, and as a member of the Wheat Classification Council of Wheat Quality Australia. 

Dr Narelle Moore.

She gained additional international agriculture experience through four years in the United States, which included lecturing at the College of Southern Idaho.

In 2017, Dr Moore returned to GRDC as manager – business development and commercialisation, before assuming a role with NSW Department of Primary Industries managing research, development, extension and adoption programs.

“Loam’s products provide a value-add opportunity to the traditional farming system by drawing down carbon and storing it in the soil, and I’m thrilled I can draw on my experience to bring this vision to more growers right across Australia,” Dr Moore said.  

Job to lead carbon initiative

Former grazier and environmental advocate Pip Job has joined Loam Bio as the director of SecondCrop, a role which will help position farmers to capture opportunities in carbon markets. 

Pip Job.

The company’s SecondCrop carbon projects enable growers to capture value from their work towards net-zero farming. 

Ms Job spent 12 years with Landcare before joining the NSW DPI in 2015 leading programs that built businesses preparedness and resilience.

As the recipient of a Public Service Medal and AgriFutures Rural Woman of the Year, Ms Job brings a wealth of experience to the role having led the industry through some of the biggest challenges on record in her appointment as NSW’s state drought coordinator in 2018. 

“I’ve long admired Loam Bio’s innovation and vision to change the game for growers and for the environment – and I’m thrilled to be joining the company as Director SecondCrop, where I will provide farmers with proven strategies and technologies to build soil carbon in their cropping systems,” Ms Job said.

Viterra appoints Abell

Mark Abell has been named Viterra’s new eastern region grower relationship manager to support the business in the continual development and improvement of services to growers.

Mark Abell

Mr Abell brings 20 years of Viterra operations experience to the role, beginning as a harvest worker at Viterra’s Port Giles terminal and working his way up to operations coordinator where he was responsible for managing multiple sites.

“I can draw on my knowledge of our business to improve the communication between growers and Viterra and help connect our customers with the right resources,” Mr Abell said.

“I’m passionate about agriculture, and I’m excited to learn about a new agricultural region, it’s growers, and how I can create value for them.” 

Viterra general manager accumulation and grower services, Andrew Wilsdon says that Viterra’s grower relationship managers are just one of the ways the business is ensuring they meet their customers’ needs. 

“We are excited to welcome Mark into this role, where he can share his understanding and experience with our Eastern region growers,” Mr Wilsdon said.

Previous eastern region grower relationship manager, Todd Stanford will continue supporting growers as Viterra grower services manager. 

New Cotton Australia regional managers

Cotton Australia has appointed Howard Coggan and Renee Surawski as regional managers for the Darling Downs and Dawson and Callide valleys regions respectively.

A business professional with nearly 30 years’ experience in service industries, Mr Coggan has a background in business ownership and management as well as a genuine interest in agriculture, rural property, and land types.

He initially grew up on a mixed beef and broadacre cropping farm at Condamine, Queensland and has specialised in agribusiness banking – living and working in numerous regional locations across Queensland for almost 15 years.

Ms Surawski has a comprehensive background in agribusiness and applied science, coupled with extensive experience in the agriculture industry and project coordination.

Mr Coggan takes over from former Darling Downs representative, Janet Barker, while Ms Surawski replaces Kelly Becker.

NSW Young Judges competition

The Royal Agricultural Society of NSW held the grain young judges state final at the Sydney Royal Easter Show earlier this month.

Emily Taylor with Rowena Petrie, Bridget Lee, AgShows NSW President Jill Chapman and Nils Jacobson from Lawson Grains.

Quipolly’s Emily Taylor came first, followed by Oscar Feuerherdt from Culcairn, Heather Walker from Grenfell, Angus Pursehouse from Mirrool, and Sophia Bradley from Weetaliba.

Ms Taylor participated in the state final after taking part in the north-west group of shows final held in September 2023.

As part of the competition, finalists are tasked with classing three types of grain crops with four samples provided in each class.

The students are required to place each exhibit in order of quality and describe reasons for their decision, such as uniformity, cleanliness and presence of disease or pests.

The 2024 National Grains Young Judges Championship will be held at the Melbourne Royal Show on October 1.

National trucking industry awards

Jenny Fellows.

The Australian Trucking Association has announced the winners of the 2024 National Trucking Industry Awards.

Among them are Jenny Fellows, from Fellows Bulk Transport based at Deniliquin, who was named the National Trucking Industry Woman of the Year, and Western Australia’s Marley’s Transport which won the TruckSafe John Kelly Memorial Award.

As administration manager and company co-owner, Ms Fellows is a mentor to other women in the industry and established the Deniliquin Driver Education Program in 2006 which teaches students about road safety.

A leader in safety, Marley’s transport has continued its high standards even as it grew from one truck to a fleet of 70 transporting grain, fertiliser and other supplies across WA.

Other winners included: Bill Manton, Simon National Carriers, who accepted the Outstanding Contribution to the Australian Trucking Industry award; Joshua Ulbrich, Ross Transport, named National Professional Driver of the Year; Frasers Livestock Transport and South East Queensland Hauliers as winners of the National Training Excellence Award; and Don Watson Memorial Award recipient Denis Robertson, Riverstone.

ATA chair David Smith said the awards celebrated the people and organisations who had showed extraordinary dedication to the trucking industry.

“Our award recipients are extremely well-deserving, and we thank all of them for their contribution and commitment to our industry,” Mr Smith said.

AFI executive director Katie McRobert and AFI chair Alexandra Gartmann.

AFI leadership changes

The Australian Farm Institute board has announced the appointment of Katie McRobert as executive director and Alexandra Gartmann as chair in a leadership refresh of the policy think tank.

The AFI leads farm policy discussions to ensure a viable future for the Australian agricultural community, delivers timely analysis and insights, and promotes evidence-based policy solutions that maximise the economic and social wellbeing of farmers.

With more than a decade’s experience with AFI between them, Ms McRobert and Ms Gartmann are set to build on the legacy of former executive director Richard Heath and retiring chair Andrew Spencer.

“The AFI plays an invaluable role in thought leadership for Australian agriculture and I am honoured to have been promoted to the role of executive director,” Ms McRobert said.

“With all eyes now on targets for productivity and sustainable farming in the coming decades, the role of AFI – to inform good policy for the farm sector’s viability has never been more crucial.”

As an AFI board director since 2018, Ms Gartmann noted the AFI’s unique position in helping lead policy discourse in the agricultural sector.

She also paid tribute to Mr Spencer, who has elected to step down as AFI chair after six years, and remains on the board to ensure a seamless transition.

Juttner takes on new GRDC role

Juan Juttner has been announced as the new GRDC general manager – genetic technologies, biosecurity and regulation.

Juan Juttner

Dr Juttner has been with GRDC for the past 13 years in several senior management roles.

He has led GRDC teams in investing almost $700 million into research programs across the genetic technologies portfolio.

Key investments that Dr Juttner has helped to develop, refine and manage include the Centre for Crop Disease Management strategic partnership, the Australian Grains Genebank, the National Variety Trials Program and many other pre-breeding investments across cereals, oilseeds and pulses.

Dr Juttner’s role sits under managing director Nigel Hart and is responsible for overseeing work into genetic technologies, the National Variety Trials program and biosecurity and regulation.

Rose first CSIRO deputy chief executive

Kirsten Rose

CSIRO has announced the appointment of Kirsten Rose to the newly created position of deputy chief executive.

In this role, Ms Rose will help lead the strategic direction of CSIRO and focus on how the organisation engages and collaborates with the innovation ecosystem.

Since 2020 Ms Rose has been CSIRO’s executive director future industries, leading a portfolio that includes research in agriculture and food, human and animal health, biosecurity and manufacturing.

Prior to joining CSIRO, she was the head of innovation, sustainable operations at BHP, where she had global responsibility for bringing together science, technology, and people to drive material improvements in sustainability-related challenges.

Ms Rose is an Australian Academy of Technological Sciences & Engineering fellow, an active member of Chief Executive Women, an AmCham governor in Western Australia, and serves in a range of other advisory and non-executive director roles.

ACIAR council president named

Nick Austin has taken on the position as president of Australia’s Policy Advisory Council for the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR). 

Dr Austin has extensive experience in international agricultural development and a long association with ACIAR, having served as chief executive officer from 2009 to 2016. 

Nick Austin

He has held senior roles in international bodies, including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, representing Australia on the CGIAR Fund Council for seven years, and with the board of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa.

The Council provides expert advice and insights into the development priorities and food security needs of our regional partners and is made up of 11 members from across the Indo-Pacific region and Africa.

It considers how Australia’s expertise in agricultural research can contribute to these priorities, including through research collaborations with the ACIAR.

Minister for Foreign Affairs Penny Wong said Dr Austin’s skills and networks across Australia, North America, Europe and the Indo-Pacific in industry and government “will help forge stronger partnerships and innovative solutions in agricultural research”. 

“I thank outgoing President Professor Wendy Umberger for her service to the Council and for her ongoing commitment to sustainable agricultural development as the ACIAR Chief Executive Officer,” Ms Wong said.

Moore joins Rice Marketing Board

The Rice Marketing Board for the State of New South Wales has welcomed Dave Moore to the role of general manager – strategy and engagement in a part-time capacity.

Dave Moore

Mr Moore will focus on developing a process of stakeholder engagement with NSW rice growers, licensed authorised buyers, grower representative associations, and NSW government departments.

This role will also build on the improvements the RMB has implemented in recent years by increasing awareness of the role of the RMB and its processes through a regular cycle of communications.

“The RMB is very pleased to have someone with deep experience in the agriculture sector working between growers, industry organisations and government,” RMB chair Rowan McMonnies said.

“Dave will strengthen our ability to engage with stakeholders and ensure the RMB can continue to improve.”

Mr Moore joins the RMB’s full time board secretary, Nyree Dunn, and part time administration officer, Melissa Rodgers 


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