People on the move

People on the Move in the grain industry

Liz Wells, June 21, 2023

Andrew and Tess Herbert at Gundamain, Eugowra.

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

  • Herberts win top farmer award
  • Pulse Council established
  • AMs for Graham, Langridge
  • Simson elected to WFO
  • Wins for DataFarming
  • CSD names CEO
  • Jurgs joins Westpac
  • Hulme appointed at GoMicro

Herberts named Farmers of the Year

Lachland Valley feedlotters and farmers Andrew and Tess Herbert have been named the Kondinin Group and ABC 2023 Australian Farmers of the Year.

Gundamain involves a 6000-head cattle feedlot, 6500-7000 ewes for lamb and wool production, 5500ha of cropping, hay silage and pasture, and some 400ha of remnant vegetation.

The Herberts’ win follows a challenging year, when their Gundamain Pastoral Co business and the Eugowra district were hit by flash flooding in central New South Wales.

“The Herbert’s innovative mind-set has put them in a significant position to successfully navigate  business and environmental challenges while maintaining a passion for farming,” Kondinin Group general manager of research Ben White said.

“Their extension to lotfeeding, investment in infrastructure, use of technology across multiple areas of the farm and their involvement within industry and their local community is substantial and deserving of praise.”

The Herbert’s are early adopters of technology – utilising software systems for individual animal management, cropping and pasture management, human resources and safety.

“Their use of tech to negate issues such as labour shortage and energy production is in line with issues many farmers are facing, and their proactive management demonstrates how tech can be a positive inclusion in a farming enterprise.”

The Farmer of the Year Award for Excellence in Innovation went to Tony Single, who farms in a family partnership south-east of Coonamble in NSW.

Pulse Council established

Grains Australia Limited has appointed 11 industry representatives to its newly established Pulse Council.

Members have been appointed for a period of two years and include people from across the Australian pulse industry value chain from production to end-users.

The role of the Pulse Council is to provide strategic advice to the Grains Australia Board on pulse industry matters.

These include priorities and activities, strategic classification requirements, trade and market access issues relevant to specific pulse classes, and market information and education requirements.

Council members are:

  • William Alexander: Australian Grain Export trader of broad beans, chickpeas, faba beans, and lentils, and based in Adelaide;.
  • Julia Hausler: Grower of chickpeas, faba beans, field beans, lentils, and vetch at Warracknabeal in Victoria’s Wimmera region with experience in the sale and marketing of pulses;
  • Kathi Hertel: A pulse technical specialist based in Dubbo and working for NSW Department of Primary Industries with extensive experience in research, development and extension;
  • Sam Holmes: Agronomist y experience, including in the production of pulses throughout the Yorke Peninsula region of South Australia;
  • Julie O’Dea: A quality expert working for Viterra, Adelaide with experience in pulse classification, storage, receival and export;
  • Kathy La Macchia General manager of the Grains & Legumes Nutrition Council, with extensive experience in nutrition and the food industry;
  • Joseph Panuccio: Adelaide-based trader of lentils, chickpeas and faba beans with ADM.
  • Mark Schilling: Based on South Australia’s Yorke Peninsula and growing and/or exporting lentils, mungbeans, faba beans, field peas and chickpeas.
  • Janine Sounness: PB Seeds commercial manager with experience in pulse research and development including breeding, across faba beans, lentils, chickpeas, lupins and field peas;
  • Anne Wilkins: Badgingarra, WA, grower of lupins, who has worked in grains industry development, and is a consultant and former agronomist with experience in crops including mungbeans, faba beans, and chickpeas;
  • Peter Wilson: Extensive experience in trading, exports, market access and classification for pulses including lentils, chickpeas, faba beans, lupins, broad beans and field peas and based on Queensland’s Darling Downs.

Grains Australia chair Terry Enright thanked everyone who provided an expression of interest to participate in the Pulse Council.

“The immediate focus of the Pulse Council will be continuing and guiding the work that is underway on new pulse classification systems that bring together the requirements of our key customers and markets with what Australian growers can deliver,” Mr Enright said.

AMs for Graham, Langridge

 Deniliquin, NSW, ricegrower Noel Graham was awarded a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in in this month’s King’s Birthday honours.

Noel Graham.

Mr Graham’s citation was for significant service to agriculture through the rice-growing industry.

He has been a director of SunRice since 2001, and has been involved in SunRice entities which market Australian rice into destinations including Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Island, and the United States.

Mr Graham also served four years on the Murray Irrigation Board.

University of Adelaide Emeritus Professor Peter Langridge has been awarded an AM for significant service to science in the field of plant genomics and agriculture.

His research has many international connections, and has focused mainly on wheat and barley.

Simson elected to WFO

National Farmers’ Federation president Fiona Simson has been elected as a director of the World Farmers’ Organisation to represent its Oceania Consituency which includes farmers in Australia and New Zealand.

“Farmers are at the forefront of the big issues facing the world,” Ms Simson said.

“When it comes to climate change, food security, economic development and environmental protection, farmers are part of the solution.

“It’s important that when discussions are being held at the global level on issues impacting on agriculture, Australian farmers will be able to have a voice in those discussions.

“A strong voice for Oceania in the WFO provides an opportunity for NFF to communicate Australian industry and government approaches in these global forums.

The WFO represents farmers in international forums through the Farmer Constituency, a collaboration of farmers organisations from diverse countries.

“Whether it’s COP or the UN Food Systems Summit, the WFO has a seat at the table; as a director, I can ensure Australian farmers are heard at the highest levels.”

Ms Simson paid tribute to Katie Milne, outgoing WFO vice president and Oceania board director.

“Katie Milne has been a phenomenal representative of farmers in Australia and New Zealand.

“I’m proud to be able to carry on Katie’s work, ensuring that the voices of farmers in our region are heard everyday around the world.”

Katie Milne and Fiona Simson.

Wins for DataFarming

Toowoomba-based business DataFarming was last week named the Agritech Start-up of the Year in a category sponsored by Telstra in the inaugural Australian Agritech Awards held in Sydney.

“DataFarming’s unwavering dedication and groundbreaking contributions are reshaping the future of agriculture, and we celebrate their outstanding achievements,” Australian Agtech said in announcing the award.

DataFarming also won the Best in Broadacre category as sponsored by SproutX.

“Thanks to our farmers, agronomists, and agribusiness customers for your support over the past 6 years,” DataFarming founder Tim Neale said in a LinkedIn post.

DataFarming markets itself as Australia’s most popular precision ag software which allows agronomists and growers to use spatial data.

Tim Neale (right) receives an Australian Agritech Association award.

CSD names CEO

Cotton Seed Distributors has appointed Ian Taylor as its chief executive officer, replacing Peter Graham who has held the top job in a managing director role.

Dr Taylor is currently the executive director of the Cotton Research and Development Corporation based in Narrabri.

During his 11 years at CRDC, he played a key role in the formation of the original CottonInfo team, then become the general manager research and development before being promoted to executive director in 2019.

Prior to joining CRDC, Dr Taylor was the technology development lead for Monsanto in Australia, and was later promoted within Monsanto to the technical development and stewardship lead for the Asia Pacific area based in Singapore.

Dr Taylor is expected to start with CSD in early September to allow a transition period before Mr Graham’s retirement at the end of this year.

Dr Ian Taylor and Peter Graham.

Jurgs joins Westpac

Toowoomba-based agricultural specialist Andrew Jurgs has been appointed as Westpac’s senior relationship manager for southern Queensland agribusiness.

Mr Jurgs was previously an account manager and cottonseed trader with Namoi Cotton, and prior to that was a trader with Emerald Grain and Carpendale Commodities.

He is a past president of the Qld Ag Merchants, and has been a member of Grain Trade Australia’s commerce committee since 2018.

Hulme appointed at GoMicro

Rob Hulme.

Adelaide-based company GoMicro has appointed Rob Hulme as its vice president of grain, a role he will carry out alongside being chief executive officer of agribusiness consulting firm The Boralis Group.

“Rob brings to GoMicro many years of valuable experience in global agriculture,” GoMicro CEO Sivam Krish said.

“His deep insight into how breakthrough technologies transform industries will help us realize the full potential of what we have developed; it is great to have Rob on board.”

Mr Hulme has extensive experience in the food, research and agriculture sectors in Asia and Australia, including 25 years with Bayer Crop Science.




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