People on the move in the grains and cropping sector

Grain Central November 24, 2017

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

  • GPSA chief moves to GRDC
  • New GIWA chair
  • APVMA CEO appointed
  • AEGIC’s new markets manager
  • Fischer heads global crop seed trust
  • New AgLink chief
  • Special One appoints export trader
  • Farrer Medal honours distinguished researcher
  • Decipher invigorates sales team
  • Syngenta Awards recognise growers/advisers


GPSA chief moves to GRDC

THE Chief Executive Officer of Grain Producers South Australia (GPSA) since the organisation’s formation in 2012, Darren Arney, has accepted an appointment to the Grain Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) as grower relations manager.

Darren Arney

Mr Arney will start in his new role early in the New Year and will service the southern region (SA, Victoria and Tasmania) from the GRDC’s regional office in Adelaide.

During his tenure with GPSA, he has counted among his key achievements working with bulk handlers and Grain Trade Australia to upgrade the quality classification of Scout wheat from APW to AH; lobbying the APVMA to maintain access to crop protection products, such as diuron; and increasing competition for grain to fill allocated places by introducing an auction system for allocation shipping slots.

Mr Arney finishes at GPSA on December 15. GPSA will begin the recruitment process with the view to appointing a new CEO in early 2018.


New GIWA chair

THE Grain Industry Association of Western Australia (GIWA) has appointed Bob Nixon as chair of the association.

Former GIWA dhair Dr Richard Williams handing over to new GIWA chair Bob Nixon.

Mr Nixon, who has replaced Dr Richard Williams, currently runs a broad acre farming operation on 18,700 hectares of arable land near Kalannie in the Central Wheatbelt.

In partnership with his wife, family and staff, the Nixons have a cropping program of 15,000ha planted to wheat, barley and canola and a family run gypsum mining operation.

Mr Nixon is a member of the Liebe Grower Group, his local GRDC Regional Cropping Solutions Network, and is a 2014 Nuffield Scholar, whose research project focused on managing production risk in the dry and variable climate of Western Australia’s eastern wheat belt through crop rotation and diversity, reducing input costs and benefitting from economies of scale.

He has been a member of the GIWA Wheat Council since 2016.


APVMA CEO appointed

DR CHRIS Parker has been appointed the CEO of the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) for a five–year term.

Chris Parker

Dr Parker brings valuable experience to the APVMA as a qualified veterinarian and former farmer with extensive experience in a range of private and government sector roles.

He will continue his work delivering the relocation of the APVMA to Armidale.


AEGIC’s new markets manager

SEAN Cowman has joined the Australian Export Grains Innovation Centre (AEGIC) as markets manager – South East Asia.

Sean Cowman

Mr Cowman has significant experience in a range of senior roles at CBH Group, most recently as marketing manager – international where he managed CBH’s international marketing team, including offices in Japan and Hong Kong.

Prior to this, he represented Australian agriculture and food in various sales, marketing and business development roles in markets in Asia and the Middle East.

These included a number of years with Kailis and France Foods, managing export sales into Asia and the Middle East.

He has also worked with Japanese trading company Marubeni Australia, based in Perth, WA.


Fischer heads global crop seed trust

FORMER Deputy Prime Minister, Tim Fischer, has been appointed executive board chair of the Crop Trust – an international organisation devoted to the conservation of the world’s crop diversity.

Tim Fischer on an earlier visit to the Svalbard seed vault.

One of the key focusses of the Trust is the Svalbard Global Seed Vault in Norway which has the capacity to store up to 2.5 billion seeds ranging across 4.5 million varieties of crops from almost every country in the world.

Mr Fischer, who lives at Mudgegonga in north-east Victoria, was vice-chairman of the Trusts’ Executive Board from 2013 to 2017.

In his new role, which will commence in January, he will chair board meetings twice a year and represent the Trust at international gatherings.

The international board is currently chaired by Swiss diplomat Walter Fust.


New AgLink chief

AGLINK – a collective of 16 independent family-owned Australian agricultural retailers – has announced the appointment of Ian Scutt as its new Chief Executive Officer.

Ian Scutt

Mr Scutt replaces Bill Dowdle who has been AgLink’s Chief Executive Officer for 11 years.

In July this year Mr Dowdle accepted the role of CEO of a group of 14 independent Canadian agricultural retailers in Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Alberta.

AgLink is in the process of developing a commercial and strategic alliance with this group.

AgLink holds a 25 per cent share of the Australian agricultural chemical market and 15pc of the fertiliser market.


Special One appoints export trader

JACKY Sung has joined Special One Grain as export trader at the company’s new Sydney office.

Jacky Sung

He will work closely with long-standing team member, domestic trader John Malone.

Mr Sung recently returned to Australia from the United States where he worked with Columbia Grain.  He had previous roles in Australia with Marubeni and Ecom.


Farrer Medal honours distinguished researcher

The 2017 Farrer Memorial Medal for sustainable agriculture research has been awarded to CSIRO Agriculture and Food chief research scientist, Dr John Kirkegaard.

John Kirkegaard

Dr Kirkegaard received the award in recognition of his distinguished service focussed on understanding soil-plant interactions to improve productivity, efficiency and sustainability of dryland farming systems.

It was presented by Department of Primary Industries director science, Dr Philip Wright, at an award ceremony at the CSIRO Discovery Centre in Canberra.

The Farrer Memorial Medal is awarded annually to perpetuate the memory of William James Farrer, a plant breeder, in recognition of distinguished service in agricultural science in Australia in the fields of research, education or administration.


Decipher invigorates sales team

WESFARMER’s new nutritional insights tool, Decipher, has appointed a fresh lineup of technical and sales experts.

Rodney East joins the Decipher team from Adama Australia (formerly FarmOz), where he spent over a decade managing sales across South Australia, Victoria and Tasmania. As Decipher sales manager, Mr East will be based in Bendigo, Victoria.

Decipher technical sales specialist, Peter Brick, returns to the Wesfarmers family, having first started with the business in 2010.

Wayne Hiller, Decipher’s business manager, will work with the sales team as they showcase the productivity and profitability opportunities that Decipher can deliver to users.


Syngenta Awards recognise growers/advisers

TWENTY-FIVE growers and advisers have been selected as Regional Winners in the 2017 Growth Awards in recognition for their pioneering work to pursue a better future for the industry.

Now in its fourth year, the Syngenta Growth Awards recognise growers and advisers whose innovative work is helping to ensure a sustainable future for Australian and New Zealand agriculture.

The 25 Regional Winners are:

New South Wales

Peter Calabria: Yenda Producers Co-Operative: Adviser

Kirrily Condon

Kirrily Condon: Grass Roots Agronomy: Adviser

Fiona Hall: Caernarvon Cherry Co: Grower

Peter McKenzie: AgVance Farming Ltd: Adviser

James Quinn: Cotton Seed Distributors Ltd: Adviser

Mike Walsh: University of Sydney: Adviser


Jamie Iker: Iker Spackman Ag Consulting: Adviser

Greg Platz

Daniel Nicoletti: A I & D Nicoletti: Grower

Greg Platz: Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries: Adviser

Tom Woods Snr: Woods Grains: Adviser

Darren Zunker: Wyndhum Farms: Grower

South Australia

Ashley Keegan: FABAL Wines pty Ltd: Grower


Kate Wilson

Marty Smith: TP Jones & Co Pty Ltd: Adviser


Andrew Bulmer: Bulmers Farm Fresh Vegetables: Grower

Tania Chapman: Colignan Producers Pty Ltd: Grower

Kate Wilson: Agrivision Consultants: Adviser

Western Australia

Ray Harrington: R & B Harrington Farms: Grower

Luke Marquis: South East Agronomy Services: Adviser

Michael Nixon: Riverlodge Assets: Grower

Luke Marquis

Grant Thompson: Crop Circle Consulting: Adviser

Duncan Young: JT Young & Sons: Grower

New Zealand

Pravin Hari: RC Hari & Sons: Grower

Paul Lysaght: Seed and Field Services (SI) Ltd: Adviser

Vaughan Redshaw: Fruitfed Supplies: Adviser

Bruce Shepherd: EastPack Ltd: Adviser


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