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People on the move in the grains and cropping sector

by Grain Central, 17 August 2018

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.

  • GrainGrowers transitions to single CEO
  • New chair at GTA
  • New CEO for WA’s Blue Lake Milling
  • AgForce appoints first female president
  • CSIRO chief scientist appointment
  • WAFarmers CEO departs
  • Rabobank appoints group executive
  • New GRDC members for southern NSW
  • Murray Darling appointments
  • Cotton loses a champion

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GrainGrowers transitions to single CEO

David McKeon

THE Board of national grain farmer representative organisation, Grain Growers Limited (GrainGrowers), is updating its management structure, transitioning to a single CEO after operating with a dual CEO structure.

A year ago GrainGrowers announced the appointment of joint CEOs to lead the organisation: former general manager of industry development, Michael Southan, and former general manager of policy and innovation, David McKeon.

In the latest restructure, Mr McKeon has been appointed to lead the organisation into the future as CEO, while Mr Southan will leave the organisation at the end of December 2018, after completing a number of projects for the Board.

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New chair at GTA

ANDREW Goyder has been named chairman of Grain Trade Australia (GTA), succeeding Peter Reading who retired after six years in the position.

Andrew Goyder

Mr Goyder currently is principal of GrainLink Pty Ltd, a medium-size grain marketing business in Western Australia. He also is a member of the GTA board of directors.

Mr Reading said the time to step down as chairman was right from both an industry and organisation perspective.

“It has been my absolute pleasure to serve both the grains industry and GTA members, and I am pleased to be passing the role to a person of Andrew’s calibre. I know he will provide strong leadership and guidance to GTA going forward.”

In early July, GTA and the Australian Grain Exporters Association (AGEA) reached an agreement to combine, part of a larger effort to improve efficiency and effectiveness of industry representation within the grain industry in Australia.

As part of the effort, AGEA said it would eliminate its current structure and re-form as the Australian Grain Exporters Council (AGEC).

AGEC will become the first sector council to establish a new model for representation being offered through GTA.

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New CEO for WA’s Blue Lake Milling

THE CBH Group has announced the appointment of a new chief executive officer for its oats milling and processing subsidiary Blue Lake Milling (BLM).

Kevin Boyle

Following an extensive search and selection process, Kevin Boyle will commence in the role on August 20, succeeding Ben Abbot who has stepped down.

BLM is a wholly-owned subsidiary of CBH and a manufacturer of premium Australian oat products with operations in South Australia and Victoria. Its head office is in Bordertown, South Australia.

Mr Boyle’s appointment comes as BLM commences operations of its new 60,000-tonne oat processing facility at CBH’s Metro Grain Centre in Forrestfield, Western Australia, following a successful commissioning process.

The new facility will enable BLM to service a growing export demand for oat products.

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AgForce appoints first female president

AGFORCE Queensland will transition to a new leadership team later this year with South Burnett cattle producer Georgie Somerset to become the new general president after Grant Maudsley chose not to re-nominate for the position following four years in the top job.

Georgie Somerset

The changeover will take effect after AgForce’s annual general meeting on November 20.

AgForce CEO Michael Guerin welcomed Mrs Somerset to her new role and paid tribute to Mr Maudsley, a Mitchell cattle and grains producer who served as general president for the past four years and has been involved at various levels with AgForce for 16 years.

Mrs Somerset, who will become AgForce’s first female general president, steps up to the position after serving in various roles for AgForce since its inception, including vice-president/deputy chair and South-East Queensland regional director over the past four years.

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CSIRO chief scientist appointment

AUSTRALIA’s national science agency, CSIRO, has appointed Dr Cathy Foley to the position of chief scientist – a unique role which will help champion science, its impact and contribution to the world.

Cathy Foley

Dr Foley is a world-renowned physicist and science leader most noted for her work developing superconducting devices and systems which have assisted in unearthing over $6 billion in minerals worldwide. She will start in the role at the end of September.

“Australia’s future prosperity will be fuelled by science,” Dr Foley said.

“Science which creates new industries, new jobs and shapes the minds and aspirations of our future leaders.

“We can’t keep thinking about science as something which is locked away in a lab. It connects and drives everything we touch and do.

“I’m looking forward to not just spreading the word, but helping shape the science agenda and raising the profile of the role of women in STEM.”

Dr Foley is currently the deputy director and science director of CSIRO’s manufacturing business unit. She has been an advocate for women in science, for the communication of science and science education over the past 30 years.

CSIRO chief executive Dr Larry Marshall said Dr Foley was an incredible leader and scientist.

“Cathy is a great contributor, with a passion for turning excellent science into powerful solutions for Australia,” he said.

“I am looking forward to seeing her make this role her own, and bringing the voice of CSIRO science to help Australia navigate a path to prosperity through global disruption.”

Dr Foley joined the CSIRO Division of Applied Physics in 1985 as a national research fellow, being promoted to senior research scientist in 1991, principal research scientist in 1996, senior principal research scientist in 2000 and chief research scientist in 2008.

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WAFarmers CEO departs

WAFarmers has announced Trent Kensett-Smith has resigned from his position of Chief Executive Officer of the organisation.

Mr Kensett-Smith has made the decision to return to the agribusiness sector. He is leaving the WAFarmers organisation to pursue these interests.

The WAFarmers Board of Directors will begin the process of recruitment for a new CEO immediately.

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Rabobank appoints group executive

Rabobank Australia and New Zealand Group has announced the appointment of Karin van Selm to the position of group executive, wholesale banking.

Karin van Selm

Ms van Selm takes over from Els Kamphof, who has been appointed to head the regional wholesale banking operations for Rabobank in the Netherlands and Africa.

Rabobank Australia and New Zealand Group managing director Peter Knoblanche said Ms van Selm had led the development of a significantly-enhanced wholesale loan products group, providing for the increasingly complex and sophisticated requirements of the bank’s large corporate clients operating in the food and agribusiness sector.

“Karin has extensive experience and exceptional understanding of the corporate banking needs of major companies involved in the food and agricultural sector,” he said.

Ms van Selm said Rabobank’s specialist knowledge of the food and agricultural supply chain provided significant opportunities for the bank to collaborate with its clients to grow and strengthen the sector.

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Independent director for CBH

David Lock

THE CBH Group has appointed David Lock as an independent director of the CBH Board for a three-year term to take effect early in 2019.

Mr Lock presently holds several board roles across food and agriculture industries and is an external member of the Curtin University Faculty of Business and Law advisory council.

He was managing director and chief executive officer of the Craig Mostyn Group for 12 years.

Mr Lock will replace David Willis who is retiring from the Board after nine years.

CBH has nine member-elected grower directors and three independent directors.

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New GRDC members for southern NSW

THE Grains Research and Development Corporation’s (GRDC) Regional Cropping Solutions Network has been bolstered by the addition of four new members to help identify and prioritise constraints and opportunities for farm profitability in southern New South Wales.

The four new members include grain grower Chris Holland, Young; grain grower Murray Scholz, Henty; agronomist David Crowley, Young; and grower Laura Kaylock, Moulamein.

They join existing members Andrew Carmichael, grower/consultant (Coolamon), Heidi Gooden, grower/agronomist (Lockhart), Peter Hill agronomist, (Griffith), Jochim Jager, grower (Hillston), Jeff McCormick, lecturer (CSU, Wagga), Geoff McLeod, grower (Finley), John Pattison, grower (Marrar) and Ian Trevethan, grower (Howlong).

GRDC southern RCSN coordinator Chris Minehan said the new members would bring valuable knowledge, experience and passion to the panel.

“Whilst the knowledge, networks and skills of members is the primary consideration, we also want members from a range of geographical locations and rainfall zones,” Mr Minehan said.

“The panel members then play a vital role with the RCSN to assist in prioritising issues, constraints and opportunities in southern NSW.”

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Cotton loses a champion

THE Australian cotton industry has lost one of its long-time contributors, with the death of renowned plant pathologist Stephen Allen.

The late Stephen Allen.

Dr Allen spent 39 years in the industry, working to broaden understanding around managing diseases affecting cotton plants.

He was renowned for being a research leader in Fusarium Wilt in cotton.

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Murray Darling appointments

EIGHT regional engagement officers have been appointed in local communities of the Murray–Darling Basin to ensure on-ground knowledge and experience continues to be a core part of Basin Plan implementation.

The new officers are:

  • Barwon–Darling (NSW) – Peter Thomas
  • Goulburn–Murray (Victoria) – Merrill Boyd
  • Lower Balonne (Queensland) – Kerryn Suttor
  • Lower Darling (NSW) – Susan Gehrig
  • Lower Murray (SA) – Kate Husband
  • Macintyre (Queensland and NSW) – Tom Foster
  • Mid-Murray (NSW) – Roger Knight
  • Namoi (NSW) – Annabelle Guest

MDBA Chief Executive Phillip Glyde said an improved regional presence was an essential part of the MDBA’s ability to learn from local experience and knowledge.

“We have recruited experienced people with strong local connections and valuable technical knowledge. While they focus on regional needs, their influence as a team will also cross catchments and state borders to make the most of their complementary skills,” Mr Glyde said.

“The officers will work directly with farmers, environmental and community groups, Indigenous communities, local government and other stakeholders to learn from and address the concerns of people most affected by and interested in the Basin Plan.

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