People on the move

People on the move in the grains and cropping sector

Grain Central, September 6, 2019

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.

  • GRDC chair re-appointed
  • GPSA directors re-elected at AGM
  • Reappointment of Cotton RDC chair
  • New Ricegrower president
  • WA agronomist receives emerging leader award
  • Pulse expert recognised for five-star career
  • Commodity procurement business launch
  • NFF leaders of the future
  • New boss for Ridley
  • ADM pulse trading manager
  • Agfarm regional appointment
  • Jan Cathcart Scholarship for rice industry
  • Apply now for innovation awards grants

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Northern NSW farmer, John Woods, has been re-appointed chair of the Grains Research and Development Corporation.

GRDC chair re-appointed

JOHN Woods has been re-appointed as chair of the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) for another three-year term commencing 1 October 2019.

Minister for Agriculture Bridget McKenzie said Mr Woods would continue to play a critical role in realising the priorities highlighted in GRDC’s Research, Development and Extension (RD&E) Plan for 2018–2023, which provided an exciting and focused road ahead for GRDC.

“This is Mr Woods’ second term as chairperson providing continuity in leadership for GRDC,” Minister McKenzie said.

“Delivering a 10–20-year strategy for investing in RD&E to create enduring profitability for Australian grain growers is an ambitious target and Mr Woods’ re-appointment will enable GRDC to continue this endeavour.”

There are seven other GRDC non-executive directors, who were appointed between 2017 and 2018 for three-year terms.

  • Roseanne Healy (deputy chair)
  • Dianne Angus
  • Professor Chris Blanchard
  • Dr Helen Garnett
  • Richard Heath
  • Professor Stephen Powles
  • Sharon Starick

The GRDC managing director is Dr Steve Jefferies who has been with GRDC since March 2016.

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GPSA directors re-elected at AGM

THREE two-year positions on the Grain Produces South Australia (GPSA) Board were filled at the recent GPSA Annual General Meeting held in conjunction with the GROWING SA conference.

Directors Jared Sampson, Warramboo, Dion Woolford, Kimba, and Adrian McCabe, Hamley Bridge were elected unopposed.

Wade Dabinett

At the AGM, GPSA chair Wade Dabinett and chief executive officer Caroline Rhodes outlined the GPSA’s activities in 2018/19.

Mr Dabinett highlighted the importance of a strong grower advocacy body in light of tough seasonal conditions and provided an overview of GPSA’s efforts over the past year as well as its strong financial position.

In addition, growers heard from SAGIT chairman Max Young, Grain Producers Australia southern region director Steve Ball, and GRDC managing director Steve Jefferies.

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Reappointment of Cotton RDC chair

RICHARD Haire has been reappointed chair of the Cotton Research and Development Corporation (CRDC) for another three-year term.

Richard Haire

Minister for Agriculture Bridget McKenzie said Mr Haire would play a critical role in the ambitious goal of creating $2 billion in additional gross value of cotton production through investments highlighted in the CRDC’s Strategic Research, Development and Extension (RD&E) Plan 2018–2023.

“Mr Haire is a well-known and respected member of the Australian cotton industry, having held many leadership positions within the sector and is well positioned to lead the industry forward,” she said.

Mr Haire is also currently the chair of both the Endeavour Foundation and Reef Casino Trust and non-executive director of both Bank of Queensland and BEC Stockfeed Solutions.

There are six other CRDC non-executive directors, who were appointed in 2017 for three-year terms:

  • Kathryn Adams (deputy chair
  • Liz Alexander
  • Dr Jeremy Burdon
  • Emeritus Professor Les Copeland AM
  • Greg Kauter
  • Rosemary Richards

The CRDC executive director is Dr Ian Taylor who has been in the role since March 2019.

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New Ricegrower president

THE Central Executive of the Ricegrowers’ Association of Australia (RGA) has elected Rob Massina as the association’s new president.

Rob Massina

Mr Massina was formerly the senior vice president of the RGA and president of the Berriquin RGA branch.

He and his wife, Ainsley, jointly operate irrigation properties between Finley and Jerilderie in the NSW Riverina, focusing on rice, lamb, wool and grain production.

Prior to returning home six years ago, Mr Massina was an agribusiness executive across Australia and New Zealand.

“I want to see our rice industry continue to proposer well into the future. There are very few agricultural industries that can boast the complete supply chain and marketing strategies achieved by the Australian rice industry,” he said.

Mr Massina replaces Jeremy Morton who stood down after being elected to the board of SunRice as a grower director.

In his role as RGA president, Mr Morton oversaw a constitutional review and structural review of the RGA and was a strong advocate for water and for improving the lot of rice growers.

RGA executive director, Graeme Kruger, said: “It has been a privilege serving Jeremy in his role as president and chairman of the Board. His inclusive leadership style and commitment to the role was sincerely appreciated by fellow delegates and all the staff at the RGA. He will be missed.”

The 2019 election of grower directors to the SunRice Board in August saw two existing directors, chair Laurie Arthur and Leigh Vial, re-nominated for election, while Mark Robertson and Glen Andreazza determined to not re-nominate.

In total, seven candidates nominated, with the following four elected for four-year terms:

  • Laurie Arthur (chair)
  • Jeremy Morton
  • Leigh Vial
  • Julian Zanatta

Warren Lang, Angela Urquhart and Rob Massina also stood for election but were unsuccessful.

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WA agronomist receives emerging leader award

A YOUNG Western Australian agronomist committed to improving the productivity and profitability of farm businesses was today honoured with a prestigious Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) award.

Kirsty Smith, who is employed by Landmark, based in Albany, was presented with the GRDC Western Region Emerging Leader Award at the Newdegate Machinery Field Days.

GRDC Western Region Panel member Gemma Walker said Ms Smith was a member of her local GRDC Regional Cropping Solutions Network (RCSN) group that provided the GRDC with information on issues that impact grower profitability in the Albany port zone area.

“She is also a member of the GRDC National Variety Trials (NVT) Advisory Committee in WA, that provides advice on the NVT program in the State.

“Kirsty sits on the agronomic panel for the State Government’s Regional Estuaries Initiative (REI), providing professional advice to catchment groups and growers participating in fertiliser management projects under the REI’s Sustainable Agriculture strategy.

“For four years from 2012 she coordinated the Holt Rock Group, a grower group in WA’s south-eastern grainbelt.”

Ms Smith, who grew up on a farm at Dumbleyung in WA’s Upper Great Southern region, has a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture from The University of WA (UWA) and a Diploma of Agronomy from the Wodonga Institute of TAFE.

Since 2011, she has worked for Landmark, firstly based at Hyden where she worked with clients in the lower rainfall zone, and now from Albany servicing growers in the higher rainfall zone. She won the 2017/18 ADAMA Young Agronomist of the Year Award.

Ms Smith will use the financial scholarship component of her GRDC Emerging Leader Award to travel overseas and investigate whether the commodity legume soybeans could be a suitable fit in WA farming systems.

Landmark agronomist, Kirsty Smith, holds her GRDC Western Region Emerging Leader Award with GRDC Western Region Panel member Gemma Walker, who presented the award at the Newdegate Machinery Field Days. (Photo: GRDC)

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Pulse expert recognised for five-star career

LONG-SERVING NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) senior plant pathologist, Kevin Moore, has been recognised for his stellar contribution to primary industries and the country’s valuable pulse industry.

Kevin Moore

NSW DPI deputy director general Agriculture, Kate Lorimer-Ward, said Dr Moore had devoted more than 50 years of hard work, research, development, innovation and extension to delivering sustainable farming systems.

Dr Moore’s rapid development of integrated disease management strategies to assist growers to respond to a national outbreak of ascochyta blight in 1998 was critical to ensuring the industry’s continued viability.

The chickpea industry in northern NSW and southern Queensland expanded in the following seasons, and since that time Dr Moore has worked closely with DPI’s chickpea breeding team to develop disease resistant varieties.

“Adoption of Dr Moore’s research findings and his collaboration with the PBA Chickpea breeding program resulted in chickpea production in northern NSW exceeding that of winter cereals for the first time in 2016,” Ms Lorimer-Ward said.

“Dr Moore has contributed to disease management strategies for key pathogens, including phytophthora, botrytis and sclerotinia in chickpea and leaf rust in faba bean.”

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Commodity procurement business launch

Matthew Tolmachoff

TOLMACHOFF Enterprises has commenced an agricultural commodity procurement and advisory business from Adelaide, South Australia, offering fee-for-service accumulation of commodities for traders and end-users, and marketing advice to agribusiness and growers.

The business was established by Matthew Tolmachoff who has worked as a broker and trader in eastern Australia since the late 1980s.

His most recent position was head of brokerage at Grain Brokers Australia.

Mr Tolmachoff has extensive agribusiness experience in trading, export sales, marketing, grain accumulation and warehouse logistics across enterprises in grain, wool and cotton.

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NFF leaders of the future

THE National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) has announced the participants in this year’s 2030 Leaders Program.

Selected from more than 80 applicants, the 11 men and women all have a passion and vision for Australia’s farm sector.

NFF chief executive officer Tony Mahar said the program was a key part of agriculture’s bold vision to be a $100 billion industry by 2030.

Ashleigh Brooks

This year’s successful applicants are:

  • Allana Ross (Morningside, Qld)
  • Megan Williams (East Toowoomba, Qld)
  • David Crowley (Young, NSW)
  • James Beale (Katherine, NT)
  • James Christian (Braitling, NT)
  • Joanna Treasure (Cowra, NSW)
  • Kimberly Pellosis (Naracoorte, SA)
  • Leesa Chen (Melbourne, Vic)
  • Martin Murray (Curban, NSW)
  • Tegan Nock (Lyneham, ACT)
  • Ashleigh Brooks (Wimmera, Vic)

The NFF 2030 Leaders Program is supported by the Australian Rural Leadership Foundation.

The program develops participants’ understanding of the shared leadership challenges and opportunities faced by Australian agriculture.

Mr Mahar said the group would also join the NFF’s 2030 Leaders’ Summit and 40th Anniversary Gala Dinner celebrations in Canberra on Monday, 14 October, 2019.

“On the completion of the program, participants will form part of the NFF and ARLF alumni; and provide ongoing peer support to future program participants,” Mr Mahar said.

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New boss for Ridley

RIDLEY Corporation Limited has appointed Quinton Hildebrand as its chief executive officer and managing director.

He replaces interim CEO David Lord, who will resume his role as a non-executive director of the company.

Mr Hildebrand was previously chief commercial officer at Ingham’s Group Limited, and was CEO of Mackay Sugar Limited from 2008 to 2015.

Ridley chair Gary Weiss said Mr Hildebrand would help focus Ridley on its domestic growth plans, and his experience in the poultry industry would be of significant value to Ridley.

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ADM pulse trading manager

ADM has appointed Rob Brealey as its Australian pulse trading manager.

Based in Queensland, Mr Brealey has extensive experience in domestic and export cereal and pulse business, and co-founded PentAG.

ADM Asia Pacific managing director origination Tim Henry said Mr Brealey was a welcome addition to the team.

“Rob has an excellent understanding of the trade, and of factors affecting production, and we’re delighted to have him on board as we move into the pulse market,” Mr Henry said.

ADM will be accumulating pulses direct from the grower for containerised and bulk exports.

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Agfarm regional appointment

SOUTH Australian-based Andrew Hannon has been appointed Agfarm regional manager and commenced on 20 August.

Andrew Hannon

Mr Hannon is a familiar presence in SA agriculture, having worked in both hands-on and management roles in all southern states since the 1990s.

The SA Agfarm team will help farmers making decisions about marketing programs, particularly over the busy harvest period.

Mr Hannon holds a Master of Agribusiness from the University of Melbourne.

His most recent senior employment as commercial relations and quality manager with Viterra was preceded by almost 20 years with Viterra, ABB Grain and Ausbulk.

In early 2019 he formed Aus Agribusiness, a consulting business providing strategic skills to farm, corporate and government sectors.

Aus Agribusiness, operated by Mr Hannon, will continue to provide consulting to its clients.

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Jan Cathcart Scholarship for rice industry

APPLICATIONS for the 2020 Jan Cathcart Scholarship are now open for women involved in the Australian rice industry, offering financial assistance valued at $10,000 a year for up to three years of tertiary study.

The scholarship, which honours the memory of long-term SunRice employee Jan Cathcart and her 43 years with the rice industry, provides numerous opportunities for recipients, from financial support, to work experience and employment placements with SunRice, and professional and personal growth.

SunRice chair Laurie Arthur encouraged women in the rice industry to apply: “The recipients of the Jan Cathcart Scholarship have all shown a desire to contribute to the rice industry, as well as agriculture as a whole, and we’re looking to support the professional development of women in these industries. This scholarship pays tribute to Jan’s enormous commitment to the rice industry by helping recipients in their studies and with employment options.”

Women connected to the rice industry, shareholders and employees of SunRice and their extended families are urged to consider applying for the scholarship.

Applications close on Saturday 12 October 2019, with the winner to be announced in early 2020. More details and application form can be found here.

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Apply now for innovation awards grants

AUSTRALIA’s young agricultural innovators, scientists and researchers wanting to make a difference in agriculture are invited to submit their innovative agricultural research project ideas for a chance to receive a share in up to $242,000 in grants.

Eleven industry award categories are available in the 2020 round, with each winner to receive a grant of up to $22,000 (including GST).

Bridget McKenzie

Minister for Agriculture, Bridget McKenzie, is encouraging 18–35-year-old innovators to undertake new and creative research to help agricultural industries to overcome industry challenges and to realise its potential.

“Australia is a world leader in agricultural innovation, and ingenuity has allowed Australian agricultural industries to become more competitive, resilient, productive and profitable, and to overcome barriers to growth. Our continued advancement is this area is needed more than ever.” Minister McKenzie said.

Applications close at 5pm AEST Friday 4 October 2019. The Award recipients will be publicly presented as part of the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) Outlook 2020 conference in Canberra.

For more information visit www.agriculture.gov.au/scienceawards

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