Speakers

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Ben Single

Founder and Director of Single Agriculture – Single Shot UAV Weed Mapping

When mechanical and aerospace engineer Ben Single searched fruitlessly for a weed detection technology that suited his family’s broadacre farming business, he took on the challenge and developed Single Shot – a drone that can map up to 1,500 hectares a day and deliver a selective spraying solution for weeds that cuts chemical use and reduces environmental impact.

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Dr Cheryl Kalisch Gordon

Head of Strategy, Rabobank Australia & New Zealand Region

Cheryl is an economist who has made a career supporting decision making in the food, agriculture and natural resource sectors, and currently supports the strategic direction of Rabobank across the Australia New Zealand region.

She was a consultant to business and government for almost a decade in her early career followed by time as a lecturer at the University of Sydney, and as Trade and Economics Manager for GrainGrowers. In the latter role she was responsible for advocating, evaluating and negotiating global and regional trade agreements on behalf of the Australian grains sector.

Immediately prior to her current role, Cheryl was the Senior Commodities Analyst for Australia and New Zealand in Rabobank’s global RaboResearch team, where she supported rural and wholesale clients in the grains, cotton and sugar sectors with analysis, insights and forecasting for near term business decisions and strategic planning.

Cheryl has a PhD in Economics and grew up on a cropping property in central New South Wales, not far from her current home near Orange where she lives with her husband and three kids.

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Duncan Ferguson

Head of Investment & Growth at Farmers2Founders

Duncan has 20+ years of global experience in commercialisation, IP management, research collaboration, and investment in the agrifood industry.He began his agribusiness career working in studstock, before establishing a career in agrifood commercialisation and research collaboration that has covered technologies across the supply chains of most animal and plant industries.

He has established new commercial roles and teams in research and investment organisations including CSIRO, UniQuest at University of Queensland, Sugar Research Australia/BSES, and Meat & Livestock Australia.At CSIRO, he established a team that built agrifood ventures with industry partners and investors, that raised over $225 million, and held founding board roles on these and other start-ups.

Duncan has delivered training and mentoring to the commercialisation sector, including through professional societies, such as the Licensing Executives Society, where he served as ANZ President and on the International board, and Knowledge Commercialisation Australia.

He holds a Bachelor of Agricultural Science from the University of Queensland, is a Registered Technology Transfer Professional (RTTP), a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, and has completed postgraduate qualifications in various business fields.

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Ellah Thompson

Analyst, Impact Ag Partners

Hailing from a cropping farm on the south-west slopes of NSW, Ellah was introduced to the grains industry early on in life. She then went on to complete a Business degree at UNE with a double major in Agribusiness and Management, which armed her with the tools to immerse herself even further into the agricultural industry. While completing her studies, she joined Impact Ag Partners, an asset management company based in Armidale, NSW. Through her employment she has gained experience across an array of operations and regions honing her skills in financial management and industry research. Ellah hopes in future that she can continued to build her knowledge across all aspects of the ag industry with a particular expertise in grains.

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Jack Langley

Solicitor, Farrell Goode Solicitors

Jack is part of the fifth generation on his family’s merino sheep and cereal cropping property at Narrandera NSW. He holds a Bachelor of Laws and is a Solicitor at Farrell Goode, a rural-based law firm with a strong focus on commercial law and farm transition planning. Jack is also a Director and the current Chair of Narrandera District Investments Limited, the operating company of Bendigo Bank Narrandera & District.

Jack is passionate about rural and regional Australia and what it has to offer for the next generation.

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James Russell

Grower, Rutherglen VIC

James is a fifth-generation grower from the Northeast region of Victoria, on the outskirts of the town of Rutherglen. James recently completed a dual degree in Agribusiness and Farm Production. Following this, he has ventured into the world of corporate banking, embarking on a new career path in the rural finance sector. This transition has provided James with fresh perspectives on the agricultural industry, enriching his knowledge in anticipation of his return to the family farm in the coming decade. James’s personal fervour lies in the growth and prosperity of the agricultural sector. As a result, he has actively engaged with various agricultural extension organizations, immersing himself in advocacy, grower development, research, and extension to broaden his understanding of the facets of agriculture.

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Dr Jana Phann

Director for Stewardship and Sustainability Policy, CropLife Australia

Dr Jana Phan is committed to harnessing scientific advancements for meaningful change. Formally trained as a researcher with experience in science-policy, she is currently the Director for Stewardship and Sustainability Policy at CropLife Australia. In this role she manages and develops a wide variety of stewardship initiatives aimed at promoting the responsible and sustainable use of products of the plant science industry.

A recipient of a Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) Post-graduate Scholarship, Dr Phan pursued her doctoral studies in agricultural and plant science at the University of Adelaide. Transitioning from research to policy, she has collaborated with interdisciplinary teams at both national and international levels. Her expertise lies in synthesising, analysing, and crafting evidence-informed policy that drive impactful outcomes.

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Jacob Betros

Manager of Beef Sustainability, Meat & Livestock Australia

Jacob is the Manager of Beef Sustainability with Meat & Livestock Australia, and responsible for the management of the Australian Beef Sustainability Framework (ABSF) and related projects. This includes ESG reporting in alignment with the Global Reporting Initiative Standards, the management of data collection projects, alignment of stakeholder priorities, and - in collaboration with RDA - coordination of research and adoption programs within MLA to deliver on the ABSF objectives. Jacob collaborates with marketing and communication teams to promote the sustainability credentials of Australian beef to key markets.

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James Venning

Grower, Yorke Peninsula SA

James Venning is a grain grower from the Yorke Peninsula in South Australia. He uses a wide range of technologies to aid in decision making and to micromanage areas in his cropping program focussing on productivity, efficiency and cost effectiveness. In 2022 he was a finalist in the Young Farmer of the Year award and also received the award for Excellence in Technology. He also chairs his local grower group Northern Sustainable Soils and is a board member of the Hart Field Site group a research organisation in the Mid North of South Australia.

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Jerome Leray

Founder and Managing Director, InFarm

Jerome Leray is the Founder and Managing Director of InFarm and is committed to delivering solutions to farmers that increase productivity, resilience and sustainability.

With a BCommerce and postgrad qualifications in Mineral Exploration and GeoScience, Jerome founded InFarm in early 2017 off the back of a highly successful aerial surveying and remote sensing business.

Jerome is a recognised industry leader, having been awarded the Agricultural Ministers Emerging Leader Award in 2020, as well as representing Australia at the Entrepreneurship World Cup. For his contributions to technology and agriculture Jerome received a QLD Community Achievement Award and led InFarm to be awarded the Australian Food and Agribusiness of the Year in 2019.

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Jock Binnie

Grower, Bungeet VIC

Jock Binnie is a fifth-generation grower based on a family run farm in North-East Victoria at Bungeet near Yarrawonga with another property in the Riverina, NSW. Jock and his family predominantly grow canola, wheat, vetch and faba beans. Jock is interested in improving on-farm efficiencies to get the most out of people and equipment.

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Kelsey Winney

Founder, Bass Capital

Kelsey founded Bass Capital a traditional search fund in 2024. Her funded is focused on sourcing SMEs in the Australian market who do not have a designated successor and are looking at exit opportunities. Kelsey is a charted accountant, holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Melbourne and an MBA from IESE University of Navarra. She recently returned to Australia after seven years working in Europe in the Fine Art Industry and consulted to the Banking sector.

Kelsey’s family live on a small cattle farm in Victoria and she is an avid Rugby Union fan.

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Kimberly Pellosis

Director, Ag Institute of Australia

Kimberly Pellosis is an AGLP alumni and Crawford Fund Scholar driven by economically efficient and innovative agricultural practices. She is geared towards the intersection of agriculture and environmental science, and is a passionate young leader in AgTech and sustainability.

As a Crawford Fund Scholar, Kimberly has worked on projects in Timor Leste supporting intensified and sustainable farming systems through the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research. She has also previously worked for an AgTech startup, as an agronomist, and has led agronomy and sustainability systems for Australian agricultural assets and investments.

She is a Director for the Ag Institute of Australia, a Youth Advisory Group Member for Melbourne Royal, and a national committee member for The Environment Institute of Australia and New Zealand.

Kimberly is an ambassador for Thought For Food and The Wattle Fellowship, as well as a participant of the National Farmers’ Federation: 2030 Leaders Program and Grain Growers: 2020 Australian Grain Leaders Program.

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Kristin Lefroy

Director, Cranmore Farming

Kristin Lefroy is a Director at Cranmore Farming. Cranmore is a family farming business focused on the profitable and sustainable production of grains, oilseeds, sheep, wool and beef.

We aim to be a respected and responsible asset to the community, providing a positive and inclusive environment that is a happy place for both family and team

As a growing business we embrace change to ensure our vision is achieved.

"Our future is greater than our past" - Ben Okri

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Lisa Blair

World Record Sailor

Lisa is a force of nature. A vibrant and powerful speaker and world record holding sailor. In 2017, Lisa Blair made history. Just seven years after discovering sailing at the age of 25, Lisa became the first woman to sail solo around Antarctica with only one stop. After surviving a dramatic dismasting at sea, Lisa demonstrated her resilience and determination. An extraordinary feat aboard her yacht named Climate Action Now. This symbolic name reflected her commitment to a sustainable future and inspired others to take action through her post-it note campaign.

On May 25th, 2022, Lisa achieved her latest milestone by becoming the fastest person to sail solo, non-stop, and unassisted around Antarctica, shaving 10 days off the previous record.

Lisa has sailed over 110,000 nm and holds an RYA Yacht Master offshore. Lisa is a proud Australian adventurer, Author of Facing Fear, and Speaker on Resilience and Mental Agility. As a passionate Climate Activist she continues to develop projects that allow her to further her sustainability work while inspiring future generations to take on Climate Action Now.

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Luciano Mesiti

CEO, Primary Industries Education Foundation Australia (PIEFA)

Luciano Mesiti has been the CEO of Primary Industries Education Foundation Australia (PIEFA) since 2020. PIEFA’s aim is to develop, promote and advocate for food and fibre education in schools nationally, through the support of industry research and development corporations. Prior to his appointment he was a high school teacher, teaching agriculture, and design and technology, and president of the NSW Agriculture Teachers Association. Luciano has extensive experience in curriculum development in food and fibre and technology and is very passionate about helping schools and teachers to integrate food and fibre into their programs and increase interest in careers in food, fibre and agriculture.

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Lucy Brennan

Head of Communications, Nutrien Ag Solutions

Lucy is a professional storyteller and master of stakeholders. She draws on her experience working across media, government, and industry to be a passionate advocate for the Australian ag industry.

Lucy leads the Communications team for Nutrien Ag Solutions, one of the world’s largest providers of ag inputs and services. In her role she is responsible for public relations, brand management, stakeholder engagement, crisis communications, and other strategic communications activities.

Lucy believes your personal brand is key to the success of any professional or personal pursuit and says this quote sums it up nicely:

“Your smile is your logo, your personality is your business card, and how you leave others feeling after an experience becomes your trademark” – Jay Danzie.

Also describing herself as a ‘marriage-maker’, Lucy spends weekends across the country as a Commonwealth Registered Marriage Celebrant.

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Lucy Darragh

PhD Researcher, ANU

Raised in the suburbs of Wollongong, NSW, Lucy's career has led her from coast to capital, to country. From her first job in a local butcher shop, to the diverse roles with industry, government and NGOs, Lucy’s experiences in the ag sector are as remarkable and inspiring as the individuals she’s worked with along the way.

Currently pursuing her PhD with the Australian National Centre for the Public Awareness of Science, the ANU Research School of Biology and the ARC for Accelerated Future Crops Development, Lucy is exploring the 'promise' of agricultural biotechnology by investigating the dynamics between actors and the assumptions that shape technology development and drive innovation processes. She is particularly interested in the role that scientists play in conditioning knowledge production and discourse, which in turn influences how we come to define problems, justify interventions, and speculate about the future of agriculture and food systems.

Lucy’s previous work spanned industry development, operations management, policy research, advocacy, and technical advisory for organisations such as The Australian Farm Institute, GrainGrowers, CropLife Australia, and Kalyx Australia.

Beyond her academic pursuits, Lucy is dedicated to connecting those interested in working in and with the agriculture sector. She continues to support the next generation of agricultural leaders through her role as a sessional academic and tutor in Sustainable Agricultural Systems at ANU, and through her connection to the Agrifood Innovation Institute.

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Dr Margaret Jewell

Agricultural Scientist

Dr. Margaret Jewell is a distinguished Agricultural Scientist with extensive experience in consulting, research investment, and management. She has held leadership roles, board positions, and has been actively involved in industry associations and international agricultural research.

Margaret has led projects in environmental impact assessments, feasibility analyses, and cost-benefit evaluations. She has represented Australian agriculture on national and global stages, committed to sustainable agriculture and supply chain development.

Her work spans various land uses, including mining and conservation, promoting sustainable agriculture, food security, biodiversity, and climate change mitigation. She excels in coordinating collaboration among research institutions, industry stakeholders, and government bodies for innovative, low-emission agricultural solutions.

A passionate advocate for equitable nutrition, waste minimization, and thriving agricultural industries, Margaret is dedicated to advancing sustainable agriculture globally. Her leadership and mentoring efforts inspire the future of agricultural sustainability.

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Matthew Hyde

Grower, Dalwallinu WA

Matthew Hyde is a fifth-generation grower based in Dalwallinu, Western Australia. He grew up on his family farm before going to Perth for high school and university to study agribusiness. Matthew currently manages the farm alongside his parents Harry and Jane, where they produce a mixture of broadacre crops including wheat, lupins, canola and field peas. Matthew finds the opportunity to further the family business an immense privilege, providing him with the platform to develop a wide variety of skills in both the business and scientific arenas. He is interested in exploring risk, people’s attitude toward it and how those attitudes shapes their decision making. Aside from work, he is a self-proclaimed ordinary but keen fullback for his local football club and enjoys the tight-knit community country sport fosters.


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Max Cusack

Precision Ag Marketing Manager, John Deere Ltd (AUS/NZ)

Responsible for the execution of the John Deere Precision Ag strategy for John Deere, Max’s role focuses on customer adoption and utilisation of technology in the Australian and New Zealand markets.

Starting his career with John Deere as part of the Graduate Program in January 2016 he has held roles as Solutions Specialist, Harvesting Product Specialist and Territory Business Manager, working across a wide range of products and technology.

With a strong family connection to cropping and a Bachelor of Commerce, majoring in accounting, Max’s passion and enthusiasm for the industry is born from his early involvement in agriculture.

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Melissa Clark-Reynolds

ONZM, Futurist & Professional Director

Melissa Clark-Reynolds ONZM became a Futurist and Professional Director after 25 plus years' experience as an entrepreneur and CEO of several technology companies. She was awarded the ONZM for Services to Technology in 2015. She is widely recognised as a leading-edge thinker on strategy and the future of business models, particularly for the food sector. She recently made a podcast with NASA on what to eat in space. Melissa is a director of Atkins Ranch Lamb, AoFrio Ltd, Wētā Workshop, and Alpine Energy, and was the first independent director on Beef and Lamb NZ. She is a sought-after speaker globally, on the Future of Farming and Food.

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Mikaela Jericho

Technical Services Coordinator, Elders

Mikaela is a dedicated agribusiness professional, currently working for Elders as the Technical Services Coordinator, supporting the national agronomy network and specialised advisory services. In 2020, she completed a Bachelor of Agribusiness through the University of New England whilst simultaneously working full time in grain marketing. Her career trajectory led her from grain marketing to a pivotal role in Business Development with Elders before assuming her current position. Driven by a passion for fostering a sustainable future for the Australian grains industry, Mikaela firmly believes that enhancing resilience in rural communities is integral to this pursuit. Committed to continuous learning, she is currently pursuing a Graduate Certificate
in Agricultural Consulting, aiming to acquire the skills necessary for delivering farm business management advice. This endeavour reflects her dedication to assisting growers in establishing profitable and sustainable agricultural enterprises. Residing on a broadacre and sheep property in South Australia’s mid-north, Mikaela gains invaluable insights into industry challenges, viewing them from the unique perspective of both producer and professional.

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Rebecca Underwood

Head of Commercial Sustainability, Nutrien Ag Solutions

Rebecca is Head of Commercial Sustainability for Nutrien Ag Solutions.

Rebecca has over 20 years’ experience in Australian agribusiness, starting her career as an agronomist and having since held various senior commercial agribusiness roles, including as the National Seed Manager for Nutrien.

Rebecca holds a Master of Agriculture and a Graduate Certificate in Commerce and has completed the Leading Sustainable Corporations course through Oxford University. Rebecca is also a graduate from the Australian Institute of Company Directors and is a current director of AuctionsPlus and Landcare Australia.

In her role as Head of Commercial Sustainability for Nutrien Ag Solutions, Rebecca and the team are working with their farming customers to not only improve their on-farm sustainability metrics but also to increase farm productivity and profitability.

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Rebekah Starick

Grower Relations Manager, GRDC

Rebekah is a Grower Relations Manager for GRDC working in the southern region. Her role is to work closely with growers, advisers, and research partners to identify issues and opportunities on farm to shape future research and extension investments. She is passionate about supporting young people in agriculture and sharing opportunities in the industry. This passion has led her to lead investments in community trust, education, hyper-profitable crops, and other grower driven extension focussed investments.

Rebekah grew up just outside Mannum, SA on a cropping and pig farm where her love of agriculture started. She has also worked in grain marketing and agribusiness consulting across South Australia and into Victoria, as well as in agricultural education and the wine industry. She has studied a bachelor of agricultural science and is now undertaking a Masters in Global Food and Agricultural Business, with her research project focussing on the economics of succession in Australian broadacre farms.

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Renae Piggott

Farm management consultant, AgAsset

Renae Piggott comes from a family farming background in the northern wheatbelt of WA, currently working as a farm management consultant at AgAsset. She works with family farms to help them develop more sustainable and profitable businesses. She has a strong passion for empowering the younger generation of farmers to get involved in the decisionmaking of the business and understand their financial ratios to allow them to be confident in their business. Renae has worked alongside the Drought Hub initiative to bring the perspective of different growers from all around the Wheatbelt to the table to help create research that is relevant to the high input and drying climate of broad-acre agriculture.

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Rhys Turton

Chair, GrainGrowers

Rhys Turton is a grain grower from York, Western Australia where he grows a range of crops including cereals, pulses, canola and hay. Rhys is a grower director of GrainGrowers. Rhys has worked in agricultural organisations both in Australia and internationally, giving him a thorough understanding of international trade and market access.

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Richard Konzag

Director, GrainGrowers

A grain grower at Mallala, SA, Richard produces a wide variety of cereals, pulses and oilseeds. Richard served for six years on the Advisory Board of Agriculture, and seven years on the GRDC’s Southern Panel which included the Plant Biosecurity Cooperative Research Centre, Grains Advisory Panel. He was also a non-executive director and Chair of the Australian Grain Growers Co-op board and has served on the Rural Business Support Board since 2019.
Richard has experience in corporate governance, strategic and business planning, financial management and planning, implementation and project planning and oversight and graduated from the Australian Institute of Company Directors in 2015.

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Richard Norton

Non-Grower Director, GrainGrowers

Richard has 30 years of experience in agriculture having worked for listed companies in North American and Australia. Richard is the former MD of Agrium (Nutrien Ag Solutions) and Meat & Livestock Australia as well as the Head of Retail at Elders Rural.

Richard’s executive experience encompasses retail, innovation, logistics, marketing, and agribusiness. He holds the position of Managing Director at Food Agility Consultancy, a leading research and development organisation dedicated to pioneering data-driven technologies within the Australian agri-food industry.

Richard has been pivotal in spearheading and contributing to numerous projects involving ASX-listed companies, global agri-food enterprises, technology firms, financial institutions, government bodies, regulatory agencies, and esteemed research institutions.

Richard’s expertise extends to global retail value chains, marketing and manufacturing systems, and cutting-edge data and digital technologies, including AI, robotics, blockchain, sensors, and advanced data analytics. He is currently an NED of Terragen (ASX listed), Australasian Global Exports, PrimeSafe and FarmGate

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Dr Robyn Leeson

Principal, STR Consulting

Dr. Robyn Leeson has 30 years of experience in environment and sustainability-related fields for government at all levels and as a consultant in the private sector. She has specific experience in the development and implementation of sustainability strategies and reports. She holds a Masters degree in environmental science and a doctorate in environmental impact assessment. Robyn served for six years as Vice-Chair of GRI’s Global Sustainability Standards Board which is an independent international standard setting organisation responsible for the first and most widely adopted global standards for sustainability reporting. Robyn consults to several agricultural and resource industry bodies and a number of ASX listed companies on the development of sustainability frameworks, strategies and public reports.

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Shane Webcke

Farmer, author & former professional rugby league footballer for the Brisbane Broncos

Shane
Webcke
is
a
farmer,
family
man, businessman,
author,
news
presenter, safety
ambassador,
speaker
and
former professional
footballer.
At
the
peak
of his
rugby
league
career
he
was renowned
as
one
of
the
best
front rowers
in
the
world.

Shane
represented
Queensland
on
24 occasions
and
represented
Australia
in 26
tests
he
played
for
the
Brisbane Broncos
for
12
years
and
was
named
the Daly
M
Prop
of
the
Year
3
times. Shane
has
taken
his
work
ethic
from
the football
field
to
his
farm
in
Southern Queensland.
He
balances
family
life
with his
wife
and
3
children,
with
his professional
career
behind
the
news desk
at
Seven. Shane
released
his
bestselling autobiography
'Warhorse'
in
2006
and has
since
gone
to
add
to
his
illustrious career
by
sharing
his
knowledge passion
and
experience
with
many audiences
across
Queensland
and Australia
as
a
professional
speaker.

Tragically
Shane's
father
was
killed
in
a Queensland
workplace
incident
in
1994. Shane
was
only
18.
He
had
just
started his
professional
football
career
under the
guidance
of
Wayne
Bennett
when he
received
the
news
that
his
world
had been
ripped
apart.
Shane's
direct experience
with
the
horrific
outcome
of his
father's
workplace
fatality
has
led him
to
his
role
as
a
safety
ambassador. He
shares
his
message
in
the
hope
it will
motivate
others
to
put
safety
first, always. Shane
Webcke
is
still
a
Bronco
through and
through
and
has
a
few
tales
to
tell about
football
life,
retirement, managing
a
farm
through
drought,
and remaining
grounded
through
it
all.

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Stuart Tighe

CEO, PURE Grain Network

Observations over 30 years within the grains industry crystalised a belief that the way we do things is not sustainable. Stuart Tighe created PURE Grain Network in 2019 to provide a fully traceable, data driven platform which connects growers to end users, equitably sharing the value created across the entire supply chain.

Utilising grower partners that cover over 180,000 ha of cropping land, PURE Grain is an established provider of premium malting barley within domestic and export markets serving the needs of major brewers such as Asahi, CUB and Lion through malthouses operated by United Malt and others throughout Australia. Providing “grain to glass” information, brewers and maltsters have access to a direct connection with the raw product producer and a clear line of sight of their product throughout the entirety of the value chain.

Stuart has wide-ranging experience in broad acre cropping having previously been CEO of Boolah Farms for a period of over 20 years. During this time he and his wife Lyndall developed a diverse, vertically integrated enterprise which encompasses farm management, farm services contracting, earth moving, storage and handling, marketing and logistics. With a footprint of over 30,000ha Boolah Farms, services both domestic and international clients; and is renowned for their customer centric agile market responses. During the most recent drought, his actions assisted in reversing an export orientated supply chain to “import” over 1.5million tonnes of grain through the Port of Brisbane to fulfill demand in South East Queensland.

Stuart, Lyndall and their 4 children live on Dimboola, the family property outside of Pallamallawa approximately 50km north east of Moree in far northern NSW.

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Tegan Nock

Co-founder and COO, Loam Bio

Tegan is a Co-founder and COO of one of Australia’s fastest growing agritech companies, Loam Bio, which was founded in 2019 and now has over 70 team members across offices and labs in Australia, Canada, and the US.

Starting her career in farming on the family property at Bogan Gate, NSW, Tegan has qualifications and experience in agricultural sciences. In her role at Loam, she has built one of Australia’s largest microbial product development teams - including establishing global R&D programs, specialist soil analysis laboratories and an international microbial library boasting over 2,500 strains of fungi.

Tegan and the Loam team explore how the world’s smallest organisms - microbes - can solve the world’s biggest problems and have developed ground-breaking microbial products that enable farmers to build significant levels of soil carbon in cropping systems.

Connecting world-class microbiologists with real-world farming challenges, Tegan is a leader in agritech driving high-impact solutions for farming systems and climate change.

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Thomas Moloney

Grower, Jerilderie, NSW

Thomas Moloney is a fifth-generation grower from Jerilderie, NSW. Thomas currently works on his family’s Southern Riverina & Central West NSW properties where they grow a variety of winter and summer crops, on both dryland and irrigation. Post secondary school, Thomas attended university to study Business & Finance. Following his studies, he was employed in the NAB Melbourne Corporate Agribusiness Team. His time in the finance industry, in conjunction with his current role as a Farm Manager has allowed him to develop an in depth understanding of the financial challenges growers can be faced with. Thomas hopes to use his time in the AGLP to research unfavourable market conditions that growers may be exposed to and provide strategies to assist in the mitigation of risk brought about by unfavourable market conditions.

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Tim Dellit

Senior Manager Sustainability Finance, Rabobank

Tim Dellit covers Rabobank’s Country Banking Sustainability Finance activities and works closely with our Rural Account Managers and clients in support of client transition, carbon farming finance and transaction structuring.

Tim joined Rabobank in 2018, and has previously held senior positions covering Major Agribusiness and Wholesale credit risk as well as leading Country Banking’s Major Agri Client credit analyst team. His 31 years in finance has spanned business and institutional banking, financial restructuring and investment banking.

Bridging the gap between business risks and how these are impacted by climate and nature risks is key to Tim’s focus on supporting clients to focus on linking sustainability outcomes with their business strategic goals.

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Timothy Eckert

Grower, Meningie SA

Tim is a grower working within the family farm located in the upper Southeast of South Australia. Being a mixed enterprise of cropping, livestock and hay, Tim left school in 2011 with plenty of opportunity to come straight home onto the farm. Over the years he has developed a keen interest on the cropping side and spend the majority of his time there. He enjoys being involved within his local community trial site exploring new varieties and finding solutions to current issues faced in the grains industry.

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Tracy Lefroy

Director, Cranmore Farms, WA

Tracy is a Partner in a 4500ha grain growing enterprise (6300ha total), Cranmore Farming, Moora Shire President, a board member of Innovations Central Midlands Inc and Gardiner Street Arts Collective and completed Leadership WA’s Signature Leadership Program as Valedictorian (2019). These positions contribute and attest to Tracy’s ability to approach challenges strategically.

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Veronica Terry

Grower, TAS

Veronica Terry and her husband Rob farm grains, potatoes, peas, carrots, and broccoli. Veronica is a finance professional, certified economic developer, and is a graduate of the GrainGrowers Australian Grain Leaders Program in 2018. In addition to growing grains and vegetables, over the years Rob and Veronica have engaged in contract grain and potato harvesting, spray contracting, and winter dairy cow agistment. Veronica's work at the Cradle Coast Authority focuses on creating and enhancing economic opportunities in the north west region of Tasmania, where agriculture is a key economic contributor. The north west coast of Tasmania is seeing a surge of activity with $10 billion of renewable energy projects and another $10 billion of mining projects on the horizon.

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Vitor Cacula Pistoia

RaboResearch Analyst

Vitor is a Grains and Oilseeds Analyst based in Sydney and a member of Rabobank’s team of over 100 research analysts dotted across the world. He is passionate about opportunities stemming from the linkage of global grain demand and supply fundamentals to local farmer insights and decisioning.

Prior to his role with RaboResearch, Vitor was based in South America where he managed a small beef enterprise and worked as a farm input sales manager in the soybean and corn producing belt of Brazil, and as an agronomist for a major global brewing company.

Vitor is a honours graduate (Agriculture Science) from the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre/Brazil.

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Chris Rowley

Media Manager, GrainGrowers

Chris works with the media on behalf of GrainGrowers to ensure the industry voice is heard consistently across the country. He has over 30 years of experience across rural industry, undertaking communications and media roles for various industries, including meat and livestock, wool, horticulture, dairy and mushrooms.

Chris grew up on a dairy farm in southeast Queensland, and while he has left the farm, he remains firmly grounded in agriculture. He enjoys the hard-working nature of the rural industry, where people are prepared to give their opinions and respect open discussion.

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Constantine Theodore

GrainGrowers Policy Officer

Constantine assists the policy team at GrainGrowers. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture from the University of Sydney, focusing on Entomology and Horticulture. Through his studies, Constantine was given the opportunity to travel throughout Australia and learn about Australian agriculture first-hand. He is also an amateur beekeeper, backyard gardener and has worked on family and friends’ farms in rural Greece, where he was raised.

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Shona Gawel

Chief Executive Officer, GrainGrowers

Shona is GrainGrowers' CEO. Shona has over 20 years of experience working in the areas of marketing, communications, membership services, media and public relations.


Shona's experience includes roles in Australia and the United Kingdom, working on projects that have spanned digital technology, infrastructure, the charity sector and industry associations.

Passionate about local communities and the champions who make them special, Shona loves being a part of the team that gets to share the stories and experiences of growers across the country.

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Sarah Hyland

Acting General Manager, Major Projects, GrainGrowers

Sarah is the Acting General Manager, Major Projects at GrainGrowers. She has worked in manufacturing, technical research, innovation, market research and sustainability over the course of her career in the Australian food and agriculture industry. Before coming to GrainGrowers, Sarah led the development, launch and management of the world-first Sheep Sustainability Framework. Sarah has qualifications Applied Chemistry, Cereal Chemistry and Sustainability.

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Sean Cole

Advocacy and Rural Affairs Manager

Sean has previously held executive roles focused on (but not limited to) grower advocacy, trading, export, manufacturing & supply chain. Having been CEO of CCW Co-operative Limited and spending the vast balance of his career in various trading and management roles within the grains sector, for various small, medium and large organisations, Sean is well-informed and passionate about working to help Australian Grain Growers prosper. Sean originally hails from South Australia and holds a Bachelor of Economics from the University of Adelaide. Sean also holds a GAICD qualification from the Australia Institute of Company Directors and has served actively on industry Boards and committees during his career.

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Rebecca Cope

GrainGrowers Grower Engagement Officer - NSW & QLD

Bec has a Bachelor of Agriculture from UNE and has worked as an agronomist, consulting direct to growers, managing field trials and providing extension activities across northern NSW for seven years. Bec also has a background in relationship building across many areas of agriculture, including most recently as Regional Sales Manager (NSW & QLD) for an ag chem company, and previously as a Territory Sales Manager for a seed company.

Bec is based in Northern NSW in Narrabri, and developed a strong connection to agriculture growing up in the area. Outside work, Bec is actively involved in agricultural shows and is a director with the Agricultural Societies Council of NSW.

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Roma Christian Rahmé

General Manager, Communications and Grower Engagement

Roma is an award-winning communications executive whose work spans across a variety of industries including technology, professional associations and government-backed non-profits. Roma is a strategic leader with a Bachelor of Commerce (Marketing and Entrepreneurship) from Curtin University and has studied international business in Europe. Having grown up in country West Australia, Roma is passionate about ensuring the voices of regional Australia are heard.

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Vincent Britnell

Major Projects Manager

As the Major Projects Manager, Vince is responsible for the development and implementation of critical major projects delivering tangible outcomes for Australian growers. Following a career journey as a political staffer across State and Federal Parliaments, he felt a strong desire to return to the industry he was raised in, agriculture. Vince has joined GrainGrowers having previously worked as the Grains Manager at the Victorian Farmers Federation. He brings with him a Bachelor of Agricultural Science with a focus on sustainability and is in the process of completing his Master of International Business.

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Zach Whale

General Manager Policy and Advocacy, GrainGrowers

Zach is the General Manager, Policy and Advocacy at GrainGrowers. He manages GrainGrowers’ policy and advocacy efforts working to ensure the right policy settings for Australia’s grain growers. Previously, Zach has worked for the Department of Agriculture and most recently was the Grains Policy Director at AgForce Queensland Farmers. He has qualifications in International Relations and Public Policy and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Zach is from Merriwa in rural New South Wales, where his family remains involved in agriculture.