Australian Grain Leaders Program

The Australian Grain Leaders Program (AGLP) is a national leadership program designed specifically for emerging leaders in the grains industry. The program develops leadership skills, knowledge and potential.

The AGLP is designed to give individuals that helping hand necessary to develop, implement and evaluate their own project. The AGLP provides the ongoing support of a trained program facilitator.

Open to people under 40 years of age working in the whole of the supply chain in the Australian grains industry, the AGLP offers participants the opportunity to:

  • meet other like- minded growers;
  • develop leadership knowledge and skills;
  • gain an insight into the leadership pathways of established leaders and learn from inspiring speakers;
  • develop a mentoring partnership with an industry leader, and
  • implement a plan to achieve an Australian grain industry, enterprise or individual farm project that provides an overall benefit to the industry.

For the past 10 years, GrainGrowers has provided a 12-month Australian Grain Leaders Program for young aspiring grain leaders, consisting of face to face meetings and multiple individualised one on one phone sessions. The AGLP has been based on an integrated model of leadership knowledge, skills development, enterprise and industry engagement, and application. Throughout the program the facilitator has mentored participants through their leadership journey where they have selected and worked throughout the year on their individual projects relating to issues in the grains industry or their own businesses.

Applications for the 2020 Australian Grain Leaders Program with open in July 2019. The program runs every two years.

GrainGrowers is proud to be providing opportunities for grains industry participants to embrace the challenge of leading and driving change in the Australian grains industry.

Australian Grain Leaders Program Participants

Symon Allen

Kimba, SA

A fourth generation grain farmer running a 4050 ha operation at Kimba, SA, Symon has worked successfully to expand the business while reducing debt. He is keen to see the grains sector generally become more focused on profit margins, examining, for example, the opportunities for alternative markets and transport options.

Nick Davis

Adelaide, SA

Nick works for grain accumulator, Davis Grain Pty Ltd on behalf of AWB. Davis Grain also accumulates grain for three GrainFlow sites within the Mid North and Yorke Peninsula of South Australia. Nick is relatively new to the grains industry but since joining has really enjoyed his role and is keen to become more involved within industry and learn more. After spending time in the United States examining the grains industry there, Nick believes Australian growers can become better at managing risk when selling grain, through offering different marketing products.

Amery Drage

Northampton, WA

Amery has been a grain farmer for more than five years on the family farm at Northampton WA. He seeks to broaden his knowledge of the grains industry and use that knowledge to improve the farm’s efficiency and productivity while making a difference to the industry as a whole. He has experimented with super absorbent polymers on farm for greater yield and water use efficiency.

Kathryn Fleay

Mingenew, WA

Kathryn is Executive Officer for the Mingenew Irwin Group, having previously managed a broadacre cropping property in Morawa. She is also involved in the family’s mixed cropping and sheep farm in the south of WA, providing agronomic advice when required. She seeks to continue farming in the future, either as a grain grower or in other ways that allow involvement in farming enterprises. She is keen to focus on ways to see the industry have a sustainable future.

Mitch Mouritz

Hyden, WA

Mitch has been a grain farmer for 13 years and is involved in operating a 8500 ha mixed farming family enterprise involving cropping, livestock and an earthmoving business on farms in Hyden and the Lake King district of Western Australia. Mitch is interested in the move to large scale expansion and how this can best be managed whilst dealing with the problems of climate variability and the day to day business.

Nick Panizza

Williams, WA

Nick is a member of a family farming operation in Williams WA, farming 5000 ha with 80 per cent continuous cropping and the remaining pastures for livestock. Through the use of online farm decision making software, Nick has been able to assess not just the most profitable crop in any given year but the most profitable rotation. He is keen to see the use of data and related technology drive forward the grains industry to greater profitability and efficiency.

Tess Walch

Streaky Bay, SA

Tess is the Eyre Peninsula Representative for FREE Eyre Limited, based in Streaky Bay and specialises in grain marketing strategy and broking. Tess is keen to develop her leadership abilities through the course to benefit the 475 Eyre Peninsula farmers who are sponsoring her participation. Tess is focused on developing and executing a grower engagement strategy for FREE Eyre shareholders, and hopes to return some grassroots value to members.

Katrina Dicks

Sydney, NSW

Katrina is a Grower Relationship Officer at GrainGrowers in Sydney. She is undertaking the course to understand grain farmers better and the production issues experienced by farmers “at the coal face”. GrainGrowers is proud to sponsor Katrina to assist her to build her communication, engagement and leadership skills.

Veronica Terry

Dairy Plains, TAS

Veronica has worked in financial planning for more than 10 years. She and her husband Rob run the family farm at Dairy Plains in northern Tasmania. The Terrys have structured their business to service the feed needs of the local dairy industry prominent in the area and grow wheat, barley, linseed, sunflower seed, hybrid canola seed and potatoes. Veronica is investigating why agricultural investments are not easily accessible by everyday Australian investors. Veronica is also keen to look at how to utilise parts of the farm that are not conducive to grain production, either to promote biodiversity and native plants or a commercially viable crop.

Millie Bach

Jandowae, QLD

Formerly a Domestic Grain Merchant with AGT Foods Australia, Millie is now working on the family farm at Jandowae where the business has been trialling canola. Millie is interested in exploring ways to ensure younger generations are given the opportunity to remain either on farm or within the industry, and how connectivity can improve traceability within the value chain to ensure Australia captures and retains overseas markets.

Henry Moxham

Coonamble, NSW

Henry is a farm manager in the family business in central west New South Wales. He is focused on how grain farmers can adapt with enhanced flexibility and resilience to a more variable climate in the next decade.

Graduates Archive (2008-2017)

New South Wales

Year Name City State P/C Project Focus
2017 Robert Allen Temora NSW 2666 Investigate sub soil amelioration of sodic and alkaline soils.
2017 Oscar Pearse Moree NSW 2400 Benchtop analysis for landscape planning in cropping lands.
2017 Bec Wilde Sydney NSW 2000 Increase efficiency in task management systems and create channels for advocacy of capability building initiatives in the grain growing industry.
2015 Angus Duddy Quirindi NSW 2343 Economic viability of the production of high yielding soft biscuit wheats under lateral irrigation systems.
2015 Daniel Sheridan Purlewaugh NSW 2657 Understanding how we can better the industry, more profitable and productive.
2015 Jan Stillard Barooga NSW 3644 Reduce the impact of fatigue on grain farmers during peak periods.
2014 Emma Thomas Forbes NSW 2871 Investigate the carbon footprint of our systems.
2014 Brent Morton West Wyalong NSW 2671 Looking at what steps other farmers have taken to get to where they are now.
2014 Andrew Freeth Gilgandra NSW 2827 Optimising on Farm Storage.
2014 Sam Weir Barmedman NSW 2668 Cost effective machinery.
2013 Neil Mickan Lake Cargelligo NSW 2672 Adopt best management practices.
2013 Evan Wilson Forbes NSW Growing and developing new varieties.
2011/2012 Kurt Wilkinson Dubbo NSW 2830 Logistical constraints of grains grown in NSW from paddock to port.
2010/2011 Sam Heagney Wagga Wagga NSW 2650 Australian Grains Market Index – Develop and pilot an Australian Grains Market Index.
2010/2011 Andrew Bowman Dunedoo NSW 2844 BEST Trials 2011 – Identify, coordinate and evaluation 2+ BEST Trials reducing the amount of inputs that are required to maintain and increase grain production levels.
2010/2011 Virginia Bourke Narromine NSW 2831 dbc Vision Plus – Recreate the dbc SMARTsoft marketing strategy to increase relevance in Australia and enhance service delivery to customers.
2010/2011 Glen Smith Wagga Wagga NSW 2650 Ready for Management – Develop and pilot a product to support young farmers making the transition from worker to manager in their business.
2010/2011 Richard Rice Parkes NSW 2870 Communication PLUS – Develop and implement a communication plan to increase information sharing and effectiveness with staff and grain growers.
2010/2011 Robert Gill Darlington Point NSW 2706 Perennial Grains Plus – Develop a Perennial Grains Adoption Plan for implementation with Australian growers based on domestic research and overseas experience.
2010/2011 Amy Fay Lyneham ACT 2602 Grains Research Priorities – Document research prioritisation model and make recommendations for improving ways to prioritise research funds in the Australian grain industry
2009/2010 Garth Wickson Coolamon NSW 2701 Develop a Partnership Model and trial with an industry leadership group to undertake a pilot research project.
2009/2010 John Francis Wagga Wagga NSW 2650 Successful Farm Leasing Program Deliver workshops to demonstrate the factors that lead to success in farm leasing for both landlords and tenants.
2009/2010 Melissa Henry Richmond NSW 2753 Find Grains Training On-Line  Develop a communication strategy for the Online Agricultural Training Services (OATS) tool.
2009/2010 Samuel Hermena Ramsgate NSW 2217 Expand Global Market Promote an innovative import/export model for pulses and fertiliser.
2009/2010 David Jeffries Artarmon NSW 2064 Australian Quality Grain Develop a nationally consistent definition of Australian quality assured grain.
2009/2010 Chris Blanchard Wagga Wagga NSW 2678 Educating Grain Scientists Implement a grain science education program for new industry entrants.
2009/2010 Peter Horton Narromine NSW 2821 Develop a strategy to support effective decision making for Gilgandra Cooperative.
2008/2009 Georgina Whiting Moree NSW 2400 GROWER ENGAGEMENT Develop an innovative model to increase grower engagement and enhance the interface between traders and growers.
2008/2009 James Hamilton Narromine nsw 2821 AGLINK Develop a business plan for farm investment brokerage service.
2008/2009 Daniel Cooper Pullabooka NSW 2810 ASIA BOUND Investigate bag and container trade opportunities into Asia.
2008/2009 Katrina Swift Parkes NSW 2870 GRAINS-TALK Investigate a national initiative which encourages younger growers / professionals to become more involved in the Australian grains industry.
2008/2009 Mark Swift Parkes NSW 2870 Influencing people – Develop leadership influence through active participation in grains industry forums, committees and groups whilst encouraging new entrants to be more proactive.
2008/2009 James Nalder Coonamble NSW 2829 Lead the implementation of the Coonamble Farming Co-operative to realise benefits for all stakeholders.


Year Name City State P/C Project Focus
2017 Jordan Anderson Theodore QLD 4719 Campaign for greater awareness of issues and practical solutions around oversize agricultural machinerary movements in QLD, and also at a national level.
2016 Luke Bradley Springsure QLD 4722 Luke is keen to set up trials in sodic and calcareous soils with nutrient constraints to investigate the production of crops adding different fertilisers and assessing the conversion of these soils into profitable arable farmland.
2013 Samantha Noon Surat QLD 4417 improving staff productivity through education.
2011/2012  Jay Holland Highfields QLD 4352 Develop efficient procedures to help with the challenges faced with end point royalty harvest declaration.
2011/2012 Brendan Taylor QLD Explore ways of getting the agricultural sector integrated with social media for a global audience.
2010/2011 Christoper D Coore Chapel Hill QLD 4069 People, Growth + Grain 2030 – Investigate the impacts, draw insights and set projections to inform the future Australian grain industry.
2009/2010 Bill Hoare Jandaryan QLD 4403 Establish an enterprise leadership plan (integrated family and business) to remotely oversee an effective and productive team.
2009/2010  Chris Warrick Toowoomba QLD 4350 Grain Storage Research Link Create a positive communication link between researchers and farmers regarding grain storage.
2008/2009 Mel Taylor Toowoomba QLD 4350 GRAIN TRACE Develop an industry wide traceability tool for improving the quality and sale ability of Australian grain.
2008/2009 Arthur Gearon Chinchilla QLD 4413 Investigate leadership groups and roles in the Australian grains industry and establish a pathway for involvement and / or active participation.

South Australia

Year Name City State P/C Project Focus
2016 Simon Martin Karoonda SA 5307 Evaluate the profitability and sustainability of a stand-alone cropping system in a traditionally low rainfall merino sheep / grain business through the introduction of legumes.
2016 Tim Paschke Waikerie SA 5330 Raise awareness for social and mental wellbeing in farming and rural communities.
2013 Andrew Hall Manoora SA 5414 Leasing for releasing.
2011/2012 Chris Lawson Urrbrae SA 5064 Explore how best to communicate the issue of carbon emissions, carbon pricing and carbon legislation to the ag sector, particularly primary producers.
2011/2012 Jennifer Schofield Balaklava SA 5461 Development of a competitive, effective and efficient supply chain with improved information flows.
2010/2011 Lousie Flohr Tailem Bend SA 5260 Sustain Grain Certified – Investigate international sustainability accreditation systems and their implementation within the Australian grain industry.
2010/2011 Henry Carracher Clare SA 5453 Growers Engagement – Design and deliver a grower engagement program for grain accumulators.
2009/2010 Tom Smibert Adelaide SA 5081 Grain Trader Pathways Investigate and establish grain trader pathways and opportunities.
2009/2010 James Caracoussis Adelaide SA 5001 INDUSTRY PARTNERSHIP KIT Develop an Introduction to Grains Industry Kit for agribusiness personnel.
2009/2010 Richard Prusa Strathalbyn SA 5255 Facilitate the increase of pulse production in southern and western Australia by promoting the efficient growing and marketing of pulses.
2008/2009 James Edwards Roseworthy SA 5371 Lead a campaign to establish and increase production in south west WA and SA for the ethanol industry.
2008/2009 Tom Saint Maitland SA 5573 Develop a sponsorship strategy.
2008/2009 Josh Taylor Vale Park SA 5081 Establish national supply chain efficiencies within the deregulated grains industry.


Year Name City State P/C Project Focus
2017 Rob Terry Dairy Plains TAS 7304 Drive further efficiencies in wheat production and network with leading growers to develop best practice. Rob instigated the development of the Australian Wheat Record.
2016 Michael Nichols Sisters Creek TAS 7325 Micahel wants to drive the growth of cereals production on the north west coast of the state.

Western Australia

Year Name City State P/C Project Focus
2017 Jasmyn Allen Yuna WA 6532 Advocate the adoption of steamlined on-farm human resources management programs.
2017 Callum Wesley Southern Cross WA 6426 Succession planning.
2017 Matt Rigby Konjonup WA 6395 Pasture manipulation & grazing/spraying pressure techniques.
2016 Boyd Carter Wubin WA 6612 Boyd is interested in understanding better how farmers make decisions about their businesses.
2016 Lewis Johnstone Williams WA 6391 Investigate alternative methods of expanding family farm businesses covering options for both investment and management.
2015 Ty Fulwood Northam WA 6401 Transitioning from a family business into a larger organisation.
2014 Ryan Joyce Hyden WA 6359 Attracting young people into agriculture.
2014 Guydon Boyle York WA 6302 Develop the framework for a decisions making tool.
2013 Claire Shadbolt Mukinbudin WA 6479 Sustainability on our farming communities. What can be implemented to ensure we are farming for the future?
2013 Danielle Whitfield Burswood WA 6100 How to increase the effectiveness of grower representation groups.
2013 Shaun Wittwer Cuballing WA 6311 Farm grain storage combined with selling direct to the customer and value adding.
2011/2012 Verity Todd Alfred Cove WA 6154 Address how the grains industry represents itself – to those beyond.
2011/2012 Susan Hall Crawley WA 6009 Analysis of capacity building and use of networks to increase human capital in the grains industry.
2011/2012 Pete Rees Welshpool WA 6401 Investigate the role of different stakeholders, QA and environmental stewardship for Australian compliance with the EU’s renewable energy directive.
2011/2012 Anna Watson Fremantle WA 6959 Technological developments, creating efficiency and generating value.
2010/2011 Heidi Rodgers North Freemantle WA 6159 My Offers – Investigate and pilot an Online Offering System for WA growers.
2010/2011 Justin Bayles Yangebup WA 6164 Safety First – Establish and implement a Safety Transformation Plan for port facility.
2010/2011 Natalie Maguire West Perth WA 6005 Engaging Communication + Influencing Results – Develop and implement a range of communication strategies and tools that will result in positive management influence and change.
2009/2010 Kelly Piper Beverley WA 6304 Rural Youth Conference WA To establish a grains industry conference in Western Australia for rural youth.
2009/2010 Sheila Nair Canning Vale WA 6155 Develop and trial workplace mentoring program in the CBH shipping and chartering department resulting in increased workplace participation and productivity.
2008/2009 Royce Taylor Lake Grace WA 6353 Work with existing state grain leaders to identify and implement strategies to encourage involvement of the next generation.
2008/2009 Lauren West Lake Grace WA 6353 Facilitate the establishment of a regional grower group to lead key research into new technologies, improve sustainable agricultural practices, deal with climate change and facilitate extension projects.


Year Name City State P/C Project Focus
2017 Darcy Gorman Melbourne VIC 3004 Careers based away from the family farm – we can still be involved in the operations and strategic direction of the farm.
2016 Cameron Parker Boort VIC 3537 Cam is keen to investigate different pathways for young passionate employees to enter the grains industry in their own right.
2016 Jim Wakefield Walpeup VIC 3507 He is going to investigate and trial different communication methods and strategies for use in the collaborative partnership and integrate these into the day to day running of the business.
2016 Tom Hewitt Areegra VIC 3480 Tom is keen to investigate the real cost of production and drivers of profitability in order to benchmark his business and make evidence based decisions.
2015 Dale Hage Nurcoung VIC 3401 Water use efficiency and increasing the water holding capacity of out soils.
2015 Tracy Dart Warracknabeal VIC 3393 Financially focused, developing, managing, succession planning and reporting systems.
2014 Daniel Keam Wallup VIC 3401 Investigation chemical and fertilizer residues and how they survive in our current level of inputs.
2013 Tom Dunstan Telangatuk East VIC 3401 What makes wheat tick?
2013 Jonathan Dyer Kanira VIC 3419 Soil moisture probes installation.
2013 Brad McQueen Nyrraby VIC 3585 Feasibility of implementing an irrigation venture.
2011/2012 Tristan Shannon Melbourne VIC 3004 Investigate, plan and develop an app that allows farmers to see real time data
 2011/2012  Brett Hosking  Quambatook  VIC  3540  Investigate peak body representation in the grains industry.
 2010/2011  Kate Lang  Coldstream  VIC  3770 EPR Certification – Establish an EPR Certification program to promote the benefits of an End Point Royalty System within the Australian grain industry
 2009/2010  Tim Dean  Geelong  VIC  3220 Fuel Hedging  Investigate the development of a fuel hedging policy
2008/2009 Alistair Murdoch  Swan Hill VIC 3585 CAREERS IN AG Investigate ways of profiling and promoting the grains industry as an exciting career choice for school and university students
2008/2009 Helen Richardson Lower Norton VIC 3401 PULSE-NET Develop a communication strategy for researchers in the Australian pulse industry to share findings, results and outcomes for the benefit of industry.

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