GrainGrowers Southern Region National Policy Group Election 2019

Voting closes 5:00pm (AEDT) Monday 16 December 2019

Contact GrainGrowers if you have not received online or postal voting information

Candidates for the Southern Region election

DARCY HARE

Tullakool, NSW

Darcy has a Degree in Agricultural Business Management and worked with Clear Grain and Noble Agri in Melbourne. Darcy returned home in 2016 where he and his family run a mixed farming enterprise consisting of rice, wheat, barley, canola, oats, peas, beans, cattle and sheep. Darcy is currently Chair of the Wakool Landholder Association, and Vice-Chair of Southern Riverina Irrigators. Darcy’s interests are water policy and the impacts of the Murray-Darling Basin Plan. Darcy believes that ongoing research and development, automation and investment are needed to truly drought proof Australia are policy essentials for an sustainable industry.

KATE MADDERN

Kaniva, VIC

Kate is a Research Agronomist with Birchip Cropping Group and works on her family’s mixed grain farm. Kate’s interests are supporting the next generation of farmers, telecommunications infrastructure and ensuring government continues levy contributions. Kate wants to ensure that the grains industry will continue to be sustainable into the future. Her focus is on supporting younger growers in the grains industry; continued research, development and extension; and thriving regional and rural communities.

TOM HEWITT

Warracknabeal, VIC

Tom currently runs his own farm business with his father. Tom is a GrainGrowers’ AGLP Alumnus. Tom’s interests are free trade and market access, bringing the cost of production down and managing income variability and climate risks. Tom believes that production efficiencies and reducing production cost to aid global competitiveness; production of quality products that meets market demands and sets a premium, managing climate risk, and improved water use efficiencies and adapting best practices are essential for a sustainable, profitable and efficient Australian grains industry.

BELINDA TURNER

Melbourne, VIC

Belinda is grains industry professional with 15 years’ experience across the grain supply chain in accumulation, trade, finance and now large-scale production. Belinda’s current role is Commercial Manager for Daybreak Cropping, a national dryland cropping business managed by Warakirri. Belinda’s interest are careers and skill development, market access and efficient supply chains. Belinda’s focus is on providing opportunities for upskilling, as well as attracting new entrants to the sector. Also market access with efficient, globally competitive supply chains that derive the most value for growers.

MARTIN HONNER

Junee, NSW

Martin is Chairman of the Junee NSW Farmers branch, Vice-Captain and Secretary of Marinna Bushfire Brigade. Martin has been on Executive Council NSW Farmers since 2007 and has served on the Grains Committee.
Martin’s interests are infrastructure, storage and transport, brand and quality and getting the right varieties bred and grown without having a plethora of varieties every year. Martin believes that grains varietal characteristics and quality, engagement with growers, input into domestic and global markets, efficient and cost-effective storage and transport and handling of the grain are policy priorities.

STUART MCDONALD

Canowindra, NSW

Stuart is a 2018 Nuffield scholar and farms wheat, canola, chickpeas, barley, sheep and cattle. Stuart has been Chair of the Canowindra NSW Farmers Branch. Stuart’s interests are converting rainfall into profit, increasing efficiencies of grain to freight and market access. Stuart believes that an efficient farm to market pipeline that offers Australian farmers a global advantage, broad grain market access, and plant breeding advances are important items on a policy agenda.

GABRIELLE COUPLAND

Logie Brae, NSW

Gabrielle is a part of her family owned irrigated farming enterprise in the southern Riverina, growing corn, wheat, barley, canola, oats and sheep. Prior to returning to the farm 5 years ago, Gabrielle pursued a career in agribusiness, advocacy and policy development. Gabrielle’s interests are water policy, research, development and extension: water efficiency and whole farming systems and freight across borders. Gabrielle believes that coordination and collaboration with progressive organisations, and the strategic ongoing development of production systems, human resources and policy leaders who seek to achieve long-term sustainable change are essentials for the sector.

LUKE MILGATE

Serpentine, VIC

Luke has over 20 years’ experience in grains and merino production, and 8 years’ managing a grain enterprise. Luke studied agronomy at university and since 2018, has represented Australian medium rainfall growers as part of the Regional Cropping Solutions Network for the GRDC. Luke’s interests are biosecurity, research and development and access to chemistry. Luke believes that ensuring ongoing access to chemistry and crop protection products; biosecurity, namely national import standards that protect growers, and R&D into crop cultivars that drive higher production from finite and sometimes dwindling resources, such as rainfall, are important policy issues.

MARK HOSKINSON

Kikoira, NSW

Mark runs a mixed cropping and self-replacing merino enterprise with his wife and children in Kikoira NSW. Having been heavily involved in farmer representation for over 30 years, four of those spent as Chair of NSW Farmers’ Grain Committee. Mark also currently sits on the NFF Economics and Drought Committee. Mark’s interests are a unified voice for agriculture, drought policy and research and development. Mark believes that strong, responsible and national leadership, a united national peak policy driven body, and strategic R&D is essential for a sustainable, profitable and efficient grains industry. Mark is an incumbent NPG member.

MICHAEL NICHOLS

Sisters Creek, TAS

Michael runs a mixed cropping, vegetable production and beef enterprise in Tasmania. The business also offers contracting services (combining, muck spreading and spraying) in the local area. Michael recently started NW Grain Pool which pools local grain and sells to local dairy farmers. Michael is currently the Australian record holder for the tonnes per hectare from wheat and canola (13 and 6.14 t/ha respectively). Michael believes that more work is needed on issues including grain varieties, sustainability in long term future farming and QA standards for feed grain traceability.

MARK WILLIAMS

Cavendish, VIC

Mark has 39 years’ experience in crops and wool production. He has a Diploma of Applied Science (Agriculture) and previously chaired the Hummocks Soil Conservation Board and is currently a Director of Southern Farming Systems. Mark’s interests are technology or herbicide / pesticide fit for purpose, making sure that decisions are made on farm and not forced on growers by urban populations and efficient, cost-effective transport Mark is passionate about independent research, an efficient and cost-effective grain transport system, and increasing productivity to match or get in front of the cost of production.

DANIEL KEAM

Wallup, VIC

Daniel and his partner run a 2600 ha mixed farm business, comprising of oilseeds, cereals, legumes and fat lamb production. Daniel previously served as President of the VFF Wimmera branch and is a GrainGrowers’ AGLP Alumnus. Daniel’s interests are transport and market access, chemical usage and research and development and grain quality vs grain quantity. Daniel believes that the adaptability of the national freight system to ensure efficiency and competitiveness, strong leadership through change, and market accessibility and reputation in overseas markets are essential for a sustainable, profitable and efficient grains industry.