Agribusiness buzz in brief

Agribusiness buzz in brief


A quick look at what some of the people and players in agribusiness are up to


Dairy board vacancies

Dairy Australia is seeking nominations to fill three vacancies on its board prior to November's annual general meeting.

Current terms have expired for chairman, Jeff Odgers, and Professor Paul Wood, who will be re-standing for election, but director, Jan West is retiring.

One of the vacant positions must be filled by a milk producer, with the other vacancies requiring directors with skills in agribusiness, innovation and adoption, or extensive experience in finance, auditing and risk management.

A board selection committee, led by David Lord, seeks a mix of skills from all sections of the industry.

"With the dairy industry going through particularly tough times, there has never been a more important time to get involved," Mr Lord said.

"We are looking for new leaders from right across the supply chain."


McIntosh machinery boss appointed

Former CBH operations manager, David Capper, has taken over as group chief executive officer at the West Australia- based machinery group, McIntosh and Son.

McIntosh and Son, established in 1955, has 10 dealerships in WA and Queensland.

Its distribution business is a national importer and wholesaler of agricultural machinery including the Miller, Morris, Integrated Harrington Seed Destructor (iHSD) and LiuGong brands.

Mr Capper, who has held executive leadership positions in multiple sectors, including the food processing and agribusiness, will lead a network of 300 staff from Albany in WA to Dalby in southern Queensland.


Precision Ag CEO

Todd Buck

Todd Buck

Ballarat data collection and analytical firm, Precision Agriculture, has appointed, Todd Buck, as chief executive officer, bringing him from Singapore where he has spent much of his global agribusiness career, most recently with consulting firm, Accenture.

At Accenture he focused on agribusiness challenges through the application of technology, data leverage, process automation, blockchain, robotics and other digital solutions.

Previous roles included international sales and marketing with palm oil producer and manufacturer, Golden Agri, and as head of Goodman Fielder's Asian operations in Singapore.

"Todd is a highly experienced executive with an exceptional track record in agribusiness and the food industry," said Precision Agriculture executive chairman, Mike Chaseling.

"He will oversee the implementation and development of the company's research-based, commercial precision agricultural services as we enter a phase of expansion."


Dr Gonzalez-Rivas

Dr Gonzalez-Rivas

Virbac nutrition leader

Animal health product maker, Virbac Australia, has recruited Chilean-born veterinarian, Dr Paula Gonzalez-Rivas, as its new technical services manager for nutrition.

Dr Gonzalez-Rivas, who worked in small and large animal practice in Chile before completing a Masters in animal studies from the University of Queensland and a PhD in Agricultural Sciences, joins Virbac from the University of Melbourne's School of Agriculture and Food, where she was a research fellow.

During her research career, she has conducted cutting edge research into the relationship between nutrition, the environment and livestock production.

As part of her new role, she plans to spearhead trials demonstrate the benefits of Virbac's Multimin four-in-one trace mineral injection product under Australian conditions.


Rural leadership course

The National Farmers' Federation and Australian Rural Leadership Foundation have opened the 2019 application round for NFF's 2030 Leaders Program.

Eleven successful participants will develop their leadership capabilities in critical thinking, persuasion and influence, negotiation, facilitation, and communication across a range of scenarios.

Individuals over 18 who can demonstrate an active involvement in agriculture - not just farming - are urged to apply for the program which runs in Canberra between September and October.

"The NFF recognises if agriculture is to realise its bold vision for a $100 billion industry by 2030, we must support and develop our smart, passionate and agile young leaders" said chief executive, Tony Mahar.

Graduates gain entry into the NFF and ARLF alumni, enjoying ongoing peer support across the sector.

Applications close July 2.


Hamish Webb and Dorianne Coventry, TerraProtein Equity Partners.

Hamish Webb and Dorianne Coventry, TerraProtein Equity Partners.

UNE agtech incubator program

The University of New England's Smart Region Incubator (SRI) has launched "AgTech Gateway", a new program offering tailored, one-on-one support to agtech start-ups and scale-ups.

Applications are currently open to be part of AgTech Gateway, which is funded by AusIndustry to provide individualised support to new businesses with innovative ideas.

The program makes use of real-world corporate financial advice on strategy 'tuned' to the agricultural and technology domains.

Hamish Webb and Dorianne Coventry from TerraProtein Equity Partners, a global corporate finance advisory firm based in Armidale, are delivering the SRI AgTech Gateway Program.

Their team brings expertise in agriculture and agri-technology investment projects in venture capital, private equity and debt capital markets across the globe.

"AgTech Gateway is designed to develop businesses in the region by connecting start up and scale up founders with domestic and international customers and investors," Mr Webb said.

It offers mentoring with industry experts, help with validation and growth strategy, financial modelling, human resource management, and intellectual property protection.

  • Apply at or email


Nuffield conference in Qld

Registrations have opened for Nuffield Australia's national conference at the Royal International Convention Centre - Ekka precinct - in Brisbane, from September 17 to 19 September.

A final evening social function will be followed by a two-day tour to the Darling Downs on September 20 and 21, based around Dalby and Toowoomba.

This year's conference conference theme is "Collaborate, innovate, cultivate" with the aim of showcasing Nuffield scholars' ability to learn from farmers around the globe, identify cutting edge farming practices and sow seeds of change to help individuals and agricultural businesses to flourish.

Apart from 25-plus scholars presenting findings from their scholarship research, additional speakers will focus on the conference theme.


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