Australian-owned investment manager goFARM is adding a chief farming officer to its executive team.
GoFARM owns or manages about 70,000 hectares across New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania.
The farms, which include 25 former dairy properties in northern Victoria, are either operated or suitable for cropping or horticulture, and all are supported by a significant and diversified water entitlement portfolio.
Managing director Liam Lenaghan said although Australia's agricultural industry needed significant capital to meet the goal of $100 billion in farmgate production by 2030, there weren't enough farming assets ready for large-scale or institutional investment.
"Investment in incremental gains, whilst important, will not deliver against the industry's aspirational goal - it requires step change via transformational investment, which is where goFARM focusses its time and resources," he said.
GoFARM transformed under-used agricultural land into investment-grade assets through production system or land-use change, people, infrastructure, technology and sustainability initiatives.
READ MORE: GoFARM's billion-dollar investment secrets
Mr Lenaghan said finding assets that were suitable for investment and transformation was one thing and delivering that transformation was another.
"We're committed to developing sustainable farming systems - investing in soil, water and people, that's how you maximise performance and create economic value," he said.
"Our new chief farming officer will be pivotal to developing our people, executing our plans, seeing our sustainability initiatives brought to life in the paddock, and ultimately in regional communities across Australia."
It will be a big job. GoFARM has deployed over $500 million in equity, with about $1 billion in assets under management and now employs more than 100 people.
The firm has sold more than $100 million of upgraded assets in the last four years, and currently has its 11,000ha Narrandera NSW cropping property Yarrabee Park on the market.
Mr Lenaghan said the successful applicant for the chief farming officer role would have extensive experience and knowledge in farm management, agronomy and production systems across agriculture and horticulture.
Most of the goFARM executive team came from rural Australia, Mr Lenaghan said, reflecting the value the firm placed on a deep understanding of agriculture.
"We need people who understand agriculture, live and breathe it, who can see how change can be made in the paddock for long-term sustainable success," he said.
"For the right person, this is an opportunity to help shape the future of Australian agriculture.
"Practical experience is paramount. We want someone who understands how to do it, who can walk the talk, without an ego."
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