Please see a list below of all the speakers and their presentations.

The sessions included in the conference were;

 An overview of current Australian and International agricultural innovation systems.  

Dr Caroline Saunders, Professor of Trade and Environmental Economics and Director, AERU, Lincoln University (NZ)                                                                      

Dr Caroline Saunders has 30 years' research expertise in the UK and New Zealand. She has over 200 publications specialising on sustainable economic development.

Her current research includes evaluating trade and the environment including assessment of international markets policies and their impact on development. This includes developing and using the Lincoln Trade and Environment Model to assess impacts on trade of various factors including changing policy, market trends, energy use and greenhouse gas emissions and the development of new technologies. She has also undertaken research into such issues as food miles.

She has undertaken research for a wider range of private and public bodies both in New Zealand and overseas. These include the EU commission, DEFRA, FAO, OECD, MAF, MFAT, Treasury, MFE, MED, NZTE, Fonterra, Meat Industry and various other sector groups.

Caroline was awarded NZIER Economist of the Year in 2007 and made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2009.


Professor Rick Roush, Dean of the Melbourne School of Land and Environment, University of Melbourne

Rick Roush’s career in sustainable agriculture spans research, teaching, regulatory, and administrative appointments in both the USA and Australia.  Trained as an entomologist in the University of California, Rick earned his BS at UC Davis (1976) and PhD at UC Berkeley (1979).  He worked extensively in California’s irrigated agriculture during the 1970s and then again in 2003-06.

Rick has broad experience in the US Land Grant University system and in collaborations with industry, which is at the core of the agricultural innovation system in the US.

Rick’s experience includes working extensively on cotton during appointments at Texas A&M and Mississippi State Universities, and then dairies and potatoes at Cornell University (1987-95).  After a sabbatical in Narrabri during 1993-94, developing strategies to delay insect resistance to Bt cotton, Rick moved to the University of Adelaide (1995), where he worked as Director of the Cooperative Research Centre on Australian Weed Management (1998-2003).  In addition to serving on review panels for the USDA and US EPA, Rick served as a member of the Genetic Manipulation Advisory Committee (GMAC) from 1998-2003.

Rick returned to the University of California in 2003 to serve as Director of the Integrated Pest Management and Sustainable Agriculture Programs.   He returned to Australia in 2006, to become Dean of the School of Land and Environment at the University of Melbourne.

Mick Keogh, Executive Director, Australian Farm Institute


  • Executive Director, Australian Farm Institute.
  • Previously, General Manager Policy, NSW Farmers’ Association.
  • Worked for ten years as an agricultural management consultant, for both private and public sector clients.
  • Previously, research officer at University of NSW.
  • Obtained a BSc and MSc in Wool & Pastoral Sciences at University of NSW.
  • Grew up on, and continues to be involved in a mixed-farming enterprise based in southern NSW.                                                     

 The view from the ground: What do the 'customers' want or need?

Tyran Jones, Dairyfarmer, and Director, Gardiner Foundation                                                              

Tyran grew up on the family dairy farm in Gruyere in Victoria's Yarra Valley. The family started milking 20 cows in 1958. Today they milk 500.

After 5 years as a structural design engineer, he returned full time to the family dairy farm as a partner in 1996. Tyran served 7 years on the Gipps Dairy Board, 4 as Chair and was Chair of the Project 3030 Steering Committee.

Currently a director of the Gardiner Foundation and a member of the Dairy Moving Forward Steering Committee,  he brings a comprehensive understanding of the pre-farmgate issues and the RD&E environment.

Key interests include the dairy farm feedbase and profit drivers across the supply chain.


Lucinda Corrigan,  Partner Director  Rennylea Pastoral Company                                         

Lucinda Corrigan (B.Sc. Agr. Hons 1, Syd.,), Director Rennylea Pastoral Company, a progressive angus genetics business running 3,000 cattle, located in the Murray Valley east of Albury, since 1988. Prior to that she worked in the fibre industry, and was Executive Officer of a national breed organisation.

An experienced director in rural research and development, she has been a Director of Meat and Livestock Australia, and the MLA Donor Company since 2007. She chairs the Advisory Committee of the Graham Centre for Agricultural Innovation a joint venture between Charles Sturt University and NSW Department of Primary Industries and recently was appointed as Chairman of the NSW Primary Industries Minister’s Advisory Council. She is also Chairing the taskforce appointed to create the Industry Action Plan for agriculture in NSW by mid 2014. She has been a Director of four Cooperative Research Centres, and various private innovation companies.

Expertise & Interests: agriculture and food production in Australia; strategic rural research & development; animal breeding and genetics; leading change in family based SMEs; sustainable land management under a changing climate; and communication.

  James Clark, Chair, Grains Research and Development Corporation, Northern Panel
Currently farms in the Hunter valley region of NSW, previously to this farmed both dry land and irrigated grain and cotton in the North Star area of northwest NSW. He has had a long involvement in grains RD&E, always with the common aim of driving growers profitability and grain production to its environmental potential. He is currently Chair of the Northern Panel of the Grains Research and Development Corporation. 


 A national R,D&E strategy. Is it desirable and or achievable?

Mr Matthew Koval, First Assistant Secretary (Acting),  Agricultural Productivity Division, Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry                                                            

Mr Koval is the acting First Assistant Secretary of the Agricultural Productivity Division within the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry. Prior roles to this include Assistant Secreatry of the Livestock Industries and Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals Branch and Minister Counsellor (Agriculture) based in Brussels, Belgium.

The Agricultural Productivity Division develops and implements policies and programs that aim to make Australia's agricultural food and fibre industries more globally competitive and profitable. It does this by working collaboratively with industry, portfolio agencies, governments and the community on activities to enhance industry development and reduce market impediments across the value chain, from paddock to the finished product.

Mr Koval’s tertiary qualifications include science, public administration and applied finance. He has a background in domestic and international agricultural policies at both state and Australian Government level on a broad range of issues including drought management, farmer education and training, agricultural chemicals, rural adjustment, rural financial counselling and water management initiatives. He is a previous Chairman of the International Grains Council.


Ian Halliday, Managing Director, Dairy Australia

Ian was appointed Managing Director of Dairy Australia in December 2009, bringing the experience of a career which has spanned across the food supply chain both in Australia and internationally.  His experience is made up of an extensive range of management roles, in organisations ranging from large global multi-nationals to privately owned enterprises.


Rob Delane, Director General, Department of Agriculture and Foo, Western Australia

Rob Delane has been Director General of the Department of Agriculture and Food Western Australia since November 2009.  He is leading a transformation of the Department to enable improved delivery of value to the businesses in the agriculture and food sector in the short, medium and longer term, and overall benefits to Western Australia.

During 2008-09, he was Deputy Secretary, Biosecurity Services Group with the Commonwealth Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry.He is a keen promoter of regional, State, national and international cooperative initiatives and government-industry partnerships to both deliver innovative outcomes and apply innovation to more efficiently and effectively deliver services and outcomes.

Rob holds a Master of Science (Agriculture) and a Bachelor of Science (Agriculture). He is a graduate member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and member of the Institute of Public Administration Australia.  In 2007 Rob received a Public Service Medal for outstanding service to the agricultural industries and community of Western Australia.


Conference dinner: The role of science in optimising innovation in Australian agriculture

Professor Ian William Chubb AC, Australia’s Chief Scientist

MSc, DPhil (Oxford), Hon DSc (Flinders), Hon DLitt (CDU), Hon DUniv (ANU), Hon LL.D (Monash)

Professor Chubb commenced in the position of Chief Scientist of Australia on 23 May 2011.

Previous roles:
  • 2001-2011 Vice-Chancellor, The Australian National University
  • 1995-2000 Vice-Chancellor, Flinders University of South Australia1
  • 1993-1995 Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Monash University
  • 1990-1995 Chair of the Commonwealth’s Higher Education Council
  • 1986-1990 Deputy Vice-Chancellor, University of Wollongong.
Professor Chubb was appointed a Companion of the Order of Australia for "service to higher education including research and development policy in the pursuit of advancing the national interest socially, economically, culturally and environmentally and to the facilitation of a knowledge-based global economy".

Agricultural extension: is the new system dying or is a new model evolving?


Charlie Walker, Technical and Development Manager, Incitec Pivot

After graduating from the University of New England with a Bachelor of Rural Science, Charlie worked as an agronomist with retail outlets in North West NSW focusing on broadacre cropping and pastures. In 1996 he joined Incitec Fertilizers as an area manager on Queensland’s Darling Downs servicing cropping and cotton markets on the western Downs and the developing irrigation markets around Dirranbandi and St George.

Following three years at Dalby, curiosity lured Charlie to take on a broadacre market development role with Incitec in southern Australia. The formation of Incitec Pivot Ltd saw Charlie take on the role of Product Innovation Manager.

Today Charlie is Technical and Development Manager for Incitec Pivot Fertilisers based in Geelong, Victoria. With a team covering from Ceduna to Cooktown he oversees stewardship, research and new product development.


Nigel McGuckian, Senior Fellow, RM Consulting Group

B.Ag.Sci (Hons), Dip Ed, CPAg, MAAAC, FAICD

Nigel McGuckian has worked with rural communities, agricultural industries, businesses and farming families for 25 years. He has a wide range of experience in business consulting, training, project management, governance and facilitation. Nigel was one of the founders of RMCG in 1989 and has recently retired as an owner and is now an employee.

Nigel has worked with farmers and farming groups, and in public and private extension for 30 years. He has designed and carried out extension projects, trained extension practitioners and farmer decision making and adoption of practices. His work in the private sector, and knowledge of farm business management gives him an insight into practice change from the perspective of improving business profitability.

He has written publications on succession planning and business decision making. He has managed major projects on social research, decision making and community planning.

Nigel has assisted a wide range of organisations with strategic planning, organisational development, succession and governance. Groups including large government departments, water authorities, community groups and sporting clubs have used Nigel to assist management and board to think about the future of the organisation, the environment in which the organisation is operating and the need for change in strategy.




Austin McLennan, President, Australasia-Pacific Extension Network

Austin McLennan is an agricultural researcher with the Northern Territory Department of Primary Industry and Fisheries, and the President of APEN, the Australasia-Pacific Extension Network. Throughout his career Austin has held formal roles in both extension and research related to his specialist area of insect pest management. He has also contributed to RD&E strategy within the public sector, leading the development of an extension strategy for the Northern Territory’s primary industries department in 2009. This strategy is now in its implementation phase.

With  over 15 years' of experience in agricultural RD&E across a range of industries (from sugarcane, cotton, grains and vegetables to tropical fruits), Austin has developed a diverse professional network that spans producer, research, extension and farm advisor communities throughout Australia.

In 2010 Austin was elected President of APEN, the Australasia-Pacific Extension Network. APEN is the leading member-based organisation for extension professionals working in primary industries, natural resource management and community development in Australia and New Zealand, with members also drawn from the wider Australasia-Pacific region. As APEN President, Austin is committed to ensuring that extension professionals are properly equipped to contribute to Australia's innovation systems, and that their contributions are recognised.


The future role of government if the Australian agricultural innovation system

Dr John Keniry AM, Commissioner, NSW Natural Resources Commission

Dr John Keniry has extensive experience as a company director in agribusiness and technology start up companies, and in the administration of research and development.

He has been involved in the CRC Program over many years, both as chair of four agriculture-related CRC’s and for many years as a member of the Life Sciences Panel which evaluated applicants for CRC’s in the life sciences area. In the R&D Corporation area, he served as a director of the Pig R&D Corporation and Australian Wool Innovation, and as chair of the Grape and Wine Corporation. He served two terms as member of the IR&D Board, and was a member of the Prime Ministers Science, Engineering and Innovation Council for six years.

He has had a close association with the Australian Farm Institute, first as a director, then chair for two years until mid-2011. He is presently Commissioner of the NSW Natural Resources Commission, and Chairman of the Sydney Institute of Marine Science, the Sheep CRC and the Pork CRC.

He has degrees in science and chemical engineering from UNSW and Cambridge respectively, and is a Fellow of the Royal Australian Chemical Institute, the Academy of Technological Sciences and The Australian Institute of Company Directors.


Duncan Fraser, President, National Farmers’ Federation

National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) President Duncan Fraser owns and manages ‘Narringa’, a 9,750 ha pastoral and irrigation property near Hay in the western Riverina. The family farm, run by Duncan, his wife Louise and their two children, produces wool, sheepmeat, rice and wheat.

Duncan holds a bachelor of agricultural economics from the University of New England and has long been involved in agricultural advocacy and lobbying.

His role as an agricultural representative began some 27 years ago, when he was elected president and secretary of the Hay branch of the LGPA, the precursor to the NSW Farmers’ Association. Since that time he held many executive positions within the Association, including places on the general council and committees for wool, sheepmeat, meat and livestock, education, workplace relations and conservation and resource management. He was the chair of Farmsafe NSW from 1999 to 2000 and the Vice President of the NSW Farmers’ Association from 2001 to 2003.

In November 2010, Duncan was elected Vice-President of the NFF and on 5 April 2013, Duncan became President of the NFF when then President, Jock Laurie, stood down to pursue a career in politics.

Under the NFF Constitution, at the resignation of a President, the Vice-President assumes the role until the next election, to be held at the NFF Members’ Council AGM in November 2013.

Professor Holger Meinke, Director and Head of School, Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture

Professor Holger Meinke is Director and Head of School of the Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture (TIA) at UTAS. He previously held the Chair of Crop and Weed Ecology at Wageningen University, The Netherlands (2007 – 2011); prior to that he was a cropping systems scientist with the Queensland Government and APSRU (1988 – 2007) where he co-developed the agricultural systems simulation platform APSIM. He pioneered operational climate risk management for agriculture in Australia and internationally. He is a member of two editorial boards and a member of the CCAFS Steering Committee, a research program for Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR). He published over 80 papers in disciplinary and transdisciplinary journals and currently supervises 5 PhD candidates. He is passionate about research that matters.

  Dr Brian Fisher, Chairman and Managing Director, BAEconomics

Dr Fisher is currently the Chairman and Managing Director of BAEconomics Pty Ltd. He was previously the Executive Director of the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics (ABARE) and the Professor of Agricultural Economics at the University of Sydney and the Dean of the Faculty of Agriculture at the University.

Concurrently with his position at ABARE, in 1993 Brian was appointed one of the experts completing the socioeconomic assessment of climate change for the United Nation's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Second Assessment Report. He played an integral role in the international climate change negotiations as economic adviser to Australia's negotiating team in the lead up to, and at, the third Conference of the Parties in Kyoto. He again fulfilled that role at the fourth, fifth and sixth Conferences of the Parties of the UNFCCC and was engaged as one of the experts completing the IPCC's Third and Fourth Assessment Reports. In addition to his role in the climate negotiations, Dr Fisher has served as a government advisor and negotiator in the WTO and APEC forums. Brian has been the government board member on a number of statutory corporations and an Associate Commissioner of the Productivity Commission and in 2005 the Chairman of the Prime Minister’s Exports and Infrastructure Taskforce.

He is currently a member of the council of the Australian Institute of Marine Science. He holds a PhD in agricultural economics and a DScAgr from the University of Sydney.




Asscoiate Professor, Richard Eckard, Director of the Primary Industries Climate Challenges Centre, University of Melbourne 

Richard Eckard is Associate Professor and Director of the Primary Industries Climate Challenges Centre (, a joint research initiative between the University of Melbourne and the Victorian Department of Primary Industries.

  • He is a science advisor to the Australian, New Zealand and UK governments, and the UN FAO, on climate change adaptation, mitigation and policy development in agriculture.
  • His research focuses on strategies for reducing enteric methane and nitrous oxide from intensive grazing systems, and whole farm systems modelling of climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies in livestock production.
  • Richard holds a number of national and international science leadership roles, being a keynote speaker at a number of industry and international science conferences over the past few years.
  • Richard has authored over 100 scientific publications and over 100 conference papers, with 24 peer reviewed journal papers, 31 conference papers and 6 book chapters on climate change and agriculture since 2010

Professor James Rowe, Chief Executive Officer, Australian Sheep Industry Cooperative Research Centre.

B. Rural Science, PhD

Since 2002 James Rowe has been Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Sheep Industry Cooperative Research Centre based in Armidale. 

He also has a broad range of experience in the university sector, state department of agriculture RD & E, private sector research and international agricultural development.  He has held the following positions.

  • Professor of Animal Science at the University of New England

  • Visiting Professor, Pfizer Inc. Groton USA
  • Head, Cattle Industries Branch WA Department of Agriculture

  • Senior nutritionist, Sheep and Wool Branch, WA Department of Agriculture

  • Research Fellow ICI Pharmaceuticals UK

  • Consultant - United Nations Development Program and FAO

Areas of special interest include the following aspects of agricultural research and its commercial application.

  • Well-coordinated multidisciplinary research with a focus on end-user engagement
  • Allocating a realistic time frame and adequate resources for completion of research programs
  • Management of intellectual property so that it assists the commercial delivery of new technologies without stifling innovation or costing too much

Dr Brian Keating, Director, Sustainable Agriculture National Research Flagship in Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO)

Dr Keating is Director of the Sustainable Agriculture National Research Flagship in Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO), Australia’s national science agency. This “flagship” effort draws together the capabilities of over 300 CSIRO staff and their national and international collaborators to address agricultural productivity and sustainability challenges in the face of resource and climate constraints. The Flagship also serves as a focal point for CSIRO’s international engagement in sustainable agriculture and food security. Brian’s  personal links to food security R&D trace back to a time working as a research agronomist in partnership Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (KARI) in the Machakos District of semi-arid eastern Kenya in the 1980’s and he has maintained professional links with sub Saharan African agricultural research over the last 30 years.

Brian Keating has 35 years' experience in the conduct and leadership of  agricultural and natural resource management R&D. Research activities and leadership roles over this period, including Deputy Chief and then Chief of the Division of Sustainable Ecosystems (2004-2008) and Board member of Sugar, Rainforest Ecology and Management and Tropical Savannas Cooperative Research Centres.  A graduate of the University of Queensland, Australia (B Agr Sc 1st Class Hons., 1976 and PhD 1981). Brian’s personal research has focused on systems approaches to agricultural productivity and sustainability issues and he has played a lead role in the development of the APSIM farming systems modelling suite of tools.

Dr Keating has authored over 200 scientific papers covering diverse topics including soil and water management, plant nutrition, soil carbon and nitrogen cycling, crop physiology, farming systems analysis and design, bioenergy, simulation modelling, climatic risk management and food security.  He is a member of the Editorial Board of the international journal, Agricultural Systems, the Science Advisory Panel for AgResearch New Zealand,  and a member of the Australian Government’s Domestic Offsets Integrity Committee for the Carbon Farming Initiative.

 Where should extension be in 2020?
  Mike Stephens, National President, Australian Institute of Agriculture (AIA)

Mike has a farm management recruiting and project management background.

Between 1967 and 1983 he had extensive experience in the management of large sheep, cattle and crop properties in the high rainfall zone of eastern Australia. In 1983 he established MS&A and continued to manage and develop properties through his involvement with the company. He has been involved in all aspects of the company’s activity. As a concurrent activity he was executive officer of the Beef Improvement Association from 1992 until 2005

He provides advice to individual clients, specialising in strategic and succession planning. He is based at Yendon, Central Victoria.

Recent experience includes:

  • As National president of the Ag Institute Mike has been involved in extensive consultations about agriculture extension.
  • He was a founding director of Farm Management 500 and has been involved in many extension projects.
  • Mike was on the board of BeefCheque, a highly successful beef industry extension program.
 Concluding panel: A strategy for Australian agricultural R,D&E
  James Clark, Chair, Grains Research and Development Corporation Northern Panel

Associate Professor Richard Eckard, Director of the Primary Industries Climate Challenges Centre,
University of Melbourne


Andrew Metcalfe AO, Secretary, Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry

Andrew Metcalfe was appointed as the Secretary of the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, with effect from 29 January 2013.

Mr Metcalfe has had an extensive career in the Australian Public Service since 1980, working in Brisbane, Melbourne,Hong Kong and Canberra.

He was the Secretary of the Department of Immigration and Citizenship from July 2005 to January 2013, and was a Deputy Secretary of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet between 2002 and 2005. He has served on a number of government boards and councils, particularly the National Australia Day Council from 2002 to 2012, and the Administrative Review Council from 2003 to 2012.

Mr Metcalfe is the President of the Institute of Public Administration Australia (ACT), the Patron of EXPAND (a public sector-wide organisation for executive assistants and personal assistants) and is a White Ribbon Ambassador. He was born in Toowoomba, Queensland and educated at the Rangeville State School and the Toowoomba Grammar School. He attended the University of Queensland, living at International House, and has the degrees of Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Laws. He has also recently undertaken some studies at INSEAD, a global business university based in Fontainebleau, France.

Mr Metcalfe is a National Fellow of the Institute of Public Administration Australia and a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Management. In 2010 he was named “Federal Government Leader of the Year” by the Institute of Chartered Accountants Australia.

Mr Metcalfe was appointed as an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) in the Australia Day Honours list 2012.


Dr Ed McGruder, Senior Director, Emerging Markets R&D, Elanco Animal Health

Dr Ed McGruder has been in the animal health industry for the past 19 years. He currently serves as the Senior Director for Emerging Markets R&D at Elanco Animal Health, a global business unit of Eli Lilly & Company. In this role, he is accountable for delivery of a global pipeline of animal health innovations in emerging markets. His Elanco career started in 1994 in a technical consultant role. He later led the Immunobiology Laboratory as a research scientist. In 2000, he served as the Head of Discovery Biology; and later established the Elanco Technology Acquisitions Department. In 2002, Ed spent three years leading an animal health life sciences company that was a spin-off from Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas. He has a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree (1992) and a PhD in Microbiology (1994) from Texas A&M University.

Dr Jane Weatherley, R&D Communications and Adoption Manager, Meat & Livestock Australia

Dr Jane Weatherley currently manages the on-farm R&D communications and extension portfolio at Meat and Livestock Australia. She returns to MLA after a 12 month break where she went back to Tasmania to gain experience in rural finance with Rabobank. Prior to this, Jane has worked in the area of extension research and as a red meat extension officer for the Department of Agriculture in Tasmania.

While Jane has worked in various roles spanning national red meat extension program development, delivery and evaluation, she also maintains an active role in her family beef breeding operation in Tasmania. She has a PhD in farming systems RD&E and is extremely passionate about supporting producers to improve their business profitability and maximise the benefits received from their levy investment.







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