Industry News

Isabel, tell us a little bit about yourself…

I’m a corporate lawyer practising in the agribusiness sector. I’ve recently married a ‘future farmer’, and live in the Upper Hunter Valley at Scone, on my husband’s black angus cattle block, “Belltrees”.

My family originates from Goondiwindi, where I grew up on a mixed cropping and cattle property. My family still runs the farming business, with my brother moving home to take over the reins.

My childhood consisted of earning below minimum wage pocket money cotton chipping, shielded spraying and throwing siphons. It’s strange to think that most of these jobs are now obsolete…

Tell us about your career… how did you get from high-school to where you are today?

Honestly, Dad always encouraged us kids to explore opportunities outside of agriculture, to really establish whether our passion for the bush was something with which we wanted to make a career. Both my siblings studied Ag, in some form, at university – so I was relatively the black sheep in deciding to study law. I had this idyllic notion that I may be able to tie in the law and ag, I just had no idea how.

Even before my final marks were delivered from University of QLD, I was backpacking in Europe. I arrived home broke and was luckily offered a junior lawyer position for a mid-tier commercial firm in Sydney. By accident, as opposed to career management, I ended up working in the commercial litigation team for 4 years and absolutely loved it. Whilst not conducive to any form of social life, the adrenalin of litigation was addictive.

What was it like transitioning your career from corporate Sydney to regional Australia?

Daunting.

To be completely frank, as a female, if you ultimately end up in a relationship with someone from the bush, your career path is relatively dictated by your partner’s respective location. You cannot predict who you’ll end up with and where they’ll be from, so having a career that is fluid is hugely beneficial. Originally, I had thought that the decision of whether to relocate to Scone was ultimately a decision between my relationship and my career. Happily, experience has taught me that I can have both.

Technology allows me to work remotely for clients, delivering the same standard of services I would’ve otherwise delivered in Sydney. This is key to me being able to retain bigger agribusiness clients, to avoid them taking their legal work to the larger city firms.

From a legal context, in your experience, what are some of the biggest challenges facing the next generation in agriculture?

2 really stand out for me:

1. WH&S – love it or hate it, WH&S is here to stay. Sadly common sense is not a given anymore, nor is it readily recognised in the law as a basic standard of being. Recent decisions have shown that the Court is really cracking down on inefficient WHS policies and practices. What were previously considered as tragic accidents are now litigated and investigated, and invariably someone is held responsible.

Agribusinesses, particularly family-run farm operations, can no longer afford not to spend the money and time associated with putting proper WH&S practices in place.

2. Succession – I think my parent’s generation are, through their historical lessons learnt, the first generation to really identify that succession planning has moved past a handshake and informal dinner table conversations. Invariably our generation will benefit from this shift in planning, and so will the longevity of the relevant business.

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Tom, tell us a bit about yourself…

I grew up in Berrima NSW just under 2 hours south of Sydney. My father, a wool buyer, travels daily to Sydney but wanted our family to grow up out of the city. I have always had an interest in agriculture, mainly in the sheep and wool industry. I am the Operations Manager at AuctionsPlus and have been with the company for 5 years. My role leads me to manage the commercial livestock and stud livestock teams for AuctionsPlus, working closely with livestock producers, agents and buyers. In addition to this, I also manage the wool platform for AuctionsPlus – AuctionsPlus Wool, an online bid and offer board.

Prior to starting at AuctionsPlus, I worked as a horse handler at William Inglis and Son, thoroughbred auctioneers at Randwick. I graduated from Charles Sturt University Wagga with a Bachelor of Business Studies. Since then I have also completed further study, finishing my Masters of Agricultural Business Management by distance through Charles Sturt University in 2018. Also in 2018 I completed my NSW Stock and Station Certificate of Registration.

Why did you join the FFN Board & what do you love most about the organisation?

I joined the FFN board for a couple of reasons. Firstly, when I finished university, I was unsure of where to head and what to do to work in the livestock industry. I wished I had been more proactive and sought out opportunities within organisations like FFN. So, when a chance to apply for the FFN board became available I thought this is a great opportunity to offer what I had learnt in my short time, to people leaving university. In addition to this, the current AuctionsPlus CEO Angus Street, and the previous AuctionsPlus CEO Anna Speer were both on the board. They spoke extremely highly of the people you can meet and what you can learn through sitting on the board.

Tell us a bit about your career…how did you get from high-school to where you are today?

I finished high-school in 2008, I did not study agriculture. However, throughout school I had worked with William Inglis and Son and always thought I would head into the equine industry. After a gap year in the UK in 2009, I headed down to Charles Sturt University Wagga and started my Bachelor of Business Studies. Very quickly through my studies I decided I wanted to work in agriculture and mainly livestock, which stemmed from a combination of meeting people in the industry and learning about the industry. Once I completed university, I worked as a horse handler at William Inglis and Son in 2013 before starting at AuctionsPlus in the operations team.

What do you think has shaped your career, or had significant influence over where you are today?

My career has initially been shaped by my family. Without directly pushing me into agriculture both my mother and father have always made sure that I got a “healthy dose” of the bush. Whether it was my dad teaching me about wool and getting me to bid at the wool auctions as a 10-year-old. Or about sheep on the property he grew up on, which is now being run by my uncle. Or my mother taking me out to Baradine where she grew up and learning about the sawmill my grandfather ran until 2004. From there my career was shaped when I was at university. Meeting people through Wagga Agricultural College led me to learn all the different opportunities within agriculture. There was a cross-section of people who were at the end of their working career, starting their career, starting or finishing study. Which meant I was able to learn about many different industries.

If you could go back and give your 18-year old self some career advice, what would it be?

Take every opportunity that comes your way, agriculture is only a small industry so you never know who you will meet or what you can learn from them!

What excites you about the future of agriculture in Australia?

Technology being implemented on farm has such a huge potential, and we are only tapping the surface. It could be the on-farm testing of wool to be sold online on the day of shearing; sending the hologram of a stud ram from West Australia to New South Wales so growers do not need to look at it in the flesh but can see it walk around in a life-sized form. What’s more, the cost of new technologies is cheaper each day, taking these things from ideas to the consumer level is becoming easier and easier.

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In February 2019 Case IH, together with FFN, ran a competition to send one lucky FFN Member to evokeAGAgriFutures‘ leading agri-food tech event in Melbourne! With one highly sought after ticket, generously donated to the competition by AgriFutures, we set out to find our lucky winner. 

Kimi Pellosis, an Ag Science Graduate, was eventually awarded this fantastic prize. Below is a short Q&A from Kimi, where she shares some key insights from her time at evokeAG.

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and the industry that you work in?

Hi everyone! My name’s Kimberly Pellosis (Kimi) and I’m a recent graduate in the Master of Agricultural Sciences at The University of Melbourne. My goal is to drive innovative, economically efficient and sustainable practices in the Australian agricultural sector. I highly value learning from my experiences, and I am always looking for challenging opportunities to continue developing my personal approach in solving the important problems.

Who were your top 3 favourite speakers or sessions, and why?

Farmers of the future | Robots, AI and 24/7 farming: Great discussion about where we are (and should be) in the adoption curve, and great point about the unintended consequence of government funding – distinguishing the difference between internal competition and collaboration

DIPRD Masterclass | Innovating down the cost curve at Bungulla Farms: Different approach towards the management of a farming enterprise, focusing on data integration and driving costs down (therefore reducing risk), in particular focusing at the ROI and on margins, not necessarily yield as the main metric of success – since agriculture is notorious for variability and uncertainty – namely FX, futures and the weather

Agriculture 4.0|- Future of the Nation: My key takeaway – Australia has a strong reputation in food safety, but everyone in the industry (start-ups in particular) need to have a global mindset from the get-go; international investors have pinpointed that weakness as a limiting factor as to why only a handful of Australian agricultural businesses and start-ups take on the world stage

What are your thoughts on the role of machinery in the evolution of precision agriculture?

Precision agriculture wouldn’t be where it is today without it, machinery plays a crucial role in its evolution! Organisations like Case IH that provide agriculture and farm equipment will likely act as central catalysts in the advancement and development of the AgTech industry.

 What idea or speaker sparked your biggest ‘ahh-haa!’ or ‘lighbulb’ moment, and why?

Spencer Maughan (Managing Partner, Finistere Ventures) mentioned a really good point:

“Australia’s big enough to be complacent, but not big enough to build business”

Australia is brimming with talent and potential, but compared to other nations we’re running behind – there’s always room for development and improvement, and as a whole we need to be connected, from every farmer in all rural towns to every professional in all state capitals.

 

          

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Case IH and FFN evokeAG Package

Case IH are offering one Future Farmers Network (FFN) member the opportunity to attend evokeAG, the leading agrifood tech event in Asia Pacific, being held in Melbourne on the 19th and 20th of February 2019.

The Case IH and FFN evokeAG Package includes:

  • 1 x evokeAG ticket valued at $1,100
  • A travel bursary to the value of $500

Tickets to evokeAG have been selling incredibly fast, making this a unique opportunity to secure your spot the leading agrifood tech event.

To be eligible all applications must address the specified criteria. For further information, contact FFN via admin@futurefarmers.com.au.

Who are Case IH ?

Case IH agricultural machinery is designed and built to deliver efficient power and agronomic advantages to increase yields and limit the cost of inputs. The brand is the choice of professional farmers around the world.

The Case IH brand and its iconic red colour embody the tradition of leadership in agricultural equipment. Reliability and quality are at the heart of the full line of agricultural equipment, ranging from tractors to combine harvesters and tillage implements. The brand represents more than 170 years of expertise in the industry, including the legacies of Case, International Harvester and David Brown.

Case IH has built on that heritage and is recognized today as a global leader in powerful, reliable and highly efficient equipment that helps professional farmers meet the challenges of modern farming.

Case IH equipment is supported by a large network of field personnel, who live in the same communities as customers and provide the highest level of professional service right where customers need it.

evokeAG Explained

evokeAG aims to connect young leaders with the resources to bring tomorrow’s ideas to life. From farm-to-plate, innovation, data and soil monitoring, to the impact of food waste, future food and climate change, evokeAG is bringing together innovators and thinkers to have these conversations.

Over two days evokeAG will showcase 50 speakers and 30 sessions with the brightest minds in the agrifood tech space from Australia and around the world.

Package Criteria

  1. Applicant must be a paying FFN member (sign up to become a member here)
  2. The application must demonstrate how attending the bursary event will add to his/her knowledge, industry engagement & broadening of networks;
  3. Applicant must provide evidence of attendance costs including but not limited to estimated kilometres to be travelled (distance travelled in own vehicle will be reimbursed on a $0.66/km basis); accommodation costs/receipts
  4. Applicant must agree to the Terms and Conditions associated with this package
  5. Applicant must have fully met the above criteria and completed the below documentation

How to apply

Download the ‘Case IH + FFN | evokeAG Package’ application here.

Complete the form as per the instructions detailed and return it to admin@futurefarmers.com.au by 5pm 8 February 2019.

The winner will be announced on 11 February via the Future Farmers Network Facebook Page and via e-mail.

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FFN is now calling for nominations for Non-Executive Director Positions on its Board. This is an exciting opportunity to have your say and be part of shaping FFN into the future, and work with the current Board and management team to ensure FFN continues to improve and develop in line with member priorities.

It is an exciting time for FFN and the Board invites all interested members to put in an application. Click here for more information and application guidelines. All enquiries and nomination forms should be directed to Alex Ramsey – FFN Company Secretary via ramseyalexr@gmail.com.

Nomination Process

Thursday, 18th October 2018 Applications close at 5pm.
Week beginning 22nd October 2018 Nominations & Remuneration committee to review applications and prepare shortlist for interview. Interviews commence.
Week beginning 29th October 2018 Candidates notified of outcomes of interviews.
1st November 2018 Candidates details listed on FFN Members-only website for member review.
15th November 2018 Elections held during FFN AGM.

Applications should be received no later than 5pm on Thursday, 18th October 2018 and submitted electronically to FFN Company Secretary, Mr Alex Ramsey at ramseyalexr@gmail.com. For further information contact FFN Chair, Megan Davies on 0428 139 679.

AGM 2018 Notice of Meeting

FFN Non-Executive Director Selection Guidelines 2018

Board Nomination Form 2018

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Dear Members,

The Future Farmers Network Annual General Meeting will be held in Roma, QLD on Thursday 15 November 2018. If you are unable to attend the AGM, FFN encourages you to submit a proxy by November 13 to ensure your voting entitlements are executed.

You will find the following AGM documents attached:

FUTURE FARMERS NETWORK

NOTICE OF 2018 ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING

Commencing at 4:45pm on Thursday 15 November 2018

This meeting is to be held at:

Roma Cultural Centre (Ernest Brock Room), 18 Quentin Street, Roma, QLD, 4555.

  • FFN is calling for Director Nominations for a two-year term of appointment.
  • As per the FFN Constitution, a maximum of 11 Directors is permissible.
  • Under FFN’s terms of appointment, there are six (6) positions vacated and to be filled at the 2018 AGM

VOTING:

  • Voting will be conducted in person in 2018.
  • All meeting material and voting information will be distributed prior to the AGM.
  • In person voting will be via AGM attendance at 4:45pm on Thursday 15 November 2018 at Roma Cultural Centre (Ernest Brock Room), 18 Quentin Street, Roma QLD, 4555.

The items of business for the 2018 AGM shall be:

1. Welcome

2. Registration of attendees and apologies

3. Adoption of Minutes of 2017 Annual General Meeting

4. Receival and consideration of the Directors Report and Financials for the year ended 30 June 2018

5. Election of Directors

6. General Business

Please direct all enquiries regarding the AGM to Alex Ramsey – FFN Company Secretary via ramseyalexr@gmail.com

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Would you benefit from attending this years Nuffield National Conference? FFN and AustSafe Super are offering members the chance to take home a $2,000 major bursary to support their Ag journey and get along to Melbourne for Nuffield Conference 2018.

FFN is offering one x $2,000 scholarships to attend Nuffield National Conference in Melbourne. Funds will be used for registration, travel and accommodation costs. BE QUICK, applications are open until 31st August 2018.

This is a great opportunity for FFN members to further your networks, knowledge and take a hold of your future.

Applications must be submitted to admin@futurefarmers.com.au before 11:59pm, 31st August 2018.

Click here for an application form FFN-AustSafe Bursary Application Form.   

Proudly sponsored by AustSafe Super.

At AustSafe Super, we know our members work hard for their money, which is why we work hard for them. Since 1988, we’ve been the industry super fund for rural and regional Australia and have a history of strong long-term investment performance1.

Our team of Regional Managers live and work in rural and regional areas and understand the needs of our members and employers. We look after more than 100,000 members and over 20,000 employers and are working hard for our valued members and employers every day.

Visit austsafe.com.au/today for more information.

1 Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance. SuperRatings Fund Crediting Rate Survey – Balanced (60-76 Index) result above median on rolling 10 year return for AustSafe Super – MySuper (Balanced) – 31 December 2017

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Would you benefit from $1,000 to further your studies or career? FFN and CQUniversity are offering members the chance to take home a major bursary to support their Ag journey and assist in their pursuit of a career in agriculture.

FFN is offering two (2) x $1,000 scholarships to attend any Ag focussed event or course. Funds can be used for registration, travel and accommodation costs. Applications are open until 30th June 2018.

This is a great opportunity for FFN members to further your networks, knowledge and take a hold of your future.

Applications must be submitted to FFN EO, admin@futurefarmers.com.au before 11:59pm, 30th June 2018.

For an application form, click here.

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Would you benefit from additional funding to get to ABARES Outlook Conference in Canberra, ACT? Future Farmers and AustSafe Super is offering a major scholarship to help you get there!

FFN is offering one (1) x $2,000 scholarships to assist with ABARES Outlook registration, travel and accommodation costs. Applications are open until February 13th. Applying is easy:

  • Be aged 18-35 in February 2018 and a financial Future Farmers Network member.
  • Complete an application form.
  • Tell us in 100 words or more what you hope to gain from ABARES Outlook 2018.

For an application form, click here.
For more information on AustSafe Super, click here.

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Would you benefit from additional funding to get to Beef Week 2018 in Rockhampton, QLD? Future Farmers and FMC is offering scholarships to help you get there!

FFN is offering two (2) x $1,000 scholarships to assist with Beef Week 2018 registration, travel and accommodation costs. Applications are open until February 6th. Applying is easy:

  • Be aged 18-35 in February 2018 and a financial Future Farmers Network member.
  • Complete an application form.
  • Tell us in 100 words or more what you hope to gain from Beef Week 2018.

For an application form, click here.
For more information on FMC, click here.

 

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