Previous PageTable Of ContentsNext Page

Invited Speakers

Dr John Williams

John is an advocate of the need for Australia to radically change land use so that it is more in harmony with the functioning of the natural ecosystems. He is well known for his analysis of the issues that confront Australian agriculture in being both productive and sustainable in terms of resource use and impact on the environment. He was raised on a grazing property on the southern tablelands of New South Wales and his experience and background in agricultural production and its environmental impact, particularly salinity and erosion, has made him passionate about the development of agriculture which is in harmony with the environment. He is one of the architects of Land and Water Australia/CSIRO’s program ‘Redesign of Agriculture for Australian landscapes.’

Professor Peter Gregory

Peter is Professor of Soil Science at the University of Reading in the UK, a position he has held since 1994. Since 1995, Peter Gregory has also been Leader of the Global Change and Terrestrial Ecosystems (GCTE) Focus on Agriculture, Forestry and Soils – this initiative provides an international framework for planning, conducting and synthesising global change research.

Peter has research experience in Australia – in 1988 he was a visiting scientist at CSIRO Division of Plant Industries in Perth WA, and followed that with a four year secondment to CSIRO from 1990 to 1994. His current research interests include the development of non-invasive techniques for imaging roots growing in soil, the chemical and physical properties of mucilage produced by roots, modelling water and nutrient uptake by plant root systems, and developing sustainable systems of crop production.

Professor Tim Reeves

Tim has just completed a term as Director General of CIMMYT (International Maize and Wheat Improvement Centre, Mexico). At CIMMYT, Tim directed the large research program that develops and distributes maize and wheat seeds for developing countries, maintains genetic resources for wheat and maize, and has developed new technologies to accelerate the development of high yielding, pest and disease resistant cereals.

Tim started his research career at Rutherglen Research Institute in NE Victoria, and developed a reputation for his work on new wheat/lupin rotations on acid soils in Eastern Australia. He has since held positions as Regional Manager in the former Agriculture Victoria, and as Professor of Sustainable Agriculture at Roseworthy in South Australia. We welcome Tim to this Conference, as a former President of the Australian Society of Agronomy.

Dr Harry Nesbitt

Harry holds a PhD from Murdoch University in Western Australia. He developed his research experience through work in the Philippines and Thailand in the 1980s. In 1988, Harry took on the daunting task of rebuilding Cambodia’s rice production following the Khmer Rouge destruction of Cambodia, as leader of a research program known as the Cambodia-IRRI-Australia Project (CIAP). This program was responsible for identifying and developing appropriate rice varieties, developing a Cambodian agricultural research capacity, a new farming infrastructure, and creating opportunities for diversified production once the adequate supplies of rice were available. Harry worked in Cambodia until 2001, and has recently returned Australia.

Steven Hobbs

Steven works in a family farm enterprise at Kaniva in the West Wimmera of Victoria. It is a typical mixed farm, growing a variety of crops including cereals, legumes and oilseeds, while complementing the cropping with both Merino sheep and Prime lambs. A series of dry years with a succession of late frosts, has seen the rotation slashed to minimise frost damage. It was at this stage Steven developed a keen interest in renewable alternative fuel, and has since purchased an oil expeller, built a bio-diesel processor and produces fuel on the farm. Steven is also investigating the incorporation of by-products into the farming operation and looking at value added markets. Currently, Steven is also trialing the use of straight vegetable oil as a potential fuel.

David Matthews

David is a farmer from Rupanyup in the Wimmera region of Victoria. His farming enterprise concentrates on crop production with 1200 ha of cereals, pulses and oilseeds being sown annually.

In 1993, he started The Wimmera Grain Company, a grain marketing, cleaning and packing business located at Rupanyup. This business has grown steadily since its inception and in the 2001-2002 season, the company processed 17,000 mt of grain for container export, purchased 15,000 mt for bulk export and traded 3,000 mt to the domestic market. The company has 14 full-time employees and up to eight casuals at peak times.

David is a member of the Grain Industry Association of Victoria and Pulse Victoria, a Director of the Australian Field Crops Association and represents that body on the board of Graintrust.

He was the founding Chairman of the Rupanyup/Minyip Community Bank, the first Community Bank in Australia, and in 2001 he received a Churchill Fellowship to study the management of change occurring in broadacre cropping regions in Australia, Canada and Europe.

Dr James (Jess) Lowenberg-DeBoer

Jess is Professor of Agricultural Economics and Director of the Site Specific Management Center (SSMC) at Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN, USA. His work focuses on the economics of new technology in agriculture. His current research concentrates on precision agriculture and ranges from the farm level profitability of site specific management to the long run implications of precision farming for the structure of agriculture and for agricultural policy.

His current research includes development of statistical techniques for making better use of yield monitor data in on-farm trials, methods for estimation of crop response curves from spatial data and, in collaboration with Institute for Agricultural Technology (INTA) of Argentina, determining the potential returns to variable rate nitrogen on corn.

David Hudson

David is Canola Business Manager for Monsanto Australia, and as such is intimately involved in the development of GM canola for release to Australian farmers. David has worked for Monsanto since 1978 as a product development agronomist in Victoria and Western Australia.

He was also involved with the release of Ingard cotton to the cotton industry during the early 1990s. He is based in Melbourne but is a regular visitor to rural and regional Australia, as well as having an excellent appreciation of the issues concerning general release of GM crops.

Other invited speakers

  • Neil Druce
  • Phil Cocks
  • Professor Graham Mitchell, (After Dinner Speaker)

Previous PageTop Of PageNext Page