Bookmark and Share

2012 Grains Research Expo



Media releases


 Speaker profiles

Expo dinner

Last year


Media releases

BCG Expo has something for everyone
Farmers face the future at BCG Expo
Expo examines how to attract and retain staff


Speaker profiles

Poh's Kitchen- cooking extravaganza 

Poh Ling Yeow was born in Malaysia in 1973, spending the first nine years of her life in Kuala Lumpur. Her family then migrated to South Australia where she now lives and works. After completing a Bachelor of Design specialising in illustration at the University of South Australia, Poh freelanced as a graphic designer and illustrator, before starting to paint full-time in 2002. She has over 20 highly successful exhibitions under her belt, nine of these solo exhibitions, and her list of clients boasts a number of major corporate collectors.

When a friend suggested she enter MasterChef, she saw a rare window of opportunity. Always thinking outside the square with her artistic sensibilities and paying homage to the traditional cooking she grew up with, she fast became one of the most popular contestants. In July 2009, the first series came to a nail biting end with Poh finishing runners up.

With barely a moment to catch her breath, Poh was approached by ABC TV to present her own cooking show. Soon after, another dream came true when she signed a two cookbook deal with ABC Books and Harper Collins. Her first cookbook, Poh's Kitchen: My Cooking Adventures was released in November 2010 and sat at the top of the bestsellers list for six weeks.

In 2011 a second Poh filmed her second ABC TV cooking series - ‘Poh’s Kitchen on the Road’, began writing her second book, had an art exhibition and received a Logie nomination for ‘Most Popular New Female Talent’.

Paul MacPhail - Beloka Kelpies sheep dog demonstrations 

Paul MacPhail grew up on a dairy farm in Hedley and working dogs have always been part of his life. Paul has been breeding and training working dogs for about 17 years. Working Dog Education was developed in response to the obvious need for people to have a place and structure to learn how to train their own dogs.

Pauls teaching began as a Sunday each month for the South Gipplsland working dog club. Over time and in response to need, this built into a 2 day course based at his farm and training facility in Welshpool. Paul’s way of working his dogs and teaching has been proven not only in an on farm situation but also with great success in sheep and cattle dog trials and in yard/utility and field trials. 

Whatever job you require your dog to do - be that farm or truck dog, a yard and utility dog or any combination of those - Pauls training dogs have been proven time and time again.

National Broadband Network: rolling our the facts

Dr. Helen Thompson: Session facilitator  

Dr. Helen Thompson is the Director of the Centre for eCommerce and Communications.  She is responsible for leading the University of Ballarat’s response to opportunities linked to the regional rollout of the National Broadband Network. Dr Thompson has extensive experience in areas including new digital technologies, knowledge management, spatial mapping and eResearch. Her doctorate of Business Administration thesis was entitled Reflections on effective implementation of ICT in regional and rural areas.

Luke Hartsuyker: Shadow Minister for Regional Communications

Luke Hartsuyker was elected the Federal Member for Cowper at the 2001 election, following the retirement of Garry Nehl. 

Luke was born and educated in Muswellbrook and gained a Bachelor of Commerce at Newcastle University. Following his graduation, he pursued a professional career in real estate and institutional property investment and development. He is a member of CPA Australia. Prior to becoming the Federal Member for Cowper, Luke managed his family’s tourism business – The Clog Barn – in Coffs Harbour.

Among the local issues Luke has tackled since being elected is transport. He has campaigned strongly on the Pacific Highway and welcomes the multi-billion dollar commitment which will see the dual carriageway upgrade fast-tracked over the next six years.

He has pressed hard for better services and care for the large proportion of elderly residents of the constituency, resulting in an extra $10m in annual Federal funding for aged care places, taking the annual total to $50m. He also helped secure more nurse training places at Southern Cross University.

On his re-election to the Parliament in 2007, Luke was appointed to the Shadow Ministry as Shadow Minister for Consumer Affairs, Financial Services, Superannuation and Corporate Law. Following the 2010 election, he was appointed Shadow Minister for Regional Communications, Youth and Sport. He is also Deputy Leader of Opposition Business in the House of Representatives.

Luke was awarded a Mayoral Commendation for rescues performed during the 1996 Coffs Harbour floods. He is a patron of 11 local organisations, including the Royal Blind Society in Coffs Harbour, the North Coast Cricket Council and the Maclean and Coffs Harbour historical societies.

 Andrew Skewes: Executive Director of La Trobe Bendigo

Andrew Skewes has over 17 years’ experience as a senior executive and consultant to the State and Commonwealth public sectors.   Andrew 

specializes in:

  • The provision of high level advice to governments on the role of microeconomic reform, innovation and technology in driving productivity and growth, and in addressing key societal issues;
  • The development of policy and program strategy for the rollout of innovation infrastructure such as broadband, the growth of the State’s research and technology base, and the use of ICT in enhancing activities in sectors such as health, education, research and the environment;
  • Advocacy and representation, including to national reviews and committees (such as the Commonwealth’s National Broadband Development and National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy Committees), and to Commonwealth, State and local government agencies, as well as industry and community organisations; and

Andrew is the Executive Director of La Trobe Bendigo, a Director of Coliban Water, a Director of the Queensland Cyber Infrastructure Foundation, and the Principal of Canvass Consulting.

Carbon Tax: how will it affect you and your farm business?

Renelle Jeffrey- Australian Farm Institue

Renelle joined the Australian Farm Institute in 2011 as a Research Officer, and manages a number of research projects dealing with greenhouse emissions in agriculture.

Prior to the Australian Farm Institute, Renelle was with Australian Wool Innovation for 7 years. In 2004 she was appointed to the role of Project Officer focusing on project co-ordination of AWI research activities in the sustainable production systems portfolio. In 2006 she was appointed Project Manager and subsequently Program Manager of the Sustainable Production Systems portfolio, which involved development, implementation and management of a research and extension activities. In this portfolio she worked with researchers, state government extension agencies, regional natural resource management organisations, farmers and collaborating research agencies to deliver research outcomes and achieve uptake of changed natural resource management systems by farmers.

Her initial employment was as a research assistant at the NSW Farmers’ Association, involved in research and policy development for the wool and livestock industries. Renelle graduated from the University of Sydney with Class 1 Honors in Agricultural Science in 2001.


Jennifer Hawkins: Farmer and climate champion

Jennifer Hawkins originates from Finley, NSW. She and her husband John operate a 960ha mixed irrigation enterprise in the Southern Riverina, which includes rice, canola, winter cereals, feedlot beef cattle and prime lamb production.

In 2009 Jennifer received a Nuffield Scholarship supported by the Sidney Myer Fund. Jennifer studied emissions trading and methods for calculating greenhouse gas emissions and storage on-farm.

Jennifer visited Canada, the USA and China to investigate recording and compliance methods farmers can use to measure their greenhouse gas emissions and farm management option to reduce emissions or improve carbon sequestration.


The nitty gritty of succssion planning

Noel Meney: Involve Consulting 

Noel has a Bachelor of Business (Accounting), is a Certified Practising Accountant, and a Registered Company Auditor with 18 years experience in the public accounting sector. This experience is in the fields of taxation and business advisory in the farming sector and auditing and consultancy work within the commercial sector. He is a Managing Partner of the large regional accounting firm, Poole & Associates Pty Ltd, which has offices in Swan Hill, Kerang, Balranald and Sea Lake. The firm has five partners and 35 staff and has a large dryland farming exposure within its client base.

Adam Laughlin: Involve consulting 

Adam completed a Bachelor Business (Acct) / Bachelor Computing and currently worked as a Chartered Accountant.  Adam has been working with dryland farmers for over 10 years. He has a strong focus on farm succession, estate and retirement planning.

Securing and satisfying staff: how to attract stayers

Jeanette Long: Ag Consulting CO

Jeanette is a Director and Consultant for Ag Consulting Co. She deliverers a range of training programs and facilitates meetings and workshops. Since 2004 Jeanette has been the National project manager for the GRDC funded project, Partners in Grain. She assists farm families with succession and business planning and is training as a coach. Jeanette's qualifications include a Master in Business Administration   Agribusiness, Bachelor of Applied Science in Agriculture, Graduate Diploma in Education and Certificate 4 in Workplace Training and Assessment.



Barry McKenzie- North Central Local Learning and Employment Network

Barry was a practising teacher for over a 25 year period, with several recesses to coordinate a Driver Education Centre for 5 years, and a Grain Cooperative for 2 years. For the last 2 years Barry has been with the North Central Local Learning and Employment Network (NCLLEN) as a Workplace Learning Coordinator.

His current role revolves around linking students’ schooling and workplace experiences to their career pathways, including accessing and providing courses and training which are relevant to shortages and the needs of students. 

Traits of furture varieties 

Glenn Fitzgerald: DPI Victoira


Glenn Fitzgerald received his PhD in Agricultural Ecology from University of California at Davis in 1998.  He worked for 7 years with USDA-ARS using remote sensing as a tool for precision agriculture, developing ways to identify pests in cotton and nutritional deficiencies in rice and wheat using special cameras and sensors.  In 2006, he began work with DPI Victoria at Horsham continuing research into application of remote sensing to wheat and barley, where he continued developing aerial camera systems and testing spectral indices to map canopy nitrogen and water stress.  

He currently leads the Australian Grains Free Air ( Agface) CO2 Enrichment facility in Horsham where the effects of elevated CO2 on wheat and peas is being researched.  The information from this research will help the grains industry develop ways to adapt cropping systems to changing levels of atmospheric CO2 so that changes in yield, grain quality, crop nitrogen management and pest and diseases can be anticipated and planned for.

Marketing your grain 

Stephen Schumacher: Viterra 

Stephen Schumacher is Viterra’s Regional Sales Manager and is responsible for the management of a team of eight grain professionals throughout Victoria and Southern NSW.

Stephen has been overseeing grain business operations in Victoria and Southern NSW since he moved to Bendigo in late 2008.  With more than 25 years of experience in the agricultural industry, Stephen has extensive operational, technical and marketing expertise and has been involved in all aspects of the industry throughout this career.

Stephen began his career with his family farming operation at Keith in the South East of South Australia where they cropped 1,500 hectares during the 1990s and early 2000s.  In 2003, Stephen joined ABB Grain as a Grain Accumulation Manager after selling the family farming property.

Bruce McDonald: Viterra 

Bruce McDonald is Viterra’s Manager, Pools and Product Development and is responsible for the management of a team of grain trading professionals.

Bruce has had more than twenty years experience in the rural sector.  He has held a range of marketing and management positions including senior roles with the Australian Wheat Board (AWB), The Merino Company (TMC) and the Western Australian Department of Agriculture. In addition, Bruce established a specialist agribusiness marketing consultancy.

Bruce is responsible for the leadership and management of planning, development and implementation of grain pools and business-wide product development programs for Viterra and its Australian farming customers.

Weaner management and survival 

Dr. Jim Walsh: DPI Victoria 

Jim is based in Echuca Since 2009 Jim has worked as a Government Vet for AQIS and DPI in Victoria.

Jim grew up on a family farm at Crookwell NSW. He completed Veterinary Science at Sydney University and worked in mixed veterinary practice in the Riverina and Central West of NSW.

He was the owner manager of a family mixed grazing business in the Southern Tablelands of NSW and veterinary consultant to local sheep and cattle producers for 15 years.

Jim has a special interest in sheep and is a member of Australian and New Zealand College of Veterinary Surgeons in Sheep Medicine.


Lamb feed efficiency: are you growing muscle or fat?

Nick Linden: DPI Victoria 

Nick works for the Department of Primary Industries based at Rutherglen, and enjoys working with all segments of the supply chain from ram breeders, to finishers and processors.  He is currently involved with the CRC resource flock, with one of the national sites located at Rutherglen.  Has also worked with lamb finishers, which sparked an interest in lamb efficiency - as opposed to just looking at lamb growth.  In his spare time runs a small farm and breeds rams for a family farming operation.

Tim Harrington: Ridley AgriProducts


Following an honours degree in animal science at Leeds University and postgraduate research in ruminant nutrition at Cambridge University, Tim worked in the UK as a consultant nutritionist for 12 years specialising in dairy, sheep and beef nutrition. He then worked for Associated British Nutrition as Ruminant Technical and Marketing Manager for 6 years. He moved to Australia in 2002 to work for Ridley AgriProducts as National Dairy Technical Manager and since 2004 has been the National Ruminant Technical Manager.

Your GRDC levies: how will they be spent?

David Shannon: GRDC Southern Panel Chair 

Kapunda grain grower David Shannon says even more than previously, he’s keen to see the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) southern panel on the road meeting growers and researchers. 

Starting his third term as panel chairman, Mr Shannon is fired with enthusiasm about being a visible front for the GRDC. 

Mr Shannon has a unique perspective, having worked as a professional architect before returning to the family property to become a farmer. 

The operation comprises grain production and sheep for wool and meat at Kapunda in South Australia and beef cattle production at Marrawah, north-west Tasmania. 

He was awarded a Nuffield Australia Farming Scholarship in 1987, investigating grain legume production in France and the United Kingdom and identifying opportunities for farmers in Australia. 

He was also the founding chairman of the Australian Durum Industry Association, and is a former board member of the Kondinin Group 

 Jane Bunn (WIN News weather presenter & meterologist) presents the weather and climate session at the 2011 Expo.

Stefano De Pieri (Stefano's Mildura) prepares for his cooking demonstration.

The Expo dinner is a great night of socialising and networking. L-R: Dr Sally Cockburn (Dr. Feelgood), Peter Hemphill (The Weekly Times) and Cr Leo Tellefson (Buloke Shire Deputy Mayor).

The Yitpi room is at capacity listening to Jane Bunn's weather session.

To view the extensive program from last years Expo, please click here

 Website by CeRDI  |  Design by Bezgroup