Our Staff

BCG is proud to be a major job provider for Birchip and surrounding towns. Our staff are highly trained and work across various areas, including research, extension, projects and operations.

Fiona Best

Chief Executive Officer

Fiona Best returned to BCG in November 2019 as CEO, after 9 years working in the education sector teaching agriculture. In her position as CEO, Fiona works to bring relevant agricultural research and extension opportunities to farming communities by attracting investments to improve the prosperity of broadacre farming locally, regionally and nationally.

Fiona is excited to be back at BCG because of the large part the organisation plays in the community and its role supporting farmers to be viable and prosperous. She is proud of BCG’s achievements and contributions over the last 28 years and has a strong desire to contribute positively to the ongoing journey and evolution of the group.

After growing up on her mixed enterprise family farm, cropping and producing sheep, Fiona studied a Bachelor of Agricultural Science (Honours) and Bachelor of Commerce at the University of Melbourne.

Phone: 03 5492 2787
Mobile: 0427 922 786

Vin Delahunty

Senior Manager, Corporate & Business Services

Vin Delahunty joined BCG in December 2017 as Senior Manager of Engagement, Corporate and Business Services. He works on many of the ‘back-office’ roles like finance, membership and governance.

Vin believes that agriculture is unique in that there are a number of people who offer their time, expertise and other resources for industry and community good. He comes to work every day because he loves working with farmers.

Vin has experience managing the representation of Victorian dairy farmers.

Vin wishes he were better at golf and enjoys gardening.

Phone: 03 5492 2787
Mobile: 0468 995 355
Twitter: @vindella

Yolanda Plowman

Senior Manager, Research

Dr Yolanda Plowman joined BCG as the Senior Research Manager in February 2023. Originally from Brisbane where she completed her undergraduate studies in biological sciences and mathematics, Yolanda completed her PhD in soil microbiology associated with wheat roots at The University of Sydney. Her research took her to regional areas of New South Wales, Victoria, and Western Australia. Throughout her PhD, Yolanda undertook a number of teaching positions at The University of Sydney in microbiology, cellular biology, and food security subjects, and also proudly lead the Joint Academic Microbiology Seminars (JAMS) community in Sydney from 2017 to 2022.

Yolanda is passionate about food security and agricultural research and practice, and cares deeply about the future of Australian agriculture. Upon reflection, this passion was likely sparked early on in childhood whilst visiting her Italian grandfather on his sugar cane farm in Bundaberg, Queensland. Blazing-hot days were spent pottering around on his farm, followed by hazy afternoons where she watched the sun set over cane fields.

With Italian blood in her veins, Yolanda firmly believes that food is life, and as a microbiologist, has a thorough appreciation for microbes and the gifts they’ve given us (wine, bread, and cheese to name a few). She loves to cook, eat, travel, learn, and garden.

Phone: 03 5492 2787
Mobile: 0447 755 312

Kelly Angel

Senior Manager, Extension & Communication

Kelly Angel joined BCG in December 2013. She is the Senior Research and Extension Officer managing the day to day tasks needing to be done by the research team, however she still has a foot in the research and extension areas as well, managing a number of research projects. Kelly’s main areas of interest within research are weeds and pests, as they are major constraints to production and she wants to find out what will give the best outcomes to growers for managing these challenges – although sometimes they are difficult to quantify.

Phone: 03 5492 2787
Mobile: 0427 564 507
Twitter: @KAngel62

Angela Liston

Office Manager

Agriculture is like toilet paper; it’s necessary and universal.
It is more good luck than good management that I find myself embedded in the fabric of an organisation which contributes enormously to the improvement and advancement of this essential industry. The people who work to maintain vibrancy and sustainability in our rural communities inspire me, particularly strong and purposeful women. BCG is renowned for its vast contribution to successful agricultural practices across the Wimmera and Mallee and beyond; it is an honour to work here.

Phone: 03 5492 2787
Mobile: 0417 303 947

Genevieve Clarke

Research and Operations Manager

Genevieve Clarke joined BCG in August 2017. She is a Research and Extension Officer & Operations Coordinator who contributes to research trials run by BCG with a focus on projects such as; management of early sown wheat, optimising plant establishment, Russian Wheat Aphid and some pasture research.

Gen loves knowing that the work she is doing is providing relevant information to growers.

Gen holds a Bachelor of Agricultural Science with Honours from The University of Sydney.

Gen enjoys running and loves being outside with a dog or two.

Phone: 03 5492 2787
Mobile: 0422 988 088

Alison Frischke

Project Manager – Research

Alison Frischke joined BCG in May 2010 as an Extension Officer. She specialises in livestock and farming systems research, extension and project management, working on projects such as; dryland legume pasture systems, understanding standing crops to finish lambs and improve summer ground-cover and soil health, and oaten hay agronomy.

Alison has a deep interest in agricultural production, the whole-farm system and rural communities. She enjoys sharing beneficial information with growers to help make production and business decisions.

Alison loves exploring the country, salt-water fishing and learning local history. She also makes a great fruit cake.

Phone: 03 5492 2787
Mobile: 0429 922 787

Kate Finger

Project Manager – Research

Kate Finger joined BCG in May 2019. She is a Research and Extension Officer within the Business Development and Innovation team. She manages BCG’s weather station and soil probe network, coordinates communications for the managing climate variability project and ForeWarned is ForeArmed CoP and works on contract services trials.

Kate believes that the work she is a part of is helping to improve the profitability and sustainability of Australian agriculture.

Kate holds a Bachelor of Science – Majoring in Agricultural Science and a Masters of Agricultural Sciences specialising in Crop Production from the University of Melbourne.

Kate loves horse riding, gardening and exploring the outdoors.

Mobile: 0448 823 353

Brooke Bennett

Project Manager – Research

Brooke Bennett joined BCG in June 2018 as a Research and Extension Officer. Her role is to work on field trials with a focus on GRDC National Variety Trials, SARDI vetch variety trials, and the pulse inoculation demonstration trial.

Brooke grew up on her family’s sheep farm and always wanted to be able to help other farming families. She joined BCG because she wanted to do meaningful research that would be directly helping farmers around her.

Brooke holds a Bachelor of Agricultural Sciences from La Trobe University.

Phone: 03 5492 2787
Mobile: 0468 304 335

Angus Butterfield

Research Agronomist

Angus Butterfield joined BCG in March 2022 as a Research Agronomist. He holds a Bachelor of Agriculture and Technology majoring in Agronomy from Latrobe University and has relocated to BCG from the outskirts of Melbourne.

Angus has a passion for high quality research and is keen to improve agricultural practices and production as well contributing the BCG’s large scope of research to benefit growers.

Outside of work Angus enjoys football, basketball, fishing, and camping.

Mobile: 0490 837 579
Thomas Jones BCG

Thomas Jones

Research Agronomist

Thomas joined BCG in October 2022 as a Research Agronomist. He hails from Quantong, 10km of Horsham in the Wimmera and prior to joining BCG, he completed a Bachelor of Science through Federation Universities online where he focused on chemistry while completing agricultural electives. He conducted research projects surrounding pharmaceutical pollution in rivers and its effects on the surrounding environment and the impacts of using treated wastewater on irrigated crops along the Wimmera River which was the first of its kind in the area.
Thomas enjoys the diversity of the research that BCG undertakes, and he enjoys talking with farmers to better understand their needs to inform his research.

In his spare time, Thomas enjoys woodworking, fishing, watching most sports and spending time outside.

Mobile: 0458 409 205

Domenic Bertazzo

Research Agronomist

Dom joined BCG in Feb 2023 as a Research Agronomist and holds a Bachelor of Agricultural Science from Charles Sturt University. He hails from Albury NSW, and prior to joining BCG he lived and studied in Wagga Wagga.

Dom grew up working on his family’s dairy farm in Victoria, and this ignited his passion to join BCG in hopes to improve growers’ livelihoods by contributing to the highly credible research that the organisation produces.

Outside of work, Dom enjoys all things sport and keeping active including triathlons, water polo, soccer, horse-riding, and is even trying his hand at footy with the Birchip-Watchem Bulls.

Mobile: 0457 154 917

Louisa Ferrier

Project Manager – Extension

Louisa Ferrier joined BCG in January 2015 and is part of the Extension and Engagement team. Louisa grew up on a family farm north of Birchip and holds a Bachelor of Business (Rural Business Management) from Marcus Oldham College. Louisa joined BCG after gaining experience at Southern Farming Systems, John Stuchbery and Associates and Buloke Shire Council.
Louisa is inspired by what the people in this rural, community-based organisation achieve. She enjoys working for farmers across the region and appreciates the opportunity to hear from some of the best minds in agriculture in her hometown.

Phone: 03 5492 2787
Mobile: 0438 854 241

Janine Batters

Manager Media & Communications

Janine Batters returned to BCG in October 2020 after working in the media industry as a journalist and editor. As part of the Extension team Janine works to communicate relevant BCG research to farming communities both locally and nationally through publications, events and the media.

Janine enjoys the variety of work at BCG and the constant opportunities to learn new things and new ways of supporting growers to be profitable and happy.
Janine studied a Bachelor of Arts (Media and Communications) at Deakin University.

Phone: 03 5492 2787

Demi Taylor

Project Manager – Extension

Demi joined BCG in Feb 2023 as an Extension Officer and Events Coordinator. She holds a Bachelor of Agricultural Science and an Associate Degree in Communications from Charles Sturt University.

Demi grew up on a farm outside of Waikerie, SA and her passion for agriculture stems from her admiration of grower’s resilience through times of adversity and drought. She hopes to make an impact at BCG by being an advocate for grower engagement and ensuring research is accessible to individuals of all demographics.

Demi adores all animals, and her biggest loves are undoubtedly her two dogs. She also enjoys netball, has a random list of hobbies, and is a self-proclaimed op-shop queen.

Mobile: 0436 009 906

Claire Pickles

Project Manager – Research & Extension

Claire Pickles joined BCG in March 2007. She is a Senior Research and Extension Officer who works on GRDC National Variety Trials, GRDC Plant Establishment (canola and lentils) trials, and BCG members trials such as the canola nitrogen management trial.

Claire joined BCG because she wanted to work in the agriculture industry and likes being outdoors.

Claire holds a Bachelor of Agriculture from the University of Adelaide.

Claire is currently on parental leave.

Phone: 03 5492 2787
Mobile: 0429 922 780
Twitter: @BrowneyBCG

Grace Hosking

Project Manager – Extension

Grace joined BCG in Jan 2023 as Project Manager of the North West node of the Victorian Drought Hub. Grace studied a Bachelor of Agriculture, majoring in Economics at The University of Melbourne.

Grace grew up on a broadacre cropping and livestock farm at Quambatook, where her passion for agriculture began. Stemming from her own experience growing up in a rural community, Grace has a strong desire to see farmers and their communities thrive and she is excited to join an organization that plays a pivotal role in providing opportunities for industry to improve in both productivity and profitability.

Outside of work, Grace enjoys staying involved in her family farm, cooking, walking her dog Mae and spending afternoons at the lake.

Mobile: 0467 518 441

Chris Cook

Technical Officer

Chris Cook joined BCG in 2015 to help with the 2015 cropping program and never left. His role is Senior Technical Officer where he works on trial operations, and weather stations and soil probes.

Chris grew up and worked on the family farm, he enjoys doing something everyday and feels a sense of achievement from the praise the team receives for their trial work.

Chris is proud of his family, he loves watching his kids play sport, he also enjoys tinker in the workshop and has a hive of bees.

Phone: 03 5492 2787
Mobile: 0476 850 043

Greg Martin

Technical Officer

Greg joined BCG as a Technical Office in 2022 and brings numerous technical, mechanical, and engineering skills with him. Greg has a proven track record in machinery maintenance, heavy vehicle operation and broadacre farming operations and will be working alongside the research team to deliver in-paddock applied research and operations.

Hayden Collins BCG

Hayden Collins

Administrative & Business Support

Hayden joined BCG in 2022 in the role of Administrative & Business Support.

He grew up in Birchip but does not claim to be an expert on agricultural matters. His work as PA to the CEO keeps him in touch with what’s happening, and he enjoys using his organisational skills to sustain the efficiency of the group.

Hayden’s interests are broad. He can be informative on such diverse subjects as cars, individual rights (one man against the machine) and the efficacy of chlorine in drinking water.

Hayden believes in supporting the local community and is always there to lend a helping hand.

Learn more about other members of our team


Advisory Committee


Research Committee

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