State Committee Members

New South Wales:

Andrew Freeth – Chair (2015 Scholar)

Andrew Freeth, from Collie, received a 2015 Nuffield Scholarship supported by the Grains Research and Development Program. Andrew studied investment in on-farm grain storage and supply chain logistics. Andrew works in his family’s 5000-ha dryland broadacre cropping and livestock enterprise, and is involved in all aspects of the business, including crop production, grain marketing, and livestock work. Read Andrew’s report

Simon Turnbull – Vice Chair (2005 Scholar)

Simon and his family are based at Warren in NSW. They have a mixed farming operation with cattle backgrounding and feedlotting, grains silage and hay production. Simon studied dry matter production, handling, storage and and value-adding through the semi-arid environment of beef production. Simon’s scholarship was supported by the GRDC. Read Simon’s report

Liz Riley – Secretary (1997 Scholar)

Liz Riley is the owner and operator of Vitibit Pty Ltd. Liz has a Bachelor of Applied Science (Wine) from Roseworthy Agricultural College and was awarded a scholarship in 1997 where she travelled to Europe and the USA to investigate “Sustainable Agrochemical Use in Viticulture”. She was also the Hunter Valley Wine Industry’s 2011 Viticulturist of the Year and more recently the 2017 ASVO Viticulturist of the Year. Read Liz’s report

Stuart Tait – Treasurer (2017 Scholar)

Stuart from Mandurama, received a 2017 scholarship supported by MLA. He researched integrated beef and cropping systems, encompassing all facets of a farming operation combining beef cattle and broad-acre cropping; including dual-purpose grazing crops, soil and nutrient management, productivity optimisation, grazing management and the specific role, selection and management of annual and perennial pastures. Read Stuart’s report


Northern Territory:

Cameron Kruckow – Chair (2017 Scholar)

Cameron and his family are based at Katherine and as part of his scholarship, he researched improving cattle grazing by looking at different strategies, including cell, rotational and time control, and how these are used internationally. He also explored opportunities to improve soil and pasture quality to produce more beef in the Top End. Cameron is the Station Manager of Manbulloo, owned by Consolidated Pastoral Company (CPC). Report to follow.

Camilla Phillip – Secretary (2007 Scholar)

Camilla is a 2007 scholar and the primary focus of her study was to research supply chain efficiencies, particularly the growth of category management in the horticultural industry. She aimed to develop a clearer understanding of the theory behind category management and the benefits that could be derived from this theory by the horticultural industry and retailing sector. Read Camilla’s report

Ashley Severin – Treasurer (1987 Scholar)

Ashley is married to Lyndee and they are based at Curtin Springs Station, via Alice Springs where they manage a cattle station and Wayside Inn. Ashley is a life member of Nuffield Australia and was the first Northern Territory Nuffield Farming Scholar. He studied embryo transfer and saline irrigation, travelling to the UK, France and Israel.  Read Ashley’s report


Nigel Corish – Chair (2014 Scholar)

Nigel is based at Goondiwindi. He studied Fertiliser Use Efficiency (FUE) in irrigated cotton crops. The family business growers irrigated cotton as the main crop with about 4000 ha grown annually. They also grow about 4000 ha of dryland cultivated crops, as well as operating a lamb feedlot and running Angus breeder cows. Nigel’s role is to manage and operate one of the properties and is also part of the Corish Farms management group, which manages the financial decisions across the businesses. Read Nigel’s report

Adam Coffey – Vice Chair (2016 Scholar)

Adam Coffey from Miriam Vale in Qld, is a 2016 Scholar who has been studying commercial cattle production and management tactics for rangeland and other marginal areas. Since relocating from the NT, Adam and his wife Jacynta have recently purchased their first family property and are in the process of re-developing it to run a cross bred cattle breeding & opportunistic trading enterprise. Read Adam’s report

Emily Rigby – Secretary (2016 Scholar)

Emily Rigby, from Mapleton in Queensland, she investigated protected cropping in sub-tropical climates with a focus on low and high-tech protected cropping and the potential for farm forestry/multi-cropping as another form of protected cropping. Emily is President of the Australian Society of Horticultural Science (AuSHS), Chair of the International Protea Working Group (IPWG), a board member of Protected Cropping Australia (PCA) and advisory member of the Australian Institute for Medical Cannabis (AIMC). Emily’s efforts have also contributed to her selection as a Qld Finalist of the National AgriFutures Rural Women’s Award. Read Emily’s Report

Adam McVeigh – Treasurer (2016 Scholar)

Adam McVeigh is an irrigated and dryland producer, cropping cotton, corn, sorghum, barley, wheat and occasionally mungbeans and chickpeas on the Darling Downs and in the South Burnett. In addition he does some contract cotton picking.“My Nuffield research looked further into this program, as well as cropping techniques, considerations farmers make when choosing rotational crops as well as the design and operation of centre pivots.” Read Adam’s Report


South Australia:

Ben Haslett – Chair (2015 Scholar)

Ben and his family produce citrus, almonds, wine grapes and stone fruit in the Riverland of SA. The diverse business has led Ben to become involved across multiple industries in a variety of roles including industry advisory committees, research and development committees, government advisory groups, regional community groups and commercial boards. Ben Studied ‘Rural representation. How can rural communities best represent themselves and their cause for the good of the regions and Australia?’ Read Ben’s report

Carly Bussenschutt – Vice Chair (2013 Scholar)

Carly is married to Adam and they manage a 2000 hectare family farm on Kangaroo Island, producing prime lambs and running 200 Angus cross breeding cows. Recognising the critical role lamb weaning percentage plays in a successful prime lamb production system led Carly to her Nuffield research topic. She used her scholarship to investigate how lamb producers in other parts of the world manage and optimise the reproductive potential of their flock. Read Carly’s report

​​Derek Tiller – Secretary/Treasurer (2015 Scholar)

Derek manages a 4000-hectare property that produces wheat, barley and lentils at Pinery, on the Adelaide Plains of South Australia, together with his brother Clinton and parents, John and Christine. Derek's scholarship took him around the world, visiting 12 countries over eight months investigating the structures, resources and benefits of sound decision-making on family farmsRead Derek’s Report

Emma Leonard – Alumni Engagement (1993 Scholar)

With a background in agriculture, Emma Leonard, proprietor of AgriKnowHow, has over 25 years experience communicating technical information to agricultural and horticultural audiences in Australia and the UK. Working from a farm in SA, she is in touch with modern farming practices and land managers and speaks their language. In addition to her Nuffield Scholarship, qualifications and awards include a BSc Agriculture (Hons) – University of Plymouth,, Churchill Fellowship (UK) and Associate of the Royal Agricultural Societies (UK).


Greg Gibson – Chair (2014 Scholar)

Greg and his family manage a 530‐hectare intensive farming operation with a cropping program consisting of alkaloid poppies, onions, processing peas, broccoli and potatoes. Also grown are an array of seed crops. Their grazing program consists of an Angus cow herd of 170 head and a 5,000 fat lamb trading operation. Greg studied the latest drainage techniques, with an aim of increasing production on non‐performing ground through better water management. Read Greg’s report

Clare Peltzer – Secretary (2019 Scholar)

Clare investigated global programs that sought to better attract and retain young people into pursuing a career in agriculture. Motivated by her part-time work as a secondary education agriculture teacher, Clare says that to meet future food supply targets and ensure the continuum of individuals entering the agricultural workforce, it’s vital students are frequently exposed to agriculture during pivotal times in their education. Read Clare’s report

Robert Henry – Treasurer (1991 Scholar)

Rob is married to Kathy and they farm an irrigated cropping and livestock enterprise near Cressy in Tasmania. Rob travelled on his Scholarship in 1991 and studied sustainable agricultural systems on light sandy soils with irrigation. He travelled to the UK, France, USA and Canada.  Read Rob’s report


Ashley Fraser – Chair (2012 Scholar)

Ashley is general manager for Baker Seed Co, a family owned and operated business centred around an extensive seed processing and processed grains plant. Within the family they also crop approximately 3000 hectares for seed production in the Rutherglen area and operate a small feedlot to utilize the by‐products from the processing plant. Ashley used his Scholarship to study how seed coating both protects and enhances crop growth. Read Ashley’s report.

Damien Murphy – Vice Chair (2012 Scholar)

Damien is a dairy farmers based in Victoria. He investigated what young farmer finance schemes exist around the world particularly in places where land is more tightly held than in Australia. “I’ve seen people come into the industry and they’ve just found it so hard to get finance for things that would allow them to grow their asset and progress in the industry – it is becoming a real hurdle, and almost exclusive". Read Damien’s report

Aubrey Pellet – Secretary (2014 Scholar)

Aubrey believes robotics – beyond anything currently seen in Australia – can improve the productivity, profitability and lifestyle of dairy farmers across Australia. In addressing agriculture’s perennial question of how to make more from less, he says technology, data and research need to be given priority. His scholarship allowed him to investigate how to improve productivity for Australian pasture based dairy farmingRead Aubrey’s report

Andrew Nagorcka – Treasurer (2006 Scholar)

Andrew is based at Yatchaw with his wife Kylie and family. The family property is a mixed cropping and grazing enterprise of 1,500 hectares and a relatively reliable average rainfall of 700mm. Andrew studied improving a high rainfall cropping system using a more biological and sustainable approach. He also had a focus on government policies in agriculture. Read Andrew’s report.

Western Australia

Reece Curwen – Chair (2015 Scholar)

Reece is based at Stirling and manages his family’s 6,500 hectare cropping program that includes canola, barley and wheat, in addition to 10,000 head of Merino ewes. Reece’s scholarship focused on investigating best practice in people management across the agricultural sector and his report includes case studies and practical examples of where and how family farms are creating ‘winning teams’ to unlock the full potential of their employees, their business and their industry. Read Reece’s report

Andrew Slade – Vice Chair (2018 Scholar)

Andrew has always been passionate about farming and growing up was normal to be working on the farm with his parents when not at school. The farming operations has grown considerably since that time, primarily off the back of prime lamb and beef production, during a period where these were considered the poor cousins to broadacre cropping. Much of this was due to their focus on productivity, with the emphasis on efficient system design and engineering solution that reduced labour inputs. Read Andrew's report.

Johanna Tomlinson – Secretary (2019 Scholar)

Johanna Tomlinson from Kalgan, Western Australia together with her husband Wayne run a third generation family business, Tomlinson Agricultural, on 4,000 hectares situated on the south coast of Western Australia. The enterprise produces prime lambs, wool, beef and broadacre crops such as barley, wheat, lupins and canola.

Dylan Hirsch – Treasurer (2018 Scholar)

While many grain growers have traditionally managed revenue volatility by ensuring they have sufficient cash and unleveraged assets to cope with successive poor seasons, increased profit margin pressure means the opportunity cost of this can hamper the competitiveness of family farms. That’s according to a report by 2018 Scholar Dylan Hirsch, who has been supported by GRDC. Mr Hirsch travelled throughout North America, Europe and the UK, meeting with farmers, agricultural lenders, insurers, reinsurers and farm lobby groups to better understand global approaches to managing seasonal weather risk. Read Dylan’s report

©2020 by Nuffield Australia Farming Scholars

Address: PO Box 495, Kyogle, New South Wales 2474

Ph: 0406761798 E:

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