State Committee Members

New South Wales:

Stuart Tait – Chair (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

Andrew Watson – Vice Chair and Treasurer (2006 Scholar)

Andrew Watson is a fifth-generation mixed cropping and cattle producer from Boggabri. Andrew studied ‘water use efficiency in irrigation’ as part of his scholarship in 2006. In 2008, Andrew was named ‘Australian Cotton Grower of the Year’. In 2014 the farm business won The Brownhill Cup and in 2016, they were a finalist in the Landcare Sustainable Farming awards. Andrew is also a past chairman of the board of Cotton Australia. Read Andrew’s report

Daniel Kahl – Secretary (2017 Scholar)

Daniel Kahl was supported by Cotton Australia and the CRDC to investigate where the next generation of farm managers will come from and how quality candidates can be attracted to a career in farming. Daniel is employed as Business Manager of his family owned and operated

company, Merced Farming covering 7,500 hectares. In 2019, Merced Farming was announced as the winner in the cropping category of the Weekly Times Coles Farmer of the Year awards. Read Daniel’s report

Northern Territory:

Daniel Richards – Chair (2016 Scholar)

Daniel owns family business, Humpty Doo Barramundi, Australia’s largest farmed Barramundi producer. With support from Woolworths, he used his scholarship to test the legitimacy of industry claims that Barramundi can become the ‘next Atlantic Salmon’, and chart a path for these claims to become a reality. Dan's report shows that in Australia, market differentiation of Barramundi based on its attributes, country of origin labelling and point of difference is lacking. Read Daniel's report.

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

James Walker – Vice Chair (2012 Scholar)

James is a 2012 Scholar from Longreach who studied how to manage livestock through the variances of seasons. James has developed a Farmecco financial literacy app and hosted a number of CEO outback business summits. He has brought a 15MW solar farm to Longreach and helped build international tourism visibility for his region with the launch of the ‘Outback Yacht Club’. Read James’s report

Sonya Comiskey – Secretary (2018 Scholar)

Sonya Comiskey from Capella near Emerald in Queensland, received a 2018 scholarship supported by Rabobank. Sonya’s study topic is investigating the use of effective branding to attract a premium based on the consumer’s perceived value of the product and its provenance as opposed to merely selling beef as a commodity. Sonya has been examining successful branding, co-operative models and innovation occurring in beef supply chains. Report available soon.


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:

Carly Bussenschutt – 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

Andrew Baldock – Vice Chair (2015 Scholar)

Andrew used his scholarship to identify the best approaches for building farm enterprises to accommodate growing families in a changing business environment. He visited successful multi-generational family farms in North America, Brazil, Eastern Europe and Africa. The Baldock family runs a mixed farming operation comprising 2000 breeding ewes and 6000 hectares of cropping across 7400ha of owned and leased land. Read Andrew'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


​​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 farming. Read 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