WA Innovation and Sustainability Showcase

Meet the speakers who will be covering a wide range of discussion topics at this years’ showcase!

Registrations are now open for the WA Innovation and Sustainability Showcase – an evokeAG 2024 sideline event on Monday 19 February 2024! The event focuses on the challenge of carbon neutrality and explores the strategies WA producers use to meet growing global supply chain expectations.

This interactive event provides farmers, agribusinesses and the agrifood innovation community the opportunity to connect and learn from one another. Hear from a wide range of speakers and weigh in on the discussion – register for free here!

Dr Terry McCosker OAM

Terry is one of the great innovators of Australian agriculture who has had an inordinate impact on agricultural practises over many years. On this basis the Central Queensland University conferred on Terry, the degree of Honorary Doctor of Agribusiness, in March 2015 and he was awarded an OAM in the 2021 Queens Birthday honours list for his contribution to agriculture. Terry co-founded RCS in 1985 which has set the benchmark for capacity building in rural and regional Australia. Terry is also a pioneer in the field of soil carbon and carbon farming, having been committed to research and commercial activity in this area since the early 2000’s. He founded Carbon Link in 2007 and remains the Chair of this agricultural carbon aggregator.

Richard Brake – Consultant

Richard advises family-owned and corporate businesses operating in the broadacre, pastoral, and horticultural sectors.  Richard is at the forefront of advising on natural capital, biodiversity, and on-farm carbon accounting practices, gained through real-time experiences of agricultural business managers.  The company was the first in Western Australia to provide their clients with a carbon account as standard in annual business reports. Richard’s extensive international agribusiness experience across cropping, livestock, and horticulture gives him an excellent perspective when consulting to farm businesses.

Brendon Savage – Broad acre cropping & sheep, Kulin

Brendon completed a Bachelor of Business Degree at Muresk College before returning to the farm in 1992. Brendan and Gabrielle are passionate about agriculture and the exciting opportunities it presents.  He is the first WA farmer to receive Australian Sustainable Produce (ASP) certification for his cropping and sheep farm, Tolga, situated 30 km south of Kulin. They have developed their Certified Sustainable TM, low emissions product, working with like-minded manufacturers

Jennifer Lauber Patterson – Frontier Impact Group (Biofuels)

Jennifer is Managing Director of Frontier Impact Group which is a climate solutions and investment company.  Frontier Impact Group has a joint venture with Carnarvon Energy to establish FutureEnergy Australia (FEA) that aims to be a leader in the transition from energy-intensive fuels to innovative renewable carbon-neutral fuels to support the transition to a carbon net-zero future. FEA plan to establish Australia’s first large-scale renewable fuel business in Narrogin converting plant-based agricultural residues and sustainably sourced woody biomass, such as oil mallees, into renewable diesel using pyrolysis. Given agriculture’s dependence on diesel, renewable diesel could assist in its decarbonisation.

Jim Trandos – Corn

Jim and his family have been growing vegetables in Western Australia or over 80 years with the operation now the largest producer of sweet corn and beans in the state. Trandos Farms grows sweet corn and green beans all-year round across four farms – Neerabup, Beermullah and Gingin in summer, while winter crops are grown at Shelamar Station (2,000 kilometres north of Perth). The operation supplies all major supermarkets across Australia and annually exports to five countries, with three countries taking stock on a weekly basis. Jim is the managing director, who received the Syngenta Grower of the Year award in 2010. He has worked to develop an export market with the United Arab Emirates and to establish a successful produce farm in WA’s far-north Kimberley with his brother.  

Blythe Calnan – Dairy, beef, poultry

Blythe grew up in the Pilbara region of Western Australia where she developed her love for the landscape and agricultural systems. She has worked in the pastoral, mining, and aquaculture industries across the north of Australia and now lives in Southwest WA where she is involved with dairy, beef, poultry, and promotion of farming practices that promote soil health. She began working in the Agricultural training space in 2011 when she took on a role increasing capacity in animal welfare, handling, and husbandry in markets across the Middle East and Russia that received Australian sheep and cattle.  

Blythe became interested in regenerative agricultural systems after observing widespread land degradation and resulting food insecurity in Australia and around the globe. This interest led to Blythe and her partner Gregg developing their farming business in Uduc, Southwest WA. Farming as ‘Runnymede’ they’ve transitioned high input farming land into productive regenerative management and diversified their business.

Belinda Lay – Mixed grain, sheep, Esperance

Belindais a trailblazer in mixed grain and sheep farming with over 22 years of experience blending traditional farming expertise with cutting-edge technologies. Belinda spearheaded a collaborative project with MLA, analysing the return on investment of the ‘smart farming revolution’ or Internet of Things (IoT) which includes AI, machine learning, robotics, and drones. Belinda’s project is based around a trial of sheep collars and how the data can be used. Her aspirations are to change the way livestock and technology is viewed. Recognised by a WA Agrifutures Rural Woman of the Year Award in 2019, Belinda is dedicated to reshaping the sheep industry, which is mainly a manual industry. Combined with her pragmatic approach, she showcases resilience and innovation, pushing the boundaries of traditional agriculture while ensuring financial sustainability.

Nicole Batten – Grain, Yuna

Nicole is the Member Director at Grower Group Alliance. In 2021, Nicole was the recipient of the Women’s Regional Rural and Remote Diversity Scholarship and a finalist in the 2016 WA Rural Woman of the Year, former National and WA Chair of Partners in Grain, a former board member of RRR (Rural, Remote & Regional) Network, and previously covered a farmer advisory role with the National Centre for Farmer Health. She has been a member of the WA Biosecurity Council and volunteers her time on local committees including the Yuna Farm Improvement Group Secretary.

David Martin – Grazing, Perenjori

David is a successful Carbon Farming and Land Restoration Program Round 1 recipient. He grew up on a farm near Kalannie before going to University in Perth and pursuing a career in commercial law and business. David is a strong believer in the role agriculture can play in meeting the challenges of climate change through carbon sequestration and environmental stewardship. He is a co-owner of Weelhamby Farm near Perenjori, a grazing property that has established a 3,200ha soil project, complemented by a 230ha reforestation project.  

Kelly Flugge

Kellyis a Wudjari Noongar man from the South Coast of WA, with over 30 years’ leadership experience in management professions across Commonwealth, State, and private sector. Over the years he has worked with Southern Agricultural Indigenous Landholder Service (SAILS), the Indigenous Landowner Service (ILS) for the Dept of Primary Industry & Regional Development WA (DPIRD) and Australia’s first Incorporated Aboriginal landowner producer group the Noongar Landowner Enterprises group (NLE). Since 2019 he has run his own Indigenous consultancy company with his vision to lead diversity in ethical business development on Aboriginal owned and managed lands in SW Western Australia. His passion includes re-establishing traditional ecological knowledge production systems into land enterprise opportunities and providing broader land and cultural regeneration capability.

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