Enter your keyword


Program & Speaker bios KPCA Innovation Conference & Field Day


Robert Bell (Ba. App. Sc Agric) – Director and Principal Consultant- Formula Ag

Quality forage seed solutions

Selected Seeds is dedicated to remaining at the forefront of research and development and partnering with the best specialists in the world to ensure it offers a product that will help maximise forage productivity. They’re focused on tight quality control, continuity of supply and advanced production and processing techniques.

Rob has a family farming background revolving predominantly around irrigated and dry-land crops. After university, Rob’s professional career began as a consulting agronomist specialising in irrigated cropping systems.

Over time, an opportunity was identified in the industry between crop production and livestock systems. Further study allowed Rob to transition into a more rounded consultant with the integration of crop and livestock systems.

The past 15 years has seen Rob deliver consultancy services to both domestic and international customers focusing on the relationships between plant, soils, animal and the business’s that manage them. Much of the work Formula Ag delivers is around demystifying the science and delivering education based on simple language and hands on experience.

Clients of Formula Ag include or have included, family farms, corporate agriculture, peak industry bodies, multinational animal health companies, feedlots, rural resellers, international seed companies and feed mills.

Chris Ham, Senior Development Officer – irrigation and Pastoral Diversification

Emerging management issues

Outside the Ord River Irrigation Area, the majority of irrigation developments are on pastoral land focussed on fodder production. Chris will provide a short presentation on the economic indicators and emerging management issues of irrigated fodder production systems in the north.

Michael Courtney, Mowanjum Irrigation Manager Pardoo Beef Corporation

Mowanjum Irrigation Trial Industry Report

In 2016 the then Water Minister Mia Davies announced the partnership between Pardoo Beef Corporation with Mowanjum Aboriginal Corporation in the development of its pastoral lease on the outskirts of Derby. Two years later, what are the outcomes of this partnership and are there any learnings to share?

After completing tertiary agricultural studies in 1998, Mick took up employment in the East Kimberley in 1999 within both private and corporate pastoral companies at ground level through to middle management roles. In 2006 he made the move back to the NT where he managed a property in the Douglas Daly region in the NT.  He pursued a Livestock Buyers role with Elders,  firstly in Katherine and then Broken Hill, NSW.

The lure of the Kimberley saw Mick and his young family move back to work for Milne Agri-Group for the next six years, firstly as Assistant Manager at Liveringa Station, followed by Manager of  Nerrima Station.   Mick commenced with Pardoo Beef Corporation in 2016 when they formed a partnership with Mowanjum Aboriginal Corporation. His role today incorporates both managing Mowanjum Station and the cattle operations in both the rangeland and irrigation precinct at Pardoo.

Paul Upton, Upton Irrigation

Pivot irrigation infrastructure

As Australia’s premier pivot irrigation manager, Upton Engineering is the business which has supplied the key infrastructure for Pardoo’s irrigation system.

Paul Upton is the managing director and owner of Upton Engineering. Upton is an Australian family owned company beginning operation in 1944. Upton Engineering is the largest manufacturer of centre pivot and linear move irrigation systems in Australia with the head office and manufacturing plant in Corowa NSW and a sales/service office in Broome WA. Upton Engineering also import the Pierce Corporation range of poly lined pivot irrigators from the USA.

Paul has over 25 years experience in all aspects of agricultural irrigation including design, manufacture and installation. Paul has been directly involved in the supply, installation and ongoing service to over 800 centre pivot installations around Australia. Upton Engineering take great pride in their reputation of providing outstanding backup and after sales service. Paul has a major focus on achieving the lowest operational cost to the end user. This is obtained through the use of quality machinery with the longest expected life span, the use of automation and remote monitoring to lower labour input, and the best selection of ancillary equipment to extend service intervals and get maximum efficiency.



Keynote, Adam Kay, Chief Executive Officer Cotton Australia

Licence to Operate

Volatile political cycles and uncertainty over fact versus fiction is detrimental to industry, so how has the cotton industry been flying the flag on its licence to operate in the north?

Facing challenges of public image, the cotton industry has proven itself to present enormous opportunities in the north however perceptions of its impact on the environment, including water resource and pesticides have been detrimental to its growth.

GM cotton has been around for a long time, in 2018 celebrating 21 years. It uses less water than maize, tomatoes, asparagus and lucerne to name a few, and constantly evolving GM technology means that it relies on less insecticides than most crops, and has reduced its need for insecticide by 90% reduction over the years.

Synergies between this industry and cattle are numerous, and licence to operate is fast becoming the key to overcoming major political barriers. Adam Kay will talk about their learnings from the past and how the industry is setting up foundations into the future.

Adam Kay was appointed to the position of Chief Executive Officer of Cotton Australia in January 2007. Cotton Australia is the peak grower body in Australia representing the interests of 1500 cotton producers in NSW and QLD.

He started his career as District Agronomist for the NSW Agriculture Department in Warren 30 years ago and has spent his entire career working within the Australian cotton industry. Before Cotton Australia, Adam was General Manager of Cotton Seed Distributors, Wee Waa for 11 years, during which time he played a major role in commercialising and introducing biotechnology into the Australian cotton industry. Adam also served two terms as a Director of the Cotton Research and Development Corporation, a cotton industry body that funds research and development projects across many industry sectors. Adam is well known to the Australian cotton industry with roles on a range of industry organisations and committees and has broad industry knowledge and specialist skills in grower relations, advocacy and business management. He was awarded the 2005 Australian Cotton Industry Service to Industry Award, is a Churchill Fellow, Graduate of the Australian Rural Leadership Program, and a Graduate of the AICD Directors and Mastering the Boardroom Courses.

Dr Chris Chilcott, Research Leader CSIRO Land & Water

Northern Australia Water Resource Assessment Case Study

A recent NAWRA Case Study looked at the integration of cropping into existing beef enterprises.

Dr Chilcott will share the outcomes of this cast study which included two aspects; cropping for farms based on groundwater, and the use of cotton seed and forage to increase the herd outcomes.

Dr Chris Chilcott has more than 20 years’ experience in the agricultural sector, research and development. He currently leads CSIRO’s Land and Water business unit based in Darwin and leads and develops research into northern Australian Development. He was the project director for the North Australia Water Resource Assessment (NAWRA), an $18M investigation of the potential of northern Australia’s water resources to support increased regional development in three priority regions: Fitzroy Catchment in Western Australia; Darwin Catchments (Finniss, Adelaide, Mary and Wildman) in the Northern Territory, and Mitchell Catchment, Queensland. His career has spanned across ecology and animal industries, pastoral production and management, and policy. Prior to joining CSIRO he Chris led a policy group providing strategic leadership on industry development activity and policy related to animal industries within Queensland.

Brett Millard, Associate Director, Financial Markets Specialist – Interest rates, Markets Advisory, Global Markets

Working in the finance industry for 12 years, in many top tier banking institutions in both London and Perth, Brett has gained valuable experience in treasury, risk management and corporate banking. This has given him strong financial and business knowledge across a broad spectrum in banking and customer operations. Brett has developed a strong network of both Australian and Japanese clients that has generated strong business flow in each of his roles.

Brett has developed strong analytical skills through the analysis of multiple diverse businesses across the country and internationally.  This includes a review of technical and financial data, with interpretation required for credit analysis, effective decision making and identification of business development opportunities.

Katherine Clift, WA DPIRD Executive Director Biosecurity

Katherine Clift is the Executive Director Biosecurity working for the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development in Western Australia. She received her veterinary degree from Murdoch University and her Masters in Veterinary Public Health Management from the University of Sydney. Katherine has worked in  government for over 15 years both in Australia and New Zealand spanning across biosecurity, regulation and market access.

Rachael O’Brien Animal Health Australia (AHA)

Biosecurity planning for northern cattle stations – how to complete a bio plan.

AHA will join with Integrity Systems Company to present a succinct plan for biosecurity on northern cattle stations drawing together all projects associated with reducing the disease risks facing Australian livestock production industries through to quality assurance and guarantee of integrity.

AHA specialises in the implementation of auditable biosecurity standards, freedom assurance programs and disease intervention programs, such as vaccination programs and animal traceability schemes. Their Biosecurity Program draws together all projects associated with reducing the disease risks facing Australian livestock production industries.

Rachael O’Brien is passionate about biosecurity having working in the sector for over 10 years. Rachael is a Biosecurity Extension Manager with Animal Health Australia, based in Longreach Queensland, and works across the livestock sectors to promote food safety, animal health and welfare and biosecurity. Rachael specialises in practical biosecurity solutions and emergency disease management including building capability and capacity within industry to respond to disease threats. 

Dr Dave Beatty, Program Manager – Value Chain RD&A

Innovation and future developments in red meat industry

As a part of MLA’s Producer Consultation & Adoption team, Dr Beatty works closely with producers to drive adoption of R&D outcomes that increase productivity and reduce costs of production. In this presentation he will offer an update on investments in adoption, producer consultation for R&D priorities, livestock genetics and MSA.

David is a veterinarian with a PhD and background in agriculture research. In 2009, David joined Meat and Livestock Australia as the Live Export R&D Manager. Between 2012 and 2017 he was based in the Middle East firstly as the MLA Livestock Services Manager and then as the MLA International Business Manager for the MENA region working with regional Governments, retailers, food service operators, importers, manufacturers and Australian Exporters.

Now based in Western Australia, David is the Program Manager for value chain research, development and adoption. This role focuses on identifying opportunities and issues across the value chain for WA stakeholders and ensuring WA producers have access to MLA programs and initiatives. David also managers the MLA on farm R&D team.

Cassanah Heal, AgForce Qld

Grazing BMP quality assurance

Grazing BMP (Best Management Practices) is an industry-led voluntary, online self-assessment tool that allows graziers to benchmark their current practices against an industry-developed set of standards. Graziers can then clearly identify the steps required to incorporate best management practices into their own enterprise to improve their long-term productivity, profitability and sustainability.

 Grazing BMP assists Government, NRM groups and industry with planning extensions and workshops by identifying knowledge gaps on a town, regional and state-wide scale.. In time, it will allow the grazing industry to demonstrate sound environmental and ethical practices to consumers and the community. 

The accreditation validates the self-assessment through the collection of evidence against the modules, this is the primary tool that verifies the information supplied through the program and ensures the credibility of the data collected through the tool.

Growing up on a large wheat and sheep property in the Wheatbelt of Western Australia, Cass completed business and communications degrees at Murdoch and Curtin Universities before returning to the farm for seven years.

Cass has a passion for agriculture and regional Australia which motivated her to join the AgForce team—Queensland’s peak organisation representing rural producers — after working in coordinator roles for Rio Tinto and BlueScope Steel.

Cass is currently overseeing the Grazing BMP program and assisting graziers in identifying and demonstrating their economic and environmental sustainability credentials.

Maree Gooch, Safe Farms

Health & Safety legislative amendments, update on legislative environment and Safe Farms WHS management system

The health and safety legislation covers all areas of production and includes pastoral properties, large, medium and small farms. The legislation and encompasses large and small animal handlers. The variety of industries can range from cattle production to sheep, alpacas, bees, chickens and insects.

Tragically many accidents and fatalities happen on pastoral and farming properties during mustering and yarding. Often it is through the use of quad bikes, motorbikes and aerial mustering. Ensuring that employers, employees, contractors and visitors all understand their own roles and responsibilities for health and safety and that the legislation applies to them too is vital.

Maree Gooch is the CEO of Safe Farms WA, providing leadership, advocacy and support to the agriculture industry on health, wellbeing and safety relating to Occupational Safety and Health Legislation in Western Australia.

Safe Farms WA has developed a Safety Health and Wellbeing Manual for the pastoral industry to assist the industry work towards compliance, align with audit systems and be ready for WorkSafe audits. The Safe Farms products apply to all agricultural businesses in Australia and can be used nationally by agri-businesses operating in states with Work Health and Safety legislation.

Maree has more than 32 years’ experience in agriculture, business and community development following a 25 year career running her own Primary Production business (Beef cattle, Sheep- superfine wool; prime lamb feedlot; coarse grains and oilseeds) at Bremer Bay on the South Coast and Beverley in the Wheatbelt after growing up on the family farm at Gillingarra in the Wheatbelt.

Safe Farms WA encourages industry to seize the value by helping many pastoral and agriculture businesses increase their profits by implementing safety systems as well as reducing costs such as insurance premiums and wages which will improve the bottom line.

Maree will speak about how the increases in penalties for breaches to existing OSH legislation will impact the pastoral industry – they became reality on 5th October – effective immediately . The repercussions of increased fines and possible jail terms may significantly impact the pastoral industry.

1500 – Live Export Panel

Haydn Sale, KPCA Executive Committee Member and Manager Yougawalla Pastoral Company, Owner Mandora Station

Andy Jacob, President of the Livestock and Rural Transporter’s Association of WA

Paul Brown from Hedland Live Export Depot

Ashley Manicaros CEO of NT Cattlemen’s Association

Alan Sattler, WA Green Shirt Movement and grain farmer from Beverley

Dave Beatty, MLA Program Manager – Value Chain RD&A

Geoff Pearson, Cattle Council of Australia

Mike Stanton, Managing Director International Live Exports (ILE)

No Dead Men Walking

Recently labelled as a ‘dead man walking’ at the PGA conference in Perth late September, Australia’s live export industry is hanging on the balance of fact versus fiction.

In this panel session industry leaders will engage with the audience to work through actions that industry must take into the future to dispel myths while continuing to improve on industry best practice of the live export trade into the future.

Are there licence to operate lessons to be learnt from others including the cotton industry and what is the role of government and national bodies like MLA and Cattle Council of Australia in supporting the industry?


Your email address will not be published.