Agribusiness buzz in brief

Agribusiness buzz in brief

Outgoing Namoi Cotton chairman, Stuart Boydell.

Outgoing Namoi Cotton chairman, Stuart Boydell.


A quick look at some of people and businesses making news in agribusiness


New Namoi chairman

Longstanding Namoi Cotton chairman, Stuart Boydell, has stepped down, replaced last week by southern NSW cotton grower, Tim Watson, from Hillston.

New Namoi chairman, Tim Watson.

New Namoi chairman, Tim Watson.

Mr Boydell, who farms at “Cooma”, Moree, has been a Namoi director since 1994 and took over as chairman the following year.

New deputy chairman is former Queensland managing partner with financial services firm, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Richard Anderson, who has been a non-grower director since 2001.

Mr Watson has been on the board for almost four years and involved in the cotton industry since 2000.

In 2014 he won the Australian Cotton Grower of the Year title.

He has extensive irrigated cropping and marketing experience and is a member of the Hillston District Irrigators Association, the Lachlan River Customer Service Committee and on the Lachlan Valley Water Users Association.

Namoi’s board, management and staff have thanked Mr Boydell for his leadership, stewardship and enduring support for the business over the sustained period of his chairmanship.

Carroll joins Elders

Former National Australia Bank agribusiness boss and active farm sector board director, Michael Carroll, has joined Elders’ board.

Mr Carroll is also on the boards of almond grower and food processor, Select Harvests and Rural Funds Management, and is in the process of transitioning off the Sunny Queen Australia board.

He is chairman of the Australian Rural Leadership Foundation and has current directorships with non-listed companies Paraway Pastoral Company and Viridis Ag.

Michael Carroll

Michael Carroll

He is a past director with seafood business, Tassal Group, Warrnambool Cheese and Butter, Queensland Sugar, Rural Finance Corporation of Victoria, the Australian Farm Institute, the Geoffrey Gardiner Dairy Foundation, and Meat and Livestock Australia.

Mike Carroll’s career has included stints in the animal health and crop care industries, including time with Monsanto, and he was responsible for establishing and leading NAB’s agribusiness division.

Elders chairman, Hutch Ranck, said Mr Carroll shared a long-standing passion for agriculture and brought relevant industry experience which would greatly contribute to the farm services company’s performance and growth initiatives.

SunRice ASX plan support

Farmer-owned SunRice has welcomed the Ricegrowers’ Association of Australia’s (RGA) strong support for the company’s proposal to list its B-Class shares on the Australian Securities Exchange.

The RGA has voiced its support for the ASX proposal and plans to raise up to $30 million to implement the processor and marketer’s five-year growth strategy, which the grower body saw as a key mechanism for more competitive prices to be paid to producers and ensure rice growing remains a viable option within farming systems.

RGA president, Jeremy Morton, said irrigation farming within the Riverina rice region had been impacted by a number of external pressures in the past two decades.

“Like all businesses, our future sustainability and success is subject to our ability to adapt to the opportunities and challenges we face.

“We do not believe that what is being proposed changes the fundamental purpose of SunRice.”

The Rice Marketing Board of NSW has also found no reason to expect that the ASX proposal would adversely impact on the current vesting arrangements.

SunRice shareholders vote on the plan at the September 20 annual general meeting.

Mitavite sold to Hygrain

Victorian-based horse feed manufacturer, Hygrain, is to buy the Mitavite stockfeed business from the Inghams Group Limited.

Mitavite manufactures and distributes horse feed from Somersby in NSW.

Hygain managing director, Greg Manley, said the company was delighted to join forces with the team at Mitavite to better serve an industry both companies were passionate about.

“By bringing together two premium brands with a focus on quality and nutrition, we are strengthening product offerings for horse owners across Australia, New Zealand and Asian markets,” he said.

Mitavite’s brand has been focused on equine feed products for sport and recreation, while Hygain has historically been more focused on the racing industry with feed and supplements.

Mr Manley said Hygain saw opportunities to improve distribution reach and efficiency and further improve product quality and consistency.

Both companies would continue manufacturing feed and supplements lines under their respective brands at their  plants in Victoria (Officer, near Melbourne) and NSW.

Nuffield conference

Nuffield Foundation’s national conference on September 18, 19 and 20, will feature Bega Cheese executive chairman, Barry Irvin, as special guest speaker at the annual awards dinner.

Bega Cheese’ dairy business has domestic and international sales exceeding $1.2 billion and employs 2000 people, and Mr Irvin has previously won the NAB-Monash University Agribusiness Leader of the Year and Rabobank agribusiness leadership titles.

Keynot speaker, Tim Hunt.

Keynot speaker, Tim Hunt.

The awards dinner master of ceremonies will be 2011 Nuffield scholar Adam Jenkins, an Australian Dairy Farmers national councillor and Victorian Farmers Federation director.

Keynote speaker at the Melbourne conference is Tim Hunt, the general manager of Rabobank’s Food and Agribusiness Research and Advisory division in Australia and New Zealand, addressing the theme "Under Pressure: Why Our Food and Fibre Chains Must Change".

Healthy drought help

Health insurer, NIB, has waived insurance premiums for farmer members who have been significantly impacted by drought.

Eligible members will receive a six month waiver for current health insurance premiums as will members who have cancelled or downgrade their private health insurance since June 1 due to the financial impact of the drought.

Managing director, Mark Fitzgibbon, said it was vitally important farmers maintained their health cover during these testing times.

“Hopefully, this will help see them through until things improve and also that there is some trickle-down effect for their local communities,” he said.

The health insurance relief package will be available to existing NIB members receiving the federal government’s farm household allowance and who live in a drought-declared area.

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The story Agribusiness buzz in brief first appeared on Farm Online.


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