Southern Farming Systems, an innovative and independent organisation with strong relationships, and committed to delivering relevant research-based information to support a sustainable agriculture sector has announced its new CEO Cemlyn Martin.

 The Southern Farming Systems (SFS) Board appointed Cemlyn Martin to the role on the 2nd August, replacing acting CEO Scott Chirnside and former CEO Jon Midwood.  Cemlyn brings to the organisation a wealth of knowledge and experience with a strong connection with primary producers, industry and growing markets. He has a good understanding of business structures involved in running a diverse group like SFS.

Cemlyn has a passion for agriculture, which started from a love of the Rural Science subject at High School and growing-up in a farming community in Somerset, England.  Migrating to Australia as a youngster he continued to pursue his goal to be involved in the industry and graduated with Bachelor and Masters degrees in Agricultural Science and Agricultural Economics, respectively, from La Trobe University in Melbourne. His career to date has seen him involved in many different parts of the industry from agribusiness consulting, food and grocery retailing, and general management responsibilities in sales of specialty feed additives and ingredients.

“Agriculture is in a really exciting space right now. There are many new ideas, concepts and novel technologies, being proposed which may have the potential to transform food and fibre production but also address some of the bigger global challenges we face, all whilst aiming to be better stewards of the environment and achieving sustainability goals” Cemlyn said.

Cemlyn has had first hand experience in seeing how the adoption of new, novel and transformative technologies and ideas can, and have, improved productivity, profitability and sustainability for primary producers worldwide. But, it is often the case that these transformative ideas and technologies don’t reach the very people who need to know about them, the farmers.  There is a gulf between the information generators and those who can make use of it.  Southern Farming Systems’ uniqueness is providing the bridge between these two groups.  SFS conducts research that is directly relevant to its membership base and partners.  Through its extension and education services it informs on how best to translate the information to practical actions on the ground. Importantly, the branch network of SFS membership also generates ideas and priorities for research, which is a valuable two-way model of research and information exchange.

SFS takes a systems-based view of the farm, investigating livestock, pastures, cropping, and soils as an integrated holistic system.  Over the past 26 years SFS has a proven track record of delivering on this for its members.  In the coming years SFS with its partners will be working on some really exciting new research and extension projects of practical benefit to High Rainfall Zone producers. Cemlyn is looking forward to being at the epicentre of this work.

Scott Chirnside SFS Board Chair said “We welcome Cemlyn to the role as he brings all the skills needed whilst being focused on the importance of the people around him and delivering for members and commercial partners.  Cemlyn will take SFS into the future as a leading agricultural research, development and extension farming systems group focused on the needs of the High Rainfall Zone farmer”.

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