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Bret Ryan CEO

Bret joined SFS as the Business Services Manager in 2019 following a career in Marine Biology and Government NRM (Landcare and Sustainable Agriculture). Born and raised in Colac he has lived most of his life in southwest Victoria. He holds a Diploma in Conservation and Land Management (Victorian Student of the Year), bachelor’s degree in science and a Master’s in Business Administration.

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Karen Haigh Finance and Administration Coordinator

Having grown up on a mixed farm in central Victoria, Karen commenced a career in education teaching accounting and business studies at TAFE and secondary levels.  Karen has worked as Accountant for metropolitan hospitals in Melbourne, implementing financial systems.  In 2007 Karen commenced employment with Southern Farming Systems as a Branch coordinator and was quickly utilised as in the financial management of the organisation.

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Michelle McClure Communication and Engagement Coordinator

Michelle started with Southern Farming Systems as Hamilton Branch Coordinator in 2009.  Over the years Michelle's role in SFS has evolved to the current position of Communication and Engagement Coordinator for the organisation.  Michelle enjoys working with members and partners to keep the industry, relevant and on the edge.

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Ashley Amourgis Manager Cropping

Ashley grew up on a dairy farm in Northern Tasmania and studied a Bachelor of Science at University of Melbourne. Since starting with SFS in 2017, she become a key member of the team as a Senior Research and Extension officer and was responsible for a number of projects and trials including SFS variety management work, GRDC precision planter project and the southwest Victorian part of the MLA dung beetle project. Ashley was promoted to Manager Cropping  in 2022 overseeing the agronomic and project management.

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Ronald Buitendijk Manager Operations

Ronald lived and worked across Europe and moved to Australia following numerous family visits. Living in WA, where he lived on a farm and worked on an olive grove. In 2017 he moved back to Geelong and started working for SFS. Ronald is the Manager Operations responsible for the seeding, spraying, and harvesting of the crops, and for servicing and maintaining the machinery and trial sites for the western district and is the SFS OH&S representative.

Natalie Jenkins

Natalie Jenkins Manager Gippsland

Natalie manages Southern Farming Systems (SFS) activity in Gippsland and broadly across eastern Victoria. Working in the natural resources and agricultural industries for the past 20 years, with a particular passion for community led on ground action, she now leads projects in Gippsland and beyond including SFS’s delivery of the Top Soils project for the East Gippsland CMA and community driven projects with the Gippsland Agricultural Group and Landcare.

Brett Davey

Brett Davey Manager Tasmania

Brett has spent the past 16 years working for the University of Tasmania as a technical officer dedicated to the Tasmanian grain industry. This includes a period of 6 years where Brett assisted with conducting SFS field trials in Tasmania.  The SFS Manager - Tasmania, Brett joined the Tasmanian SFS team as a Senior Trials Operator and thoroughly enjoys the opportunity to work across the diverse range of SFS projects and trials being conducted and especially enjoys working closely with the farming community.

Lisa Miller

Lisa Miller Specialist Research and Extension Officer

Lisa joined SFS in 2013 keen to seek new challenges after working for 20 years in pasture agronomy with the Department of Primary Industries. Lisa completed her Bachelor of Agricultural Science with honors at Melbourne University in 1992 and began her career working at Seymour where she grew up before relocating to work at Colac and Geelong. Lisa leads SFS's work in the areas of Soils, Pasture and Livestock and is renowned for her research & extension on soil acidity.

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Greta Duff Senior Research and Extension Officer

Greta graduated from the University of Melbourne with a Bachelor of Agriculture. Having grown up in Melbourne, her time at the University of Melbourne Dookie Campus allowed her to experience the farm life and get involved with every aspect of the industry. As a Senior Research and Extension Officer Greta now leads SFS's pulse and waterlogging projects and has a keen interest in the logistics of SFS operations.

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Grace Evans Senior Research and Extension Officer

Grace grew up on a prime lamb property near Camperdown Victoria and studied Bachelor of Business (Agriculture) at Marcus Oldham College. Since starting with SFS in 2019, she has been involved in undertaking many trial assessments and extension events and now as a Senior Research and Extension Officer Grace is focused on the SFS Variety x Management and contract trials, the Dung Beetle project and supports the cropping team project management.

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Audrey Gripper Senior Research and Extension Officer

Audrey has completed a Bachelor of Rural Science at the University of New England, moved to Victoria from her hometown of Kangaroo Valley, NSW and is excited to be working for SFS as a Senior Research and Extension Officer. Audrey has a keen interest in cropping agronomy, and this has seen her take a lead role in SFS's delivery of the GRDC National Variety Trials and other cropping projects.

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Jessie Wettenhall Research and Extension Officer

Jessie commenced in 2021 as a casual whilst finalising her Agricultural Science degree at La Trobe University and became a Graduate Research and Extension Officer upon completion of here studies. A quick learner and a pro-active member of the team Jessie works on trials and projects for both the cropping and soils, pasture &  livestock areas.

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James Palmer Research and Extension Officer

James joined the team as a Graduate Research & Extension Officer in November 2022, after working as a casual whilst completing his Bachelor of Agricultural Science and Commerce.  In his graduate year 2023, he has worked in the areas of soils, cropping and pastures and has been promoted to Research and Extension Officer.

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Cameron Barr Graduate Research and Extension Officer

Cameron (Cam) joined SFS in May 2023 as a Graduate Research & Extension Officer after completing his Bachelor of Agriculture with Honours (research) at the University of Melbourne. He is currently studying part time to complete his Masters of Science in Agriculture with the University of New England with a focus on advanced agronomy, precision agriculture, and soil systems.  Cam is keen to learn about broadacre cropping systems and being involved in industry-leading research to assist the innovation of Australia’s cropping industry.

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