Research Advisory Committee


  • Make recommendations to the Executive Director and Board on the design of research projects
  • Ensure that research project reports are rigorous and objective
  • Act as an editorial panel for the Farm Policy Journal, and referee papers submitted to that journal for publication

Professor Les Copeland

  • Emeritus Professor of Agriculture in the University of Sydney. He has taught and published extensively in the areas of agricultural, grain and food science, and he has been the primary mentor of 34 PhD students
  • Director of the Australian Government Cotton Research and Development Corporation
  • Editor-in-Chief of the journals Cereal Chemistry (Wiley) and Agriculture (MDPI)
  • Former Dean of Agriculture and Foundation President of the Australian Council of Deans of Agriculture
  • BSc (Hons) and PhD degrees from the University of Sydney and a Graduate Diploma from the Australian Institute of Company Directors
  • Held research positions in the US at Yale University, the University of Buffalo, and the University of California, Davis, as well as at the Australian National University
  • Fulbright Alumnus and the recipient of an Excellence in Teaching Award from the American Association of Cereal Chemists-International
  • Awarded a Membership of the Order of Australia (AM) in June 2019 for for significant service to agricultural science as an academic and researcher

Wayne Dunford

  • Partner in a family partnership that operates a mixed farming business west of Parkes, producing prime lambs, wool and a winter cropping program as well as a beef cattle 
  • Mr Dunford has always had a strong interest in promoting agriculture as an important part of rural Australia and a keen desire to see it continue on as a viable industry for future generations
  • Member of the NSW Farmers’ Association for 30 plus years and has held various positions at a local level for a number of those years. Former Vice President and Board member

Richard Eckard

  • Richard is Professor and Director of the Primary Industries Climate Challenges Centre ( in the Faculty of Veterinary and Agricultural Sciences, the University of Melbourne
  • His research focuses on sustainable livestock production, nitrogen cycling and loss in grazing systems, with a recent focus on carbon farming, managing extreme climate events and options for agriculture to respond to a changing climate
  • He is a science advisor to the Australian, New Zealand and UK governments, and the UN FAO and EU, on climate change adaptation, mitigation and carbon policy development in agriculture
  • Richard leads a network within the Global Research Alliance on Agricultural Greenhouse Gasses and a member of the Greenhouse Gas and Animal Agriculture international science committee
  • Published over 150 peer reviewed papers, with 80 peer-reviewed papers, 7 book chapters, and 140 conference papers on climate change, carbon farming and agriculture since 2010
Ross Kingwell

Professor Ross Kingwell - Chairman

  • Professor in the School of Agriculture and Environment, University of Western Australia
  • Economics and Market Intelligence Team manager in the Australian Export Grains Innovation Centre and the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development
  • Agricultural economist with over 35 years’ experience in research and provision of policy advice
Jim Pratley

Professor Jim Pratley

  • Dean, Faculty of Science and Agriculture, Charles Sturt University
  • Vice-President, International Allelopathy Society

Dr Michael Robertson

  • Deputy Director of CSIRO’s Agriculture Flagship
  • Member of the team that won the 2013 CSIRO Medal for Impact from Science
  • Fellow of the Australian Institute of Agricultural Science and Technology (2012)
  • A key player in the development of the APSIM farming systems model
  • A national leader in the grains industry, on cropping systems, variable rate technology, simulation modelling, mixed crop-livestock farming, and water productivity
  • Publications (ISI statistics, February 2015): 133 articles, career cites 2772, H-Index of 24

David Sackett

  • Managing Director Growth Farms Australia
  • Board member TA Field Estates
  • 20+ years as an agricultural consultant

Professor Leanne Wiseman

  • Professor, Griffith Law School, Griffith University
  • Associate Director, Australian Centre of Intellectual Property in Agriculture

Richard Heath

Executive Director

  • Executive Director, Australian Farm Institute
  • Director of the Grains Research and Development Corporation - former director Nuffield Australia Farming Scholars
  • Previously Associate Professor of Agronomy and Farm Management for the University of Sydney responsible for managing their North West Farms group
  • Served for six years on the Northern Panel of the GRDC advising on research priorities for the Australian grains industry
  • Owned a consulting business advising on the application of new technology in Australian agriculture.
  • Travelled on a Nuffield Scholarship researching precision application of fertiliser