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

  • Former Dean of the Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources, University of Sydney
  • Referee of papers for major international scientific journal
  • Assessor of external grant applications – Australian Research Council, Agriculture and Food Research Council (UK), Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (UK), US Department of Agriculture, University of Queensland Research Grants, Australian National University Research Grants, Flinders University
  • Member of Boards of Value Added Wheat CRC (2001 - present), Australian Cotton CRC (2003 - present), NuFlora (2001-2002)
  • Director, Centre for Salinity Assessment and Management, University of Sydney
  • Chair, Management Advisory Committee of University of Sydney, Holtsbaum Agricultural Research Institute

Wayne Dunford

  • Wayne Dunford is a 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 enterprise north of Brewarrina
  • 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, and is currently serving in his second year on the Board

Richard Eckard

  • Richard Eckard is Professor and Director of the Primary Industries Climate Challenges Centre (, a joint research initiative between the University of Melbourne and the Victorian Department of Environment and Primary Industries
  • His research focuses on strategies for reducing enteric methane and nitrous oxide from intensive grazing systems, and whole farm systems modelling of climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies in livestock production
  • Richard holds a number of national and international science leadership roles, being a keynote speaker at a number of industry and international science conferences over the past few years. He is a science advisor to the Australian, New Zealand and UK governments, and the UN FAO, on climate change adaptation, mitigation and policy development in agriculture
  • Richard has authored over 100 scientific publications and over 100 conference papers, with 50 peer reviewed journal papers, 35 conference papers and 7 book chapters on since 2010
Ross Kingwell

Professor Ross Kingwell - Chairman

  • Professor in the School of Agriculture and Environment, University of Western Australia
  • Manager in the Australian Export Grains Innovation Centre and the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development
  • Agricultural economist with over 30 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
  • Member, Board of CRC for Sustainable Rice Production
  • Member, Board of CRC for Plant-based Management of Dryland Salinity
  • Member, Ministerial Scientific Advisory Council on Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (NSW)

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 of Future Farm Industries CRC
  • Board member of Sheep Innovation CRC (2007-2011)
  • Chairman, Prattley Livestock Equipment
  • Board member TA Field Estates
  • Board member Wahroonga Pty Ltd group
  • Member Advisory Board, Fred Morley Centre, Charles Sturt University
  • 20+ years as an agricultural consultant

Associate Professor Leanne Wiseman

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