Speaker Profiles


Session 1: Who will benefit from digital agriculture?

Charles Baron, Co-Founder and VP Product, Farmers Business Network

Session 2: Digital technology through the supply chain (and its impact on farm)

Emma Germano, 2014 Nuffield Australia Farming Scholar

Harvey Gaynor, Chief Executive Officer, Auscott Limited


Professor James Rowe, Chief Executive Officer, Sheep CRC Ltd

Session 3: The role of digital technologies in governance and compliance systems

Dr Sjaak Wolfert, Senior Scientist Information Management and ICT in Agri-Food, Wageningen University and Research, the Netherlands

Dr. Sjaak Wolfert studied Plant Science in Wageningen and finished his PhD 'Sustainable agriculture: how to make it work?' in 2002. Currently, he is working as Senior Scientist at Wageningen University and Research in the field of Information Management and ICT in Agri-Food. He coordinates international projects such as the EU-project Internet of Food and Farm (IoF2020). He is affiliated with the Information Technology Group of Wageningen University and was president of the European Federation of ICT in Agriculture (EFITA). Sjaak is a visionary, challenged by complex problems that require a science-based approach where organisational and technical aspects need to be combined. 

Dan Galligan, Chief Executive Officer, Canegrowers

Associate Professor Leanne Wiseman, Griffith Law School, Griffith University

Session 4: The impacts of digital technologies on the rural workforce

Ella Shannon, Director, AgDraft

Dr Kim Houghton, General Manager Research and Policy, Regional Australia Institute

Dr Kim Houghton is General Manager Policy and Research with the Regional Australia Institute (RAI). Kim plays a leading role in the RAI's work on innovation and entrepreneurship, and on regional and local economic development strategies. Kim has 20 years' experience working on business and economic development in towns, cities and regions across Australia and overseas.

Kim has considerable experience in the private sector as well as in the public sector and academia. Before joining the RAI Kim ran a consulting company (Strategic Economic Solutions) as well as holding positions with the Hornery Institute (Community Development Manager) and Elton Consulting (Associate Director). Kim is currently Adjunct Associate Professor with the Institute for Governance and Policy Analysis at the University of Canberra.  

Professor Bronwyn Harch, Professor of Applied Statistical Science, Queensland University of Technology


Fiona Simson, President, National Farmers' Federation


Dinner Speaker

Lisa Prassack, Agri Food Innovation Expert and Data Strategy Consultant, Prassack Advisors

With over 20 years in emerging markets, and most importantly, real-life, in-the-trenches agriculture and business experience, Lisa Prassack brings over 20 years working with big data for informed decisions. She specialises in providing critical market understanding for data-intensive, smart connected solutions in many industries including: aerospace, energy, healthcare, retail, oil & gas and transportation. Lisa previously worked introducing herd RFID management, redesigning UNFI dried fruit and vegetable supply chain, as PMO for Agrium's Viterra acquisition and as Trimble Strategic Director, responsible for precision agriculture strategy, M&A and global strategic partnerships with companies including John Deere, Dow Agrosciences, BASF, Land O' Lakes, CHS, AGCO, Monsanto-Climate and DuPont Pioneer. 


Session 5: Traceability and provenance – Will digital technologies help to sell agricultural produce with confidence and will farmers see the benefit?

Dr Mike Briers AO, Chief Executive Officer, Food Agility, University of Technology, Sydney

Mike was named in the Knowledge Nation 100 as Australia's chief evangelist for big data and the internet of things (IoT) and appointed Australia's first Industry Professor of IoT at UTS. He is currently the CEO of the Knowledge Economy Institute, an IoT innovation hub, and leads the FoodAgility.com consortium to empower Australia's food industry to grow its comparative advantage through digital transformation.

Mike is a Co-Founder and Director of the Internet of Things Alliance Australia and Hypercat Australia.

Mike's pioneering efforts in fintech and e-research led to the global success of SIRCA and the founding of big data company RoZetta, e-research service provider Intersect, and co-founding of Capital Markets CRC and AgTech business, The Yield.

Chris Sounness, Chief Executive Officer, Birchip Cropping Group

Session 6: The connection between digital agriculture and agricultural finance

Bob McKay, Chairman, AgriDigital

Samuel Marwood, Co-Founder and Managing Director, Cultivate Farms

Craig Heraghty, National Business Leader, Partner, PwC Australia


Session 7: Is the agriculture sector 'investment ready' for digital products and services?

Jock Graham, 2015 Nuffield Australia Farming Scholar

Session 8: Closing panel – The global context

Dr Sjaak Wolfert, Senior Scientist Information Management and ICT in Agri-Food, Wageningen University and Research, the Netherlands

Lisa Prassack, Agri Food Innovation Expert and Data Strategy Consultant, Prassack Advisors