Agriculture experts appointed to deliver research to New England farmers | My Machinery
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Agriculture experts appointed to deliver research to New England farmers

Sheep, wool, beef, poultry and cropping farmers will benefit from the appointment of five new roles at the Department of Primary Industries’ (DPI) in Armidale and Tamworth.
DPI Director Livestock Systems, Delia Dray, said the appointments reinforce the New England’s valuable contribution to the State’s farming sector.

“These newly created roles have been designed as part of the new structure of DPI which is focused on ensuring our world class research is more deliverable to producers, across the region and the State,” Ms Dray said.

“These five staff have more than 125 years of practical experience between them, they are extremely capable and they are eager to work with the regional farming community.”

New appointments include:
• Todd Andrews – Development Officer Beef Genetics, Armidale
• Clare Edwards – Development Officer Poultry Eggs, Armidale
• Lester McCormick – Leader Coastal and Temperate Pasture Systems, Tamworth
• Matt McDonagh – Manager Beef, Armidale
• Jim Meckiff – Development Officer Wool, Armidale

Todd Andrews – Development Officer Beef Genetics, Armidale

With 20 years local, national and international experience as both a researcher and extension officer in livestock and agronomy, Todd Andrews is a valued addition to this role.

Dr Andrews has been a Beef Cattle Officer with DPI in Scone since 2006 and brings a wealth of practical skills, farm business knowledge and experience in applying research outcomes to beef production.

“I am looking forward to working with DPI researchers at the Beef Industries Centre at Armidale to ensure that our research outcomes meet the needs of industry for effective uptake and implementation,” Dr Andrews said.

Clare Edwards – Development Officer Poultry Eggs, Armidale

With a wealth of experience in agriculture, Clare Edwards has been with the Department for more than 16 years, most recently as the District Agronomist at Armidale. She has been involved in state and national research and demonstration trials and delivered training packages.

“I am looking forward to working with NSW egg producers in providing relevant research and helping them increase their primary production activity, natural resource management and industry competitiveness,” Ms Edwards said.

“I will focus on contributing to the poultry egg industry’s profitability, productivity and food assurance for consumers and I will be working closely with the NSW Food Authority, the Australian Egg Corporation Limited, The Poultry CRC and the NSW Farmers Egg Committee.”

Lester McCormick – Leader Coastal and Temperate Pasture Systems, Tamworth

With 37 years experience with DPI, Lester McCormick brings a wealth of experience and pasture agronomy. For 22 years he worked as the Department’s District Agronomist, based at Manilla. Most recently he worked as Technical Specialist Pastures (North) working with research and project teams across a number of pasture projects, based at the Tamworth Agricultural Institute, which is the Department’s principal research institute for the cropping zone of northern inland NSW.

“As part of my new role I will continue to work with research but across the coastal and temperate pasture zone. I will be leading a research team to deliver relevant pasture research outcomes to farmers,” Mr McCormick said.

“I will also be working with our Development Officers to ensure these research outcomes are packaged for delivery by our extension partners.

“I’m looking forward to continuing and further developing partnerships with funding bodies and extension delivery partners,” he said.

Matt McDonagh – Manager Beef, Armidale

With 33 years experience in the beef industry, which began through his family’s farming enterprise, Dr McDonagh brings valuable experience in beef nutrition, meat quality and production efficiency. He was one of the first PhD graduates from the Beef CRC in 1997 and has stayed involved in beef research over the last 16 years.

“My focus will be managing DPI’s beef research and development capability to address the issues facing the southern beef industry. I will be making sure our research capacity aligns to and adds value to that of our partners,” Dr McDonagh said.

“Through our partnerships with the University of New England, AGBU (Animal Genetics Breeding Unit), CSIRO and Charles Sturt University, I am looking forward to delivering the research and developing the products needed for a profitable and sustainable NSW beef industry under changing climate and market conditions.”

Jim Meckiff – Development Officer Wool, Armidale

With more than 20 years experience in the agricultural industry, Jim Meckiff has worked at DPI at Cootamundra in natural resource management and the last four years as the local livestock officer for Sheep & Wool based at Armidale. He brings significant project management experience where he delivered projects such as EverGraze.

“I will be working to ensure the delivery of key programs and products to the wool industry across the region and the State, such as continuing my involvement with the New England Central Test Sire Evaluation,” Mr Meckiff said.

“I am looking forward to working with the wool industry and the University of New England and key partners CSIRO, MLA, AWI, and Sheep CRC to deliver useful and relevant research.”

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