AFIA Board


Frank McRae - Chairman
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Frank has 40 years experience with dryland cropping, lamb and beef production. He has spent 29years with NSW DPI as an Extension Agronomist and Technical Specialist Cereals. In August 2010 Frank joined Auswest Seeds as a Product Development Manager for pasture and forage crops.

Frank has a Bachelor of Rural Science (Hons) – University of New England and a Graduate Certificate in Marketing – Charles Sturt University. Frank is a Director of the Bathurst and Orange Harness Racing Clubs and is Treasurer of Grasslands Society of NSW.

Mark Lourey – Vice Chairman

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Mark grew up on a dairy farm in the western district. His first job delivering grain to local dairy farms, developing his knowledge in the field and networking with the farmers themselves. Then he moved on working for a local hay trader (Logan Contracting).

Mark managed the hay trading and transports side of the business for 8 years before taking up his current position with Feedworks Australia. Mark’s responsibilities are traveling throughout southern Australia and New Zealand promoting the benefits of Feedworks forage products.

Mark also managers Feedworks’ new domestic hay trading business “Quality Hay Suppliers”. There he brings his hands on approach, meeting and assisting the grower, contractor, transporter and end user. Mark has been involved in the fodder industry for 15 years and is passionate as ever about networking with all parts of the industry.

Denis McGrath - Treasurer

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Denis has a Bachelors in both Agricultural Science and Business (Marketing) and throughout his career has been involved in agriculture with a focus on broad acre cropping, research and seed production. Currently Denis works as a consultant managing two major projects;

AEXCO Executive Officer (commenced 13th December 2010). Manage all aspects of the commercialization of the National Oat Breeding Program licensed varieties on behalf of the AEXCO shareholders.

End Point Royalty Steering Group Agent. Objective of the role was to improve the royalty capture systems of the major broadacre plant breeders / seed commercialization companies of Australia.

Other project work has been conducted for the Grains Research Development Corporation (GRDC) and Malteurop.

Denis has also held Director positions on the board of Wrightson Seeds Australia, Pulse Australia, Agvise Pty Ltd and Seedvise Pty Ltd

Andrew Makin - Secretary

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Andrew is the Sales Manager for the Agricultural Division of Integrated Packaging, a global leader in the stretch films and crop packaging industries. He is responsible for a large sales team across regional Australia and is about to celebrate his 20th year with the company.

Working in the rural industry for his entire career, Andrew has developed a wealth of related industry and practical experience. Particularly, he has a placed a strong emphasis on fodder conservation throughout all aspects of his work.

Previously, Andrew was a member of the Top Fodder Silage Steering Committee, responsible for educating producers on better silage production via the development of a training manual and educational course.

Peter Gillett - Board Member

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Peter Gillett has been involved in the export industry as a processor and exporter since 1988.  His involvement is with Bodiam Pty Ltd which is situated in Northam, Western Australia.

Peter's background has been farming for 40 years at the family farm at North Dandalup. This is traditionally beef and sheep farming, but since his son's return to the farm some years ago, they have established an olive grove for olive oil production. Peter is the current Chair of the Exporter Committee.


David Cossar - Board Member

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David grew up on a family farm in the Charlton district. Since 1978, at the age of 24, David took over his first farm. In the early 90's David decided to work for Ridley Agri Products as a Sales Representative while leasing the property to the Charlton Feedlot. During this time, the soil quality was improved due to the addition of feedlot manure. The lease negotiations and a couple of bumper harvests allowed him to acquire more land and eventually return to the farm in 2001. 

David has always been passionate about producing hay. With the improvement in soil quality, continued application of feedlot manure and dry springs hay became a preferred option in the early 2000's. David's commitment to and success with growing hay and silage has enabled further farm expansion despite drought and serious floods.  

Suzanne Woods- Board Member

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Suzanne Woods has been involved in the agricultural industry for over 25 years. Suzanne has been running a mixed-farming business of livestock and cropping with her partner since the year 2000, in the Shire of Victoria Plains in Western Australia. Her cropping enterprise consists of 50% oaten hay and the remainder wheat, barley and canola. Small herds of cattle and sheep make up the livestock enterprise. Additionally, Suzanne operates a farm contracting business concentrating mostly on mowing, baling and carting hay and straw in nearby districts.

Suzanne extended her business interests in 2006 by purchasing a third share in an export hay processing facility. Hay Australia processes hay and straw from premises in the Victoria Plains Shire, WA and the Shire of Loddon, Victoria. The company sells hay into the domestic and international fodders markets and processes more than 80 000tonnes per year. Suzanne believes that her investment in Hay Australia has enabled her to develop a sound understanding of all aspects of fodder production, processing and marketing, which will assist in her role as AFIA board member. Other special interests include farm safety, gender equality and technological advance for productivity and efficiency and she perceives AFIA as being a key industry influencer in these areas.

Outside of her personal farming activities, Suzanne is an active leader in numerous local, regional, state and national groups associated with agriculture and rural communities. She is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. This has led to Suzanne developing a thorough understanding of the issues affecting rural business and how to manage corporate governance through leadership positions.