Welcome to our new website – explore our projects, news and member resources.
Skip to content


Cultivate & Connect

Program Event
Thursday 27 July 2023


Buller Wines, Rutherglen

Event partners

This event is kindly sponsored by Elders and Corteva Agriscience.



Join us for the next installment of our Youth in Ag Program: A Farm Tour, Mentoring Workshop and Lunch at The Pavilion Restaurant at Buller Wines in Rutherglen.

The tour has been planned with youth in mind, to showcase new products and practices coming through the region. Throughout the day we’ll have a ‘no silly questions’ policy, so be sure to come prepared with all the questions you have been itching to ask!

There will be networking opportunities not only with your peers, but with industry experts, in a structured mentoring session and a further opportunity to bring up your burning questions with our panel discussion.

What we'll cover


  • Data managements and decision making
  • Trade and markets
  • Sustainability, carbon and ESG (Economic, Social, Governance)
  • Research and extension
  • Production
  • Farm business
  • Policy
  • Ag Engineering

Riverine Plains members, your discount codes are in your inbox!

Youth in Ag Cultivate & Connect mentors:

Ben Percy

  • Role: Management Consultant – Farmanco
  • Topic: Data Management and Decision Making

Dr. Kirsten Barlow:

  • Role: Principle Scientist – Precision Agriculture
  • Topic: Data Management and Decision Making

Adrian Clancy:

  • Role: Grain Marketing Consultant – Farmanco
  • Topic: Trade and Markets

Alexandra Gartmann

  • Role: Chair – Victorian Agriculture & Climate Change Council
  • Topic: Sustainability/Carbon/ESG

Crawford Taylor

  • Role: Head of Client Sustainability, Rural Banking Australia – Rabobank
  • Topic: Sustainability/Carbon/ESG

Crawford has been involved in agribusiness banking for over 30 years in Australia & New Zealand with Rabobank. Prior roles include Regional Manager WA, interim CEO of Rabobank New Zealand and national manager Farm Support. In this role, Crawford has responsibility for developing and implementing the next steps of Rabobank’s local sustainability action plan, importantly supporting our clients to best manage sustainability risks along with maximising market opportunities in sustainability.

Murray Wallace

  • Role: Rural Manager – Rabobank
  • Topic: Sustainability/Carbon/ESG

Murray has worked in Agribusiness for more than 25 years, with roles in International Trade, meat exporting as well as seed and grain. Murray has worked for Rabobank for the past 10 years, assisting farmers in the Southern Riverina and North East Victoria grow and strengthen their businesses whilst also navigating the ever changing demands from the value chain.

Dr. Sara Hely

  • Role: Chief Operations Officer – Riverine Plains
  • Topic: Research and Extension

Over the last 20 years, Sara has held management roles in agricultural research in state and federal government as well as large investors in rural research, development and extension within the agricultural science and rural industries. Sara has a PhD in climate change research and specific knowledge in the grains industry, agrotechnology, digital agriculture and organisational performance. She has also worked extensively in program and project management roles, as well as in strategy development and implementation. Sara is currently the Chief Operating Officer at Riverine Plains, an independent farming systems group dedicated to improving the profitability and prosperity of broadacre farming systems in north-east Victoria and southern New South Wales.

Daniel Dixon

  • Role: Australia & NZ Marketing Director – Corteva Agriscience
  • Topic: Research and Extension

Brendan Rinaldi

  • Role: State General Manager Vic/Riverina – Elders
  • Topic: Business

Emily May

  • Role: Horticulture Agronomist – Elders
  • Topic: Production

Emily is a young agronomist working for Elders based in Griffith NSW. She grew up in the Hawkesbury district of Western Sydney where she witnessed farming land adapt and evolve giving way to urban development. Emily studied a Bachelor of Agriculture at the University of New England learning ways to help the agricultural industry evolve enabling the utilisation of greater technology, sustainability and more importantly cohabit with other land uses. Emily has worked across a variety of crops within the Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area including Citrus, Winegrape’s, Almonds, Cotton and Cereals. Emily was a recipient of the 2022 Cultivate Young Leaders Program, 2022 NSW Hidden Treasures Honour Roll and a current participant of the Wine Industry Mentorship program. She is passionate about sharing her experiences and amplifying the voices of youth within agriculture, with the hope of inspiring the next generation to follow in her footsteps, particularly those who like herself didn’t grow up with farming in their family.

Aaron Giason

  • Role: Sales and Business Development Manager – Baker Seeds
  • Topic: Production

Sam Birrell

  • Role: Federal Member for Nicholls
  • Topic: Policy

Simon Bowler

  • Role: Sales Manager – Weisners
  • Topic: Ag Engineering and Innovation

Simon grew up in the Southwest of England surrounded by dairy and mixed farming operations. He attended Harper Adams Agricultural College and holds a diploma in engineering and a higher diploma in agricultural engineering. Simon brings over 20 years of industry experience having worked the UK, Eastern Europe and Australia. He comes from a service back ground spending many years as a technician servicing and maintaining AGCO products.

Locally-relevant research

See new research & innovation

Our trial sites, farm tours and field days offer exciting insights into new technologies and provide practical solutions for farming businesses.
Icon Quality education & resources

Be part of our events

We host a range of project and program events that provide practical and creative solutions to farming challenges.

Upskilling opportunities

Develop new skills

Our projects & programs offer opportunities to improve your business, safety, communication, people and production skills.

Tools and grants

Meet new people

Strong networks are vital and our programs connect farmers and rural communities with technical and industry experts.