GRDC Southern Regional Panel

Panel Chair


Regional Zone Characteristics

Keith Pengilley - Conara, Tas GRDC 2015 Southern Region Map
  • Temperate climate
  • Relatively infertile soils
  • Yield depends upon reliable spring rainfall
  • Smaller enterprise size
  • Diverse production patterns and opportunities
  • Large and diverse domestic market
  • Phase farming innovator
  • Shift in intensive livestock production and demand for feed grains to this

Panel Members

Michael McLaughlin, Deputy Chair - Glen Osmond, SA
John Bennett - Lawloit, VIC
Peter Kuhlmann - Mudamuckla, SA
Bill Long - Ardrossan, SA
Jon Midwood - Inverleigh, VIC
Rohan Mott - Ninda, VIC
Rob Sonogan - Swan Hill, VIC
Mark Stanley - Port Lincoln, SA
Kate Wilson - Hopetoun, VIC

Panel Support

Rebecca Jeisman - Glenside, SA

Keith Pengilley, Chair

Portrait of Keith Pengilley

Panel Profile video

Keith was previously the general manager of a dryland and irrigated family farming operation at Conara in the northern midlands of Tasmania, operating a 7000-hectare mixed-farming operation over three properties. He is a director of Tasmanian Agricultural Producers, a grain accumulation, storage, marketing and export business.

P: (03) 6384 2184
M: 0448 015 539

Mike McLaughlin, Deputy Chair

Portrait of Mike McLaughlin

Panel Profile video

Based in Adelaide in South Australia, Mike is a researcher with the University of Adelaide and CSIRO at the Waite campus. He specialises in soil fertility and crop nutrition, contaminants in fertilisers, wastes, soils and crops. Mike manages the Fertiliser Technology Research Centre at the University of Adelaide and has a wide network of contacts and collaborators nationally and internationally in the fertiliser industry and in soil fertility research.

M: 0409 693 906

John Bennett

Portrait of John Bennet

Panel Profile video

Based at Lawloit, between Nhill and Kaniva in Victoria’s West Wimmera, John and his wife Allison run a mixed farming operation across diverse soil types. The farming system is 70 to 80 per cent cropping, with cereals, oilseeds, legumes and hay grown. John currently serves on the Regional Cropping Solutions Network and the BCG Wimmera Advisory Committee. John wants the agricultural sector promoted as an exciting career path for young people and to see research and development investments promote resilient and sustainable farming systems that ultimately deliver more profit to the grower.

M: 0429 919 223

Peter Kuhlmann

Portrait of Peter Kuhlmann

Panel Profile video

Peter is a grower at Mudamuckla near Ceduna on South Australia's western Eyre Peninsula. He uses liquid fertiliser, no-till and variable rate technology to assist with low rainfall and subsoil constraints. He has been involved with the Eyre Peninsula Agricultural Research Foundation and the South Australian Grain Industry Trust. In 2012 Peter was awarded the ABC Rural and Kondinin Group Australian Farmer of the Year award.

M: 0428 258 032

Bill Long

Portrait of Bill Long

Panel Profile video

Bill is an agricultural consultant and farmer on South Australia's Yorke Peninsula. He has led and been involved in many research, development and extension programs and was one of the founding members of the Yorke Peninsula Alkaline Soils Group and is a former chair of Ag Excellence Alliance. He has a strong interest and involvement in farm business management and communication programs within GRDC. He is a Churchill fellow.

M: 0417 803 034

Jon Midwood

Portrait of Jon Midwood

Panel Profile video

Jon has worked in agriculture for the past 28 years, both in the UK and in Australia. In 2004 he moved to Geelong, Victoria, and managed Grainsearch, a grower-funded company evaluating European wheat and barley varieties for the high rainfall zone. Jon set up his own consulting business in 2007, providing independent agronomy advice and consultancy to the agricultural industry in the HRZ, which included managing the commercial contract trials for Southern Farming Systems (SFS). In 2010 he became chief executive of SFS, which has five branches covering southern Victoria (Gippsland and the Western District) and Tasmania. In 2012, Jon became one of the initial members of the GRDC’s HRZ Regional Cropping Solutions Network.

M: 0400 666 434

Rohan Mott

Portrait of Rohan Mott

Panel Profile video

A fourth generation grain grower at Turriff in the Victorian Mallee, Rohan has been farming for 24 years and is a director of Mott Ag. With significant on-farm storage investment, Mott Ag produces wheat, barley, lupins, field peas, lentils and vetch, including vetch hay. Rohan continually strives to broaden his understanding and knowledge of agriculture, is passionate about the sustainability of Australian agriculture, and has a keen interest in new technology and value adding.

M: 0429 701 170

Rob Sonogan

Portrait of Rob Sonogan

Panel Profile video

From Swan Hill in north-west Victoria, Rob is an extension agronomist who has specialised within government agencies in the areas of soil conservation, resource conservation and dryland farming systems. Over some three decades he has been privileged to have had access to many farmers, businesses, consultants, rural industry and agribusiness advisers. Rob also has been closely involved in rural recovery and emergency response into issues as diverse as locusts, fire, mice, flood and drought. Rob is currently employed part-time within the Mallee consultancy group AGRIvision.

M: 0407 359 982

Mark Stanley

Portrait of Mark Stanley

Panel Profile video

Mark comes from a mixed farming background and has had extensive experience in field crops development and extension and more recently in natural resources management within the State and Commonwealth Governments and with industry. He operates his own project management business, Regional Connections, on South Australia’s Eyre Peninsula. Mark is contracted to lead a large carbon farming outreach and extension project with the Commonwealth Department of Agriculture, and provides executive leadership to Ag Excellence Alliance, supporting farming groups across SA. He is on the board of the Eyre Peninsula Agriculture Research Foundation and is a committee member of the Lower Eyre Agricultural Development Association.

M: 0427 831 151

Kate Wilson

Portrait of Kate Wilson

Panel Profile video

Kate is a partner in a large grain producing operation in Victoria’s Southern Mallee region. Kate and her husband Grant are fourth generation farmers and with their two children they produce wheat, canola, lentils, lupins and field peas. Kate has been an agronomic consultant for more than 20 years, servicing clients throughout the Mallee and northern Wimmera. Kate is passionate about producing high quality grain, whilst enhancing the natural ability of the soil to do so. Having witnessed and implemented much change in farming practices over the past two decades, Kate is also passionate about research and the extension of that research to bring about positive practice change to growers.

M: 0427 571 360

Rebecca Jeisman, Panel Support

Panel Profile video not available

Rebecca Jeisman works for AgCommunicators, a consultancy specialising in communication and education for primary production, science and natural resources. Rebecca has a background in corporate events, community and economic development and business administration. Rebecca provides meeting, communication, project and event support to the Southern Panel.

M: 0438 683 436

Regional Cropping Solutions Networks

Southern Region RCSN

Bringing together a consistent approach to evaluating research priorities with a large network of growers, advisers and researchers across the region has the potential to provide a focused regional portfolio of research, development and extension investments. 

The objectives of the Regional Cropping Solutions Networks are to: 

  1. Create and manage knowledge on grains industry issues. 
  2. Build regional D&E capacity among growers and advisers. 
  3. Proactively respond to regional industry issues in a timely manner. 
  4. Provide enduring links between growers, advisers and the GRDC. 

Four networks have been established in the southern region, each supported by a facilitator. The networks will meet face-to-face up to three times each year. 

Each network will liaise with the wider grower community in their production zone, including convening regional meetings with relevant groups. 

The facilitator provides each network with an effective interface with regional farming systems groups, agribusiness and research and development organisations across the regions. 

While the primary focus of these facilitators will be working with farming systems groups and advisers, their work will also extend into maintaining a regional industry RD&E database of GRDC project activities and results. 

Names of the members of the networks are listed on the GRDC website (