Western Panel

The panels ensure our investments are in the best interests of our growers and deliver impact to each grain-growing region.

If you would like to contact the Western Panel, please call 08 9230 4600 or email western@grdc.com.au


Find out more about the western region.

Panel Members


Image of Darrin Lee

Darrin Lee, Panel Chair

Mingenew/Dongara, Western Australia

Darrin Lee was appointed to the Western Region Panel in 2014 and was appointed Panel chair in 2018. He has been farming in Western Australia’s Northern Agricultural Region for more than 20 years, with property now at Mingenew and Dongara. Darrin has a keen interest in digital agriculture and has a background in banking and finance. He is a past member of the CBH Group Growers Advisory Council and a previous Board member of Mingenew Irwin Group. Darrin is passionate about family, rural life, food production, technology, and agriculture in general.


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Juliet McDonald, Deputy Chair

Eganu, Western Australia

Juliet is a Coorow grower and also works for Summit Fertilizers as an Area Manager for the North Midlands Area, which includes Coorow, Carnamah, Perenjori, Three Springs, Morawa and Mingenew shires. In this role she is in charge of agronomy-based fertiliser sales; nutrient recommendations based on soil and plant analysis; and research and demonstration on-farm to assist growers and grower groups with better fertiliser decisions. Juliet has a passion for agriculture and a wealth of experience, having worked as a sales agronomist with Elders, area manager – Kwinana West, for GrainPool, marketing manager with Coorow Seeds and research agronomist and extension officer with the Department of Agriculture. Juliet holds a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture from The University of Western Australia and is qualified as a Fertcare® Accredited Adviser. In addition to farming, Juliet has a passion for rural communities and educating people about agriculture.


Craig Brown

Craig Brown

Perth, Western Australia

Craig holds a Bachelor of Business in Agriculture from Curtin University. He's currently the sole Director of Craig Brown Consulting and a director of Synergy Consulting - the largest independent Agronomic consulting group in WA. Craig’s primary focus is to maintain client profitability with clients located across the central/southern wheatbelt across all rainfall zones. Post university he was involved in herbicide resistance testing services, then was trials coordinator for a large reseller network before being based in Hyden as a company agronomist. In 2002, along with other colleagues, he set-up his private consulting business and was a primary instigator of the development of Synergy Consulting at that time. Craig has been involved with many grower groups, predominately the Holt Rock Group and many GRDC related projects over his time across many research areas including nutrition, weed research, frost related projects and overall systems processes. From 2015-2019 Craig was a member of the National Frost Initiative (NFI) steering committee.


Quenten Knight

Quenten Knight

Esperance, Western Australia

Quenten Knight is a consulting agronomist based in Esperance with his business Agronomy Focus, Quenten has broad agronomy experience with particular interest in soils, precision ag and hyper yielding crops. Quenten graduated from Muresk in 1991 with a Bachelor Business (Agriculture) and has worked in a diverse range of regions across the WA wheatbelt from Morawa, Lake Grace and now Esperance. Quenten has a long involvement with GRDC as an inaugural and long serving RCSN member for the Esperance Zone and  currently a steering committee member for Soils West, he is a strong advocate for investment in good science and extension with practical profitable outcomes for growers.


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Dr Dan Mullan

Perth, Western Australia

Dan Mullan is a wheat breeder with InterGrain and is committed to delivering improved grain technology to growers by integrating a wide range of scientific disciplines, engaging with industry groups and addressing agricultural challenges. He spent his early career with CSIRO and the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Centre (CIMMYT), which provided him with excellent skills in high level science and a global perspective on research, development and extension (RD&E). Dan regularly engages with end markets for Australian grain to understand and extend information about the requirements of these markets. He maintains a close working relationship with researchers, breeders and management groups across Australia and the global plant breeding community. Dan’s focus is on improving the stability and profitability of the Australian grains industry, and he places high value on contributing to its development and assisting in strategic investment decisions.


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Gary Lang

Wickepin, Western Australia

Gary has been a grower for 37 years, during which time he has grown the farm from a 1000-hectare Merino stud enterprise to a 5600ha cropping-focused business. He grows wheat, barley, oats, canola and lupins across 87 per cent of the farm, which is located north of Wickepin in Western Australia’s Upper Great Southern region. From a research perspective, Gary was a catalyst in initiating frost research confirming that high levels of stubble could increase frost damage to grain crops, after making observations on his own farm. This became a key research finding through GRDC-invested work conducted by the Facey Group, Living Farm and the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development. Gary was a member of the GRDC National Frost Initiative steering committee from 2015 to 2019. He is a past president of the Facey Group and has also served as the grower group’s cropping coordinator, secretary and vice president.


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Dr Richard Williams

Perth, Western Australia

Richard has worked across the Australian grain supply chain in operations; market research and big data analysis; strategic planning; stakeholder management; and international customer relations.  He understands customer expectations for quality and has a strong knowledge of grain value chains through his post-farmgate quality management roles with AWB Limited and the CBH Group. Richard is passionate about bringing together unique data sets through collaboration to tackle industry issues. His own consultancy business groIQ published big data research findings internationally. He has recently returned to work for the CBH Group in a logistics quality planning role. Richard has a PhD from Curtin University and a Bachelor of Agricultural Science from The University of WA.


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Suzanne Woods

Calingiri, Western Australia

Suzanne Woods is an owner of Emdavale Farms, a 3400-hectare mixed farming, family business in Calingiri, north-east of Perth. Oaten hay comprises 50 per cent of the cropping program, with the remainder being wheat, barley, canola and lupins. The business operates a small cattle and sheep enterprise. Additionally, the family operates a farm contracting business, concentrating mostly on mowing, baling and carting hay and straw. Suzanne is a founding shareholder in Hay Australia, a large export hay company with hay and straw production facilities located at Yerecoin in WA and Bridgewater in Victoria. Suzanne is a director of the Australian Fodder Industry Association and Regional Early Education and Development Inc. Suzanne recognises agriculture is continually evolving and sees research and development as the key to ensuring that Australian farming businesses and communities continue to be at the forefront of new technologies and applications.


Nick Gillet

Nick Gillett

Bencubbin, Western Australia

Nick Gillett is a grain grower from Bencubbin, Western Australia, and has more than 30 years of experience in local grain production, with a keen focus on maximizing productivity, profitability, and sustainability. He was previously a valued member of GRDC’s Regional Cropping Solutions Network Group, collaborating with fellow growers to tackle agronomic challenges and drive impactful research projects. Nick's global outlook on grain production has been enriched through his travels to major grain-growing regions worldwide, thanks to his Nuffield Scholarship. Nick also holds leadership positions in the Shire of Mt Marshall and the Mt Marshall and Districts Ag Society. His extensive network of growers, researchers, and industry representatives across Australia and beyond speaks to his influence and dedication in the Australian grains industry.


John Young

John Young

Calingiri, Western Australia

John Young is a grain producer from Calingiri in Western Australia’s wheatbelt and brings over two decades of experience in the grains industry to the Western Panel. Having transformed a modest mixed enterprise into a thriving and efficient production business, John's expertise lies in leveraging cutting-edge research to optimise profitability. His commitment to the industry is further evidenced by his active participation in various trials and research initiatives, including collaborations with the University of Western Australia, the Australian Herbicide Resistance Initiative and the National Variety Trials. John's passion for research, development, and extension in the grains industry, comprehensive understanding of finance, investment management practices, and critical thinking, combined with his keen interest in global politics, market dynamics, and technology adoption positions him as a valuable addition to the GRDC Western Region Panel.


Ron Osmond

Dr Ron Osmond

Adelaide, South Australia

Dr Ron Osmond joined GRDC in 2013 and is GRDC’s General Manager of Strategy & Business Development. Prior to joining GRDC, after completing a PhD in Agricultural Science, Ron worked in scientific and management roles in Intellectual Property Development and Commercialisation in the private sector. Ron’s interest and expertise is in the translation of Research and Development into adoptable outcomes for Australian grain growers.