Saul Eslake to headline farm business forum in Adelaide

Author: | Date: 23 Oct 2012

Leading economist and financial commentator Saul Eslake will be keynote speaker at a special farm business event in Adelaide next month.

The national and international factors that are likely to impact most on Australian primary producers will be discussed by Mr Eslake at the Grains Research and Development Corporation’s (GRDC) Farm Business Update.

The Update, which is designed to provide professionals with information and resources to enhance their service to grain growers, will be on Tuesday, November 20, at the Adelaide Convention Centre.

Mr Eslake, who has worked as an economist in the Australian financial markets for more than 25 years, will outline the state of the international and Australian economies and possible future scenarios, and he will also explore the political outlook and its potential impact on the farming community.

Mr Eslake is Chief Economist of Bank of America Merrill Lynch (Australia) and his previous roles include Chief Economist for the Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ) from 1995 to 2009, Chief Economist (International) at National Mutual Funds Management from 1991 to 1995 and Chief Economist at McIntosh Securities (1986-1991).

GRDC Southern Regional Panel chair David Shannon says Mr Eslake’s presentation will provide South Australian farm advisers and other industry personnel with a critical insight into national and global forces that have a bearing on the local grains industry.

Mr Shannon said the Farm Business Update, part of a new GRDC initiative, had been designed to increase rural adviser and grain grower capacity in farm business management.

“Recognising the importance of enterprise management in improving grain producers’ incomes, the GRDC has embarked on a new series of forums at which grains industry professionals and growers can access valuable information and resources to support them in their business decision-making,” Mr Shannon said. 

“The Adelaide Farm Business Update is specifically designed for those professionals who provide advice to grain growers. It will be a worthwhile forum for boosting knowledge and understanding, as well as an opportunity for networking with other farm advisers and consultants.”

The event will feature a series of concurrent sessions, to be led by a line-up of experts from a range of professions.

John Francis from Holmes Sackett will provide his thoughts on the options for farm expansion and how these can be analysed.

Exploring the subject of making effective grain marketing decisions will be Bill Long from Ag Consulting, while managing risk in grain growing businesses is a topic to be discussed by Cameron Nicholson, of Nicon Rural Services.

Chris Heinjus from Rural Directions will analyse the challenges that impact on effective grain marketing decision-making, and how to prepare the farm business for future change in ownership and management will be discussed by Nigel McGuckian of RMCG.

Managing time and embracing change are issues to be taken up by one of Australia's leading work-life balance and team cohesion advocates, Mark McKeon, who is consulting editor to Ultra-Fit magazine in Australia and the United Kingdom and was for 14 years the fitness and team building coach at AFL club Collingwood.

Mr Shannon said the feedback from those attending Farm Business Updates throughout the southern cropping region this year had been overwhelmingly positive.

Naracoorte consultant and former farmer Ken Solly recently attended the Update at Pinnaroo, stating that it was “a top class event”.

“It was one of the best days of learning and reflection that I have had for a long time,” Mr Solly said.

“One thing is for sure, the attendees received a high quality learning experience and hats off to the GRDC for bringing such a talented group of speakers to country South Australia.

The Farm Business Update in Adelaide will be held from 9am to 4.30pm.

More information about the Update can be obtained by visiting or or by contacting ORM on 03 5441 6176 or email Registrations can be arranged online via


Caption: GRDC Southern Regional Panel chair David Shannon.

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For more information:

Gavin Beever, ORM
03 5441 6176


Sharon Watt, Porter Novelli
0409 675100

GRDC Project Code ORM00001

Region South

GRDC Project code: ORM00001