AgTech Advisory Group

As part of the State Government’s work to grow South Australia’s primary industries, a new AgTech Advisory Group has been established.

The AgTech Advisory Group will encourage greater adoption of AgTech solutions in our agriculture sector, helping to build on South Australia’s advantages, showcasing businesses and organisations developing or using new technology and increasing productivity and quality in our primary industries.

Role of the Advisory Group

The Advisory Group will provide high level, strategic advice to the Minister and inform decision making on the practical application and adoption of agricultural technologies and innovation on-farm (AgTech) and related matters.

Members will meet three times a year.

More information on the purpose of the Group are available in the Terms of Reference (DOCX 150.3 KB).


The members of the AgTech Advisory Group are:

Dr Leanna Read, Independent Chair

Originally an Agricultural Science graduate, Leanna is currently chair and CEO of the CRC for Cell Therapy Manufacturing and has extensive expertise in biotechnology. She is the former Chief Scientist of South Australia and has received a number of awards in the areas of science, technology and innovation.

Jim Whalley

Jim is South Australia’s Chief Entrepreneur. He currently also is Chairman and co-founder of innovative defence industry company Nova Systems and a former air force fighter pilot.

Dougal McOmish

Dougal has extensive experience in application and trials of technologies on-farm and in venture capital financing, having been the Chief Operating Officer for Sundrop Farms at Port Augusta and worked in the financial advisory sector with the Macquarie Group in Australia and overseas. Dougal is currently a board member of the Australian Renewable Energy Agency.

Oli Madgett

Oli has a family vineyard in the McLaren Vale wine region and is the co-founder of AgTech start-up Platfarm. Additionally, Oli runs Adelaide AgTech meet-ups, is a member of the AgriFutures Ignite Panel and has extensive history in the digital and IT space in South Australia and overseas. Oli is also an AgTech mentor and has used his vineyard for tech trials, including with the University of Adelaide.

Andrew Grant

Andrew has co-founded four AgTech start-ups across different agricultural sectors in South Australia, which are all commercialising technologies with leading South Australian agricultural companies. Andrew has over 20 years of experience in the commercialisation of technologies, including technology validation with industry, product development, working with research institutes, first product sales, strategic partnerships and fundraising, from the pre-seed to venture capital stage.

Tom Rayner

Tom is currently the Vice President Sales at satellite communications start up Myriota, which has significant applications in the AgTech sector. He has experience working with a range of applications including weather stations, tank monitors, ag-software platforms and asset and livestock trackers. Previously Tom has worked with Elders and as a fifth generation farmer on his family’s wheat and merino sheep farm in South Australia’s Mid North.

Professor Andrew Lowe

Andrew is the inaugural Director of Agrifood and Wine at the University of Adelaide working with partners in the agrifood and wine sectors and positioning the university and state as a world-class destination for research and education, including AgTech. Formerly Andrew was the Science Director of the Fight Food Waste Cooperative Research Centre.

Penny Schulz

Penny is a beef and sheep farmer in the South East adopting the latest on-farm technology and also vice-president of South Australian peak body Livestock SA. She has also worked in the livestock and dairy extension space for more than a decade and has undertaken research into adoption of technology by sheep farmers and the role of this technology in the future of farm extension.

Michele Lally

Michele is a farmer in the Mid North who founded Savannah Lamb back before branded meat was really heard of. She coined the phrase “stress free handling” on the farm and had one of the first ethical and regenerative farm brands in South Australia. Her background as a chef and in technology in her 20s motivated her to build her own Micro Abattoir on farm in 2014.  She now assists other farmers to use modern technology and innovation to improve their businesses, and to better control the supply chain.



Page Last Reviewed: 22 Aug 2019
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