Business experts join AGG Co-op board

The Australian Grain Growers’ Co-operative (AGG Co-op) has welcomed directors Susi Tegen and Gary Spiel to its board of directors.

 

AGG Co-op Chair Mr Richard Konzag said the new board members bring valuable business and governance expertise to the board, joining him and fellow grain growers Jim Heaslip and Jordan Wilksch.

 

“Our board has always had strong representation of growers, which is why we are able to provide custom designed programs that work for grain growers,” he said.

 

“Having served our grower community well for the past three seasons, it is of paramount importance that the board critically reviews future product and program development.”

 

“The business expertise Mr Spiel and Ms Tegen bring to the table means we are now ideally placed to ensure those programs provide the best possible returns to our growers and grower members.”

 

Mr Spiel has extensive director and executive experience in the global agribusiness sector, with specific expertise in international grain marketing. Gary currently holds a number of directorships in the Agribusiness Agriculture space and past directoships with Suprima Bakeries, Hassad Australia, Zulu Oasis, New World Grain and Five Start Flour Mills, and executive roles with Hassad Food, ABB Grain, AWB and Prima Ltd. Gary has a Bachelor of Business and is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

 

Ms Tegen has extensive business and political networks across Federal, State and international domains. Her career experience includes serving as the Chief Executive and Company Secretary for the Medical Technology Association of Australia and the Chief Executive and Company Secretary for the Royal Australian & New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists. She has been a member of several Government Ministerial Advisory committees including the PIRSA Sheep Advisory Committee and the SA Farmer’s Federation policy committee. Susi was the RIRDC SA Rural Woman of the Year in 2009, received a Telstra SA Business Innovation Award in 2009 and is the co-owner of a cropping and livestock enterprise in South Australia’s South East.

 

The new board are turning their focus to the upcoming season given only managed program for current season still open is AGG 6Plant (wheat) which was extended for contracting, and CEO Bruce McDonald is encouraging grain grower feedback to keep the co-operative on-track.

 

“We want growers to continue to see us as an attractive business option and their grain marketing partner of choice,” he said.

 

“We must ensure that our offerings meet grain grower and member needs in a dynamic and evolving market, and that our stakeholder engagement is first class.”

Strong performance for AGG Co-op

The Australian Grain Growers’ Co-operative (AGG Co-op) has reported significant profit growth year-on-year at its AGM held last week at the Yorke Peninsula Field Days.

Newly elected chairman Mallala grain grower Richard Konzag said the positive financial position was a result of ongoing support from South Australian and Victorian growers. Mr Konzag took the reins from long-serving director Andrew Polkinghorne, who retired as chair in July but continues as a director.

Mr Konzag said the board also confirmed the re-election at the AGM of Jim Heaslip and Bruce McDonald following the expiry of their terms, as well as the election of new board member Jordan Wilksch, who joined the Co-op in July.

“We’re thrilled with the Co-op’s strong underlying financial performance in 2017,” Mr Konzag said.

“Our full-year profits increased by nearly $300,000 year-on-year.

“We continue to be pleased with the support from growers in SA and Victoria and our results are testament to that support. More than 250,000 tonnes of grain was marketed through the Co-op during the 2016-17 harvest and we’re confident that support will continue into the 2017-18 harvest, despite the challenging season.”

Mr Konzag said the team were pleased to welcome newest board member Jordan Wilksch, and described him as a “passionate grower who understands the changing landscape of farming for the next generation”.

Jordan is married with four children and farms with his family as Wilksch Agriculture at Yeelanna on the lower Eyre Peninsula. He has previously served as chair of the Lower Eyre Agricultural Development Association and as a committee member of the Eyre Peninsula Agricultural Research Foundation. He is currently a member of the Cummins & District Enterprise Committee.

At the AGM, Managing Director Bruce McDonald provided an update on the company’s plans for the next 12 months, which include expanding value offerings for members and potentially a new broking service.

“We are continuing to explore opportunities and we want to continue to build on the consolidation work we’ve done during the past two years,” he said.

“We’re really pleased with the commercial arrangements we have in place with Plum Grove and Clear Grain Exchange.”

Mr McDonald reminded growers that access to AGG managed programs and payments in 2017/18 season was through contracting and direct delivery or transfer.

“Growers need a contract by 30 November 2017 to access the AGG Harvest program which tracks the average of cash prices from 1 December 2017 to 31 January 2018,” he said.

“If growers choose AGG Three or AGG Protect programs they can transfer directly and receive the default distributions payment or they can contract to access alternative payment options such as advance or deferred.

“We are also looking to introduce a new broking service where we can aggregate tonnage from co-operating and authorised growers to offer to the market larger grain parcels, improving accumulation efficiencies and adding value.”

More information on AGG programs can be found at www.aggcoop.com.au and information on the new broking program should be available in November 2017.

AGG Co-op welcomes new chair and director

The Australian Grain Growers’ Co-operative (AGG Co-op) has welcomed some changes to its board with a new chairman and new director appointed at its most recent board meeting.

Richard Konzag has been elected as Chair and Eyre Peninsula grower Jordan Wilksch appointed to the casual director vacancy. These changes have occurred following Andrew Polkinghorne stepping down from the chair position and foundation board member Andrew Barr retiring from the board.

The new director positions will be voted on at the upcoming Annual General Meeting, to be held at the Yorke Peninsula Field Days on Wednesday 27 September 2017.

Incoming chair Richard Konzag said the Co-op was grateful for both men’s commitment to their roles.

“Andrew Polkinghorne has served the Co-op since its inception and we are grateful for the dedication and enthusiasm he has brought to the board, in particular, in successfully rising to meet the business challenges of the past few years,” he said.

“We wish him well as he steps aside from the chair position to focus on his farming business and other agricultural interests.

“Andrew Barr has also served the Co-op tirelessly since its foundation and his scientific knowledge and farming experience will be missed on the board but not lost to the Co-op and its future needs. We wish him well as he retires to spend more time on other commitments within the agricultural industry and his family farm at Pinery.”

Managing Director Bruce McDonald said the team is looking forward to working with Mr Konzag, a grain grower at Mallala in South Australia’s Lower North who was appointed to the board in September 2016.

“Richard brings years of experience to AGG including qualifications as a graduate from the Institute of Company Directors and service as a GRDC Southern Panel member,” Mr McDonald said.

“We are fortunate to have such talent available and we’re excited to have him lead the team.”

Mr Konzag currently crops about 2500 hectares to wheat, durum, barley, beans, lentils, canola and oaten hay. He has served in positions on the SA Advisory Board of Agriculture, the Plant Biosecurity CRC Grains Advisory Panel and the Research Development & Extension Committee (RD&E) of Grain Producers SA.

Mr Konzag said the Co-op was pleased to welcome its newest – and youngest – board member in Jordan Wilksch.

“Jordan is a passionate grower who understands the changing landscape of farming for the next generation and we look forward to his insights and innovation,” he said.

Jordan is married with four children and farms with his family as Wilksch Agriculture at Yeelanna on the lower Eyre Peninsula. He has previously served as chair of the Lower Eyre Agricultural Development Association and as a committee member of the Eyre Peninsula Agricultural Research Foundation. He is currently a member of the Cummins & District Enterprise Committee.

AGG Co-op has recently opened its 2017 AGG Stars pre-harvest program for contracting until 29 September 2017. Designed to enable growers to spread price risk pre-harvest, AGG Stars uses active management of wheat marketing between now and April 2018 using commodity futures and options, managing foreign exchange and making physical sales to capture opportunities as they come to light. Further grain marketing programs will be opened for contracting in October 2017.

Reach for AGG Stars to spread price risks

Growers concerned about wheat prices coming into harvest can look to the sky for inspiration with the Australian Grain Growers’ Co-operative (AGG Co-op) aiming to catch shooting stars in the form of pricing opportunities if volatile markets allow.

 

After a successful campaign in 2016, the AGG Stars program is now open for contracting for the 2017 harvest.

 

Managing director Bruce McDonald said AGG Stars program consistently returned better net value than cash prices during harvest until the end of the program.

 

“With wheat prices as volatile as they are , it is  important to take advantage of marketing opportunities if and when they arise,” he said.

 

“However, growers also need to be 100 per cent focused on their crop this time of year and if forecast production allows, AGG Stars could come in and we can help.”

 

AGG Stars will actively manage the marketing of wheat between August and April using commodity futures and options, managing foreign exchange and making physical sales to capture opportunities as they come to light.

 

“Stars is a good opportunity for growers to spread the price risk on some of their grain so they can focus on the getting the most from the growing season, with peace of mind of having professional marketers on the job,” he said.

 

Grower’s need a multigrade wheat contract to participate in AGG Stars. The standard wheat grades will be accepted at delivery or transfer and the program will be completed before the next season’s seeding operations. There are several payment options available for growers to match with cash flow  requirements.

 

Tumby Bay grower Peter Swaffer was a participant in AGG Stars in 2016.

 

“We sold some wheat though AGG Stars because we liked the idea of marketing our grain over a longer period,” he said.

 

“In a tumultuous season for grain prices, we were happy with what the result, and I expect we will contract some grain through AGG Stars again this year.”

 

Program details can be found at agg.com.au or by calling 1300 943 244.

Congratulations!

AGG Co-op has held the prize draw for the fantastic prizes offered to those growers who signed up for the new AGG Stars pre-harvest program, registered with AGG Clear or came to visit us at the Eyre Peninsula Field Days. We had nearly 200 entries in the draw…and the winners are….

FIRST PRIZE – DJI Phantom 3 Standard Quadcopter Drone
Won by Brian Tiller, Port Pirie

SECOND PRIZE – Flight Centre travel voucher
Won by Mark Modra, Port Lincoln

THIRD PRIZE – Techniice Classic 200L long esky
Won by Peter Walton, Minlaton

AGG winners