Global Agriculture

Australian grains executive announced as GRDC MD

15 February 2022, Australia: Australian-based grains supply chain expert and experienced corporate leader Nigel Hart has been announced as the new Managing Director of the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC).

GRDC Chairman and Goondiwindi grain grower John Woods said a comprehensive search for a new managing director had successfully resulted in the internationally recognised and well-known agricultural sector identity stepping into the leadership role.

“We are pleased to have Nigel joining GRDC as a high calibre leader with more than 25 years’ experience in senior executive roles with organisations such as, global agribusiness corporation Archer Daniels Midland and GrainCorp,” Mr Woods said.

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“Strategically GRDC is well positioned to continue to deliver effective and efficient research, development and extension (RD&E) and Nigel’s experience and understanding of the grains sector both within Australian and internationally will add significant value.

“At GRDC, our people are our most important asset and Nigel has a successful record of building and managing highly engaged, cross-functional teams, so we look forward to his leadership skills further enhancing and developing our GRDC team.

“The GRDC Board is confident that Nigel’s management and strategic business skills and extensive agricultural sector networks will ensure a smooth leadership transition that supports the ongoing delivery of impactful RD&E outcomes for Australian grain growers.”

Mr Woods thanked Cathie Warburton, who capably handled the interim Managing Director role during the executive recruitment campaign and will return to her position as General Manager People, Communications and Governance.

Mr Hart will start as Managing Director on April 4.

The incoming Managing Director, who has recently been engaged in specialist consulting roles for a number of grains industry organisations, said he was looking forward to the opportunity to join GRDC.

“Within Australia and internationally GRDC is recognised for spearheading cutting-edge research, development and extension in the grains sector and I am thrilled to have an opportunity to be a part of that,” Mr Hart said.

“I have had a long involvement with the Australian grains sector – at many levels from on-farm experiences to working as Global Director for an international agribusiness organisation with destination markets across Asia, Europe, South America and the United States.

“I hope my experience and understanding of the grains sector will add value to GRDC and together with GRDC staff we will continue to drive innovation and best practice in Australia’s grain sector.”

Mr Woods said the incoming Managing Director would play a vital role in the development of the next five-year RD&E Plan 2023-28.

“We are firmly focussed on executing our ambitious RD&E agenda and we are also working on finding new ways to be more responsive to local issues and strengthen our direct connection with growers, particularly utilising our valuable regional network,” said Mr Woods.

“Nigel will add to the existing strong and experienced executive team, supported by highly respected regional panels.

“The organisation is now extremely well-placed to continue to drive a bold innovation agenda which has never been more important for our grain growers.”