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David Hawkey

Field Research Specialist/Co-owner

Dave holds a Bachelor of Rural Science (Hon) from the University of New England and has hands-on agronomic experience in both the cropping and pasture industries. With over 25 years’ experience in the commercial agriculture sector, Dave has a strong knowledge of product development, supply chain, logistics and marketing. Over the last 17 years Dave has worked extensively in the management of field-based research programs whilst delivering and communicating outcomes to farmers, marketers and production teams. This work has involved project management, managing both human and mechanical resources, crop and pasture agronomy, problem solving and finding innovative ways to answer questions and increase efficiencies. Dave also has extensive experience in Workplace Health and Safety (WHS), particularly in relation to field trial and farm management.

Dave completed his Bachelor of Rural Science at the University of New England in 1995 graduating with 1st class honours, after which he spent eight years in Warren and western NSW working as a specialist agronomist in the irrigated cotton and broadacre cropping industries. In this role Dave advised farmers on crop production, pest and crop management and was also involved in the development of yield monitors and related Precision Agriculture strategies focussed around managing crops according to in-paddock variability.

In 2004 Dave started working for Barenbrug (formally Heritage Seeds) at Howlong NSW in a research agronomist role overseeing the research and evaluation of cereal crop varieties and related agronomy. In 2006 Dave took over the management of the Barenbrug coating facility in Wodonga Victoria, which involved managing staff and all operations on site. Dave moved back to the field research facility at Howlong in 2007 to manage the pasture research program, which involved the evaluation and development of new pasture varieties across a range of sites and environments.

At a site level, Dave formally took over as team leader at the Barenbrug field research facility in 2013. This involved oversight of all site operations, development of site procedures and WHS, seasonal planning and presentation of the facility. Dave had a hands-on approach, managing the maintenance and management of all farm equipment and infrastructure. As Dave is very practically orientated, he has been involved in the maintenance, fabrication, design, evaluation and purchasing of customised equipment required specifically for field plot research. Dave understands the subtleties of equipment requirements for field research of different crops.

Dave has significant technical expertise in small plot field research, from trial planning and design, sowing, in-crop management/monitoring and harvest, including dealing with all the challenges inherent in farm operations at a small scale.

In his role at Barenbrug, Dave was responsible for developing, managing and delivering many projects including specific research related projects, capital purchase and procedural improvement projects. Dave has ensured that these projects were delivered on time and budget.

Within the Rutherglen CFA, Dave has previously held training officer and lieutenant positions, and is currently Captain, a role which requires significant people management and operational expertise.

During his time working with AgriSci, Dave has been involved in providing oversight to the management of the Monash University AgTech site and program and has assisted Monash University to deal with many challenges that have arisen with the site and program. Dave has also led the development of an Improving Soil Carbon demonstration site program with the Hughes Creek Landcare group in the Victorian Strathbogie ranges, a part of a team looking at innovative ways to reduce spray drift. Dave continues to provide technical input and oversight to several commercial product development research programs.


David Hawkey

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