About RuralFocus

Family or Corporate Farming?
Learning from each other.

This symposium is designed to help farmers large and small build stronger links between the research and educational platforms provided by UNE with industry and communities in rural Australia.

When and Where

When: 24 - 25 July, 2019
Where: UNE, Armidale

Robb RuralFocus Black-tie dinner


Wednesday 24 July, Armidale Bowling Club

Guest Speaker: David Brownhill, Merrilong Pastoral

“My Stories in Agriculture. Issues & Opportunities for the future”

David Brownhill completed a Bachelor of Applied Science - Agriculture degree at Hawkesbury Ag College and graduated with awards in leadership and sportsmanship. He jointly manages Merrilong Pastoral Company whose five properties focus on dryland and irrigated grain production. David is also a founding director of a grower group of 24 farms, AMPS Commercial Pty Ltd, which is committed to information dissemination, structured farming and returning profits to research.

RuralFocus Symposium


“One day I’ll be returning to run the family farm. I’m worried are they sustainable?
How can we remain profitable? Do we have to get bigger to survive?”

Thursday 25 July, “Belshaw” Lecture Theatre 1, Economics, Business & Law Building UNE

Family or Corporate Farming? Learning from each other.

How is farming changing?
What are the key measures used by successful operators?
How can you collaborate to grow and remain competitive?

Speakers for our 2019 Symposium include:

Professor Derek Baker, UNE Business School
David Sackett, CEO, Growth Farms Australia
Jock Whittle, CEO, Paraway Pastoral Co.
David Brownhill, Merrilong Pastoral/AMPS Agribusiness
Charles Coventry, Ag-Edge
Simon Fritsch, Agri-Path
Sam Ditchfield, Ebor Beef
Andrew Roberts, The Farm Owners Academy
Dr Lou Conway, Director, UNE SMART Region Incubator

Farming Futures Career Fair & Dinner


Friday 26 July, Lazenby Hall UNE & ‘Stro Bistro

Farming Futures is a celebration of careers in agriculture.

Farming Futures is a networking event which aims to:

  • Provide an avenue for companies to promote employment opportunities within the agricultural sector
  • Increase student awareness of job opportunities in the agricultural sector
  • Create opportunities for industry to meet with upcoming graduates
  • Provide encouragement and inspire students to complete their degrees
  • Facilitate networking opportunities between students, academics and industry
  • Encourage all aspects of the sector to work together to tackle the shortage of agricultural graduates

Thank you to our Gold Sponsors

If you have any questions about RuralFocus, please contact