Regional On-ground Coordinators (ROCs)

 

Meet the ROCs

Kate Tarrant, Lower Blackwood LCDC

Kate Tarrant, Lower Blackwood LCDC

Margaret River

Kate is very excited to be involved in the EcoVineyards project and will be bringing along with her the expertise of her LCDC team (including sustainable ag and biodiversity support) to assist in the project delivery.

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Kate joined the Lower Blackwood LCDC team in May 2018 bringing with her over 20 years of experience in marketing and communication. Kate also has a very keen interest in sustainable agriculture, taking a regenerative approach to practices on her own farm.

Kate is acutely aware of the key role that knowledge sharing has in assisting landholders to make good decisions about managing their land and works hard to keep land managers well informed through a wide range LCDC communications and engagement activities and projects

 

Brent Hutton, Retallack Viticulture Pty Ltd

Brent Hutton, Retallack Viticulture Pty Ltd

Hunter Valley and Orange

Brent Hutton is a dynamic viticulturist based in Pokolbin, NSW. He is renowned for his comprehensive expertise in vineyard management and has a Bachelor of Viticulture from Charles Sturt University.

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Brent’s commitment to sustainable viticulture is exemplified by successful initiatives in under vine cover crops and innovative biodiversity management.

Having been recognized as a Top 50 Finalist in the Young Gun of Wine Top Australian Grower Awards over multiple years, Brent is no stranger to accolades. These achievements underscore his dedication to excellence and his profound impact on the viticulture landscape.

With a proven track record and a passion for the art and science of viticulture, Brent Hutton is poised to bring his wealth of experience to the role of Regional Coordinator in the Hunter Valley for Retallack Viticulture Pty Ltd.

Karen Thomas, Melbourne Water

Karen Thomas, Melbourne Water

Mornington Peninsula and Yarra Valley

Karen has a Bachelor in Ecological Agriculture and Diploma in Conservation Land Management. Integrating these qualifications for managing NRM in productive landscapes is the focus of Karen’s work and passion. 

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Karen has been working in sustainable agriculture for over 25 years; firstly, in integrated pest and weed management, IPM research and Ag extension projects with Agriculture Victoria and in recent years as the Regional Agriculture and Landcare Facilitator (or RALF) with Melbourne Water. Karen has previously supported rural recovery for the Port Phillip and Western Port region, following floods and bushfires that have impacted the region over the years.

Karen was introduced to farming through her grandparents and relatives who lived in the Wimmera and SW Vic districts during Karen’s childhood. Karen is an advocate for regenerative farming principles and supporting diversified food and fibre production in Melbourne’s foodbowl.

In 2022 Karen was awarded the AusVeg Vic and EE Muir & Sons award for Excellence- Butler Market Garden Environment and Sustainability Award.

Emma McInerney, Ag Excellence Alliance

Emma McInerney, Ag Excellence Alliance

Clare Valley

As the Northern and Yorke Regional Agriculture Landcare Facilitator, Emma is constantly engaged with landholders, groups and stakeholders on ideas, projects and funding to improve understanding and adoption of sustainable agriculture.

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Emma grew up in the region and has worked in various agricultural roles previously for government, private, start up and NGO, throughout SA, WA and overseas.

Emma is interested in addressing the impact and opportunities of food production in a globalised world, particularly through mitigation and adaptation initiatives.

Emma is based in Clare and looks forward to supporting the activities of EcoVineyards and the innovative EcoGrowers in the region.

 

Janet Klein, Retallack Viticulture Pty Ltd

Janet Klein, Retallack Viticulture Pty Ltd

Adelaide Hills and Langhorne Creek

Janet Klein is a viticulturist and biodiversity conservationist who has spent the last 20 years dedicated to sustainable wine growing and landscape regeneration.

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In 2001, Janet cofounded Ngeringa Vineyards, one of Australia’s first certified biodynamic vineyard and wineries and a renowned leader in biodynamic fine wine production and regenerative farming.  In doing so, Janet set upon to transform her family’s historically cleared farmland at the base of the Mount Barker Summit into a productive farm within a setting of regenerated bushland, thus enabling all the benefits to land health and farm productivity of enhanced native biodiversity. Janet brings a wide range of practical, marketing, strategic, community engagement and research skills and experience.

Janet holds various positions representing sustainable viticulture and biodiversity conservation; She currently holds a position on the South Australian Museum Foundation Board, the Hills and Fleurieu Landscape Board, the Goolwa to Wellington Local Action Plan (GWLAP) Board and is a cofounder of Hills Biodiversity and Dynamic State.

With a concern for the critical decline of native biodiversity across the Mount Lofty Ranges, Janet is also PhD candidate at University of Adelaide investigating the essential role private landholders play in habitat restoration, preventing species loss and building agricultural resilience. Janet has 3 vibrant young boys with whom she shares her dreams of a South Australia which leads the world in biodiversity conservation and environmental stewardship.

Jeremy Nelson, Murraylands and Riverland Landscape Board

Jeremy Nelson, Murraylands and Riverland Landscape Board

Riverland

Jeremy Nelson is a project officer working in the Sustainable Agriculture team of the Murraylands and Riverland Landscape Board (Murray Bridge).

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After completing studies and a stint in Adelaide Hills viticulture Jeremy furthered an interest in irrigated water resource management and this led to him moving to the Riverland region (2005-2022) to participate in drought mitigation strategies during the millennial drought as a field officer with the then South Australian Murray Darling Basin NRM Board.

Subsequently Jeremy has diverged into further associated trial work in dairy, broad acre and pivot agriculture within the SAMDB region.

Jeremy is currently developing project work in the Riverland region of SA focusing on soil sustainability in viticulture. This work is focused on studying the inter-relations of undervine cover cropping, compost and injectable biological soil conditioner applications on soil health, function and vine yield. This work is being applied across the classic sandy-loam and river-flat cracking clay soil types and is yielding promising results in terms of soil organic carbon, nitrogen mineralisation and microbiology.

 

Denham Ewens,  Murraylands and Riverland Landscape Board

Denham Ewens, Murraylands and Riverland Landscape Board

Riverland

Denham is a sustainable agriculture officer with the Murraylands and Riverland landscape board, based in Berri.

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Having been born and raised in the Riverland, Denham understand the importance of viticulture in the region and is passionate about working with producers to increase the sustainability of the industry.

Denham has experience in both the viticulture and IPM industries and looks forward to assisting producers to implement new management techniques.