Our Staff


Alaina Smith - Project Officer


Alaina is a project officer with Stirling to Coast Farmers and is also working in her family’s grain and livestock business at Green Range. Originally from Perth, Alaina studied Natural Resource Management at UWA and completed a PhD investigating the salt and waterlogging tolerance of wild relatives of wheat and barley. Alaina has previously worked in water resource management, as a barley development officer for DPIRD and has developed her agricultural business skills with 10 years’ in the family business. However, her real passion lies in driving and extending local agricultural research. This dual role of grower and researcher gives Alaina a solid understanding of the needs and demands placed on growers and the technical skills required to conduct and extend good research.

m: 0438 986 404
e: alaina.smith@scfarmers.org.au

Christine Kershaw - Chief Executive Officer


Christine Kershaw is chief executive officer of Stirlings to Coast Farmers group. She joined SCF in February 2016, bringing more than 20 years of agriculture, fisheries and natural resource management experience, and management experience to her role with SCF.

Christine has worked closely with agricultural groups before, including the North East Future Farmers group (NEFF), Tasmanian Famers and Graziers Association (TFGA) and more recently, the National Farmer’s Federation. Christine has also worked for Departments of Fisheries, Agriculture and Premier and Cabinet and has several years’ experience as an agribusiness consultant.

Christine holds a PhD in Agricultural Policy and Economics. Her PhD research focused on decision making processes for the allocation of public funds. Christine is currently working with the SCF board and staff to achieve their goal of becoming a self-sustaining group through the development of new innovative projects and seeking out opportunities through collaboration and partnerships. Christine is based at the SCF offices in Albany.

m: 0429 236 729
e: ceo@scfarmers.org.au

Eva Bett - Office Manager


Eva brings with her over 20 years experience in managing her own business where she gained extensive knowledge in IT and office management systems.  Her first introduction into the agricultural sector was with Wesfarmers Rural where she supported and trained 1300 staff in the roll-out of a new email system.  Since then Eva has worked as a Senior Technical Services Analyst for Wesfarmers Dalgety and Landmark and then as a Career Consultant, Trainer and Receptionist for a number of not-for-profit agencies.  Supporting 120 individual public speakers during 3 years of working with web developer and internet specialists First Step Communications, Eva gained experience in events management and media promotions.  Eva's passion is helping people to achieve their goals.

m: 0408 905 368
e: admin@scfarmers.org.au

Jake McGuire - Senior Research Agronomist

Jake is the Project Leader for the eConnect Project and responsible for developing Crop Protection Protocols for all SCF trials.

Jake grew up on his family farm at Manypeaks and attended Manypeaks Primary School and Albany Senior High School. On completion of his schooling Jake headed to Perth and completed his Ag Science degree at UWA with honours in 2003.  He then went to work for Elders in 2004 as a retail agronomist in Northam and after 3 years there moved back to Albany in 2007.  From 2011 Jake worked part time at Elders, spending the rest of his time working on the family farm.  Jake started at SCF in May 2016 and brings a wealth of agronomic knowledge and experience to the group.

m: 0437 407 517
e: jake.mcguire@scfarmers.org.au


John Blake - R&D Consultant

m: 0438 761 950
e: john.blake@scfarmers.org.au

John is a specialist in crop agronomy and farming systems and currently manages four research projects.  John grew up in the wheatbelt (Quairading district) then did a degree in Agricultural Science in the 1960’s, managed the family farm business between Dongara and Mingenew until 1975 and then in 1975 he left the family farming partnership to work in North Africa as a member of the Gefara Plains Australian Agricultural Advisory team in Libya.

After returning from North Africa in 1978 John joined DAFWA, and in 1980 was appointed as Officer-in-Charge at Three Springs followed by a similar stint in Northam.  He was promoted to Southern Agricultural Region NRM Manager for DAFWA in 2003 and then went into his own consultancy to become Project leader of various GRDC, MLA and Regional NRM projects.

Coupled with having worked in all three agricultural regions of Western Australia, having conducted various GRDC projects including TopCrop, Soils Diagnostics, Crop Updates, and Test as you Grow, and having received an  Award of Excellence from the Australian Institute of Agricultural Science, John is well suited to his R&D role at SCF.

Karin Calvert - Publicity Officer

Karin is has extensive experience working in the publishing industry, in particular for the larger newspapers.

m: 0400 974 683

Kathi McDonald - Communications Officer


Kathi is also Project Leader for Snails and Soil Health Projects.

Kathi was born and grew up in the hills east of Perth and studied at the University of Western Australia, gaining her BSc (Agric) Hons in 1996 and her PhD in 2009.  She has worked in pasture development at DAFWA and the Centre for Legumes in Mediterranean Agriculture, as well as working as a project officer for the Gillamii Centre and Southern DIRT.  Most recently Kathi has been employed by South Coast NRM as a Soil Health Project Officer and Contracts Officer.  Apart from her passion for perennial pastures and sustainable agriculture, Kathi also enjoys riding and showing horses and spending time with her family.

m: 0408 418 531

Nathan Dovey - R & D Coordinator


Nathan grew up in Manypeaks and went to high school in Albany. He studied Agricultural Science at UWA and returned home to the farm in late 2007.

His role as SCF Research & Development Co-ordinator includes collaborating with SCF partners, working on all aspects of agronomy and partnering with farmers.

m: 0429 468 030
e: nathan.dovey@scfarmers.org.au

Trish Ryans-Taylor - Finance Manager

Trish is the Finance Manager for SCF. She has extensive experience in finance systems having started her career as a business analyst designing, implementing and supporting computerised accounting systems in a variety of sectors including banking, contracting, land development, wool processing, shipping, manufacturing and law. Trish graduated from Edith Cowan University with a BA in Sociology and Anthropology, Charles Darwin University with a Juris Doctor (Law) degree with honours and has completed her legal qualifications with a Graduate Diploma in Legal Studies at the Australian National University. Trish is also a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors course and has held senior management positions in a number of not-for-profit organisations.

m: 0409 905 369
e: finance@scfarmers.org.au

Victoria Bennett - Project Officer


Victoria is a mixed enterprise producer in the high rainfall area of South Stirlings (Southern Western Australia) and a part-time project manager with the Stirlings to Coast Farmers group. Victoria has a passion for livestock R&D and driving successful integration of livestock into mixed farm enterprises. Victoria graduated from Murdoch University with a Bachelor in Animal Science with first class Honours and has ten years’ professional agribusiness and R&D experience. Her previous roles have included working with the Department of Agriculture and Food WA as a Beef Development Officer (addressing beef supply chain production and profitability issues) and as a beef producer on her family farm. Victoria will be the project manager for SCF’s co-operative feasibility project, which aims to establish a farmer-owned feed-lot and feed mill enterprise in the great southern region of WA.

or the Newsletter version:

What an exciting opportunity I have been given to come on board and work with such a passionate, innovative and enthusiastic group of farmers, industry and SCF staff. The opportunity to innovate and revolutionise the livestock industry is right now whilst we are experiencing elevated prices for our livestock commodities. Since starting in November to get the livestock R & D underway I have been blown away by what our grower group has been able to achieve around cropping and livestock R, D and E in our high rainfall zone (HRZ).
For those that don’t know me, I farm at South Stirlings and Narrikup with my husband Luke and two children, Penelope & Charlotte, in a mixed cropping livestock business and beef seed producer (Red Angus – now don’t hold this against me- I like a challenge).
My education includes a Bachelor degree in Animal Science with first class honours, backed with ten years professional agribusiness and R&D experience. I started at SCF as Livestock Extension Officer getting our livestock area underway and thank the farmers and ag industry who have come on board to date - there are some exciting developments starting to happen. I am very keen, as this is your grower group, to understand what you are wanting to learn more about, have access to and research and develop going forward.
I currently work part time (Monday and Wednesday) as Project Manager in the areas of livestock RD&E and our new and exciting co-operative initiative. I have such passion for our industry and what it can offer for the generations to come, and hope my involvement on the team will allow for enhanced opportunities, increases in efficiencies, production and profit within the successful integration and management of livestock into mixed farming businesses.
I look forward to meeting as many as I can at the up and coming inaugural livestock event at Kendenup lodge July 21 2017 and working with you in 2017.

m: 0428 171 285
e: victoria.bennett@scfarmers.org.au