About us

Mallee Sustainable Farming (MSF) brings farmers and researchers together to build more efficient, profitable and sustainable farming businesses in the low-rainfall Mallee region across New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia.

The MSF Advantage

Our Vision

Dynamic, profitable and sustainable farming.

Our Mission

Provide excellence in research, development and extension initiatives for the dryland Mallee of South Eastern Australia.

Principal Purpose

To protect and enhance the natural environment by the encouragement of sustainable dryland farming practices.


Our farmers access local, evidence-based knowledge and practical advice on no-till and reduced tillage systems, improved soil nutrition, crop rotation, agronomy, soil water efficiency and soil microbiology.
MSF is changing the face of farming in some of Australia’s most challenging cropping and livestock grazing country by working with its members and industry experts to deliver the best in specialist agricultural research and development while also boosting farmers’ productivity and harvest yields.

Our Service Area

Mallee Sustainable Farming (MSF) is the leading farmer-driven research and advisory organisation for dryland farmers across the low-rainfall Mallee in New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia.

In partnership with industry collaborators including the CSIRO and GRDC, MSF leads the way in delivering ground-breaking research to Mallee farmers. It’s tested on local farms and demonstrates the benefits of the latest proven sustainable farming techniques.

Our Future

With over 2000 dryland farming businesses across the Mallee, MSF continues to assist cropping and livestock farmers to meet their research and knowledge needs.

As our membership grows, more farmers are receiving new, updated and timely information on the latest scientific research and best land management practices to improve their farm business’ efficiency, sustainability and profitability.

Our History

Formed in 1997 to bring conservation farming practices to the Mallee, MSF works with farmers to increase the adoption of sustainable farming technology by identifying barriers and finding scientifically proven solutions.
Over more than two decades, MSF has delivered knowledge and resources to farmers through its collaborative research projects, trial site field days, FarmTalk fact sheets and Mallee Research Update events. Our projects have not only increased farm profitability, they are also delivering environmental and social gains for rural communities across the four million hectares of Mallee covered by MSF.

Meet the Board

MSF is governed by a Board of up to 11 farmer and specialist Directors. The Board plays an important part in setting the strategic direction of Mallee Sustainable Farming with a vision to promote dynamic, profitable and sustainable farming systems across the low rainfall Mallee region. 

MSF Farmer Directors

Robert Pocock

MSF Chair & SA Farmer Director

Director since 2009.
Robert currently farms at Lameroo in the southern Mallee of South Australia. He manages the Lameroo properties with his wife Courtney and parents Bruce and Gaylia. The farm “Lampata” is 3000 ha in area.

MSF - Robert Pocock

Gavin Howley

MSF Vice Chair & NSW Farmer Director

Director since 2019.
Gavin farms with his wife, Rhiannon and his mother and father. “Woodmount” is approx 6k hectares about half being floodplain forests on the Wakool – Murray junction at Kyalite. The farm has been in his family for over 100yrs and is a grain and sheep farm.

MSF - Gavin Howley

Chris Hunt

MSF Treasurer & VIC Farmer Director

Director since 2018. Chris is based in the Millewa farming 5,000 ha, growing cereal grain and hay, grain legumes and running sheep. 

MSF - Chris Hunt

Nicole Byrnes

NSW Farmer Director

Director since 2021.

Nicole is a familiar face to the MSF team. In the ten-plus years since her time as Extension Coordinator, she can appreciate the growth of MSF culture into a group of strong, passionate leaders who believe in their work, and Nicole is thrilled to be a part of it.

MSF - Nicole Byrnes

Andrew Biele

SA Farmer Director

Director since 2014.
Andrew started his farming career on the 2,000ha mixed family farm at New Residence, west of Loxton SA. Encouraged to get a trade Andrew qualified as a mechanic and gained valuable machinery knowledge, always assisting in harvest, sowing and shearing during these busy times.
MSF - Andrew Biele

Ron Hards

VIC Farmer Director

Director since 2009
Ron Hards farms 3800ha with his son Nick at Yarrara in the Millewa area of North West Victoria.
MSF- Ron Hards

Therese McBeath

Specialist Director

Director since 2021.

Therese joined the MSF Board in early 2021 as a Specialist Director. Her current role as a research Team Leader in the Systems program at the Adelaide CSIRO Agriculture and Food Waite Institute means Therese brings a wealth of knowledge to the team. Therese has experience and qualifications in a range of research roles and agronomy.

MSF - Therese McBeath

Kenton Porker

Specialist Director

Director since 2019.
Kenton brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to MSF. Kenton grew up in the Mallee and started his career at SARDI in 2010 as a durum and barley agronomist before returning to the University of Adelaide to embark on a PhD with GRDC investment in 2014. Kenton returned to SARDI in 2017 to lead the Waite cereal agronomy group.

MSF - Kenton Porker

MSF Team

Tanja Morgan

Program Manager

Tanja is from Jabuk and is a wife to @AdamMorgan77 (Twitter), a mother to three daughters, and partner of Morgan Partners Farms. As Tanja says, “multitasking at its finest or worst – depends on the day!”

We asked Tanja what she loves about living in the Mallee and this is what she said:
“I love the peace and quiet, roaming the farm with my Labradors by my side. Working for MSF and travelling through the tri-state area (before COVID-19), interacting with Mallee farmers from SA, VIC & NSW.
Low rainfall farmers demonstrate the meaning of resilience and making the most of what the land has to offer. Can’t go past the spectacular Mallee sunsets.”

MSF - Tanja Morgan

Michael Moodie

Research Contractor,
Frontier Farming Systems

Frontier Farming Systems comprises of a small team of experts led by Michael Moodie, a well-known professional who has 15 years’ experience of delivering research, development and extension to the Mallee and wider low rainfall farming region of Southern Australia.

Collectively, the Frontier Farming System’s team has more than 50 years combined experience in implementing activities such as small plot research trials, paddock-scale trials and demonstrations, resource monitoring programs, field days, workshops, seminars and the development of extension and communication products.

We value Michael and the Frontier Farming System’s team’s services and passion for dryland farming systems.

MSF - Michael Moodie

Kylie Aikman

Admin Business Manager

Kylie is from Underbool, Victoria and is MSF’s Business Administration Manager.
She is skilled at many things and is an expert at juggling her work with MSF while also helping out with the many jobs on the Aikman’s farm. Kylie is a wife to Mallee Farmer, Garth Aikman, a mother to two daughters. She loves helping out at various community and sporting events.

“I love living in the Mallee for its rural lifestyle. Wide open spaces with fresh air and loads of room for the kids to play and explore.”

Kylie keeps the business wheels of MSF turning. She is super organised and helps to make sure we do everything on time. We would be lost without her!

MSF - Kylie Aikman

Jenny Bennett

Board Support

Jenny Bennett was born in Mildura and was raised on a citrus and vine property. She married a Merbein “blockie” and having lived on the land all her life she is very interested in farming and agriculture. 

MSF - Jenny Bennett
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