About Us

What does Conservation Farmers Inc. do? | Staff and Board | Partnerships

What does Conservation Farmers Inc. do?

Conservation Farmers Inc. is a grower member Association which plays an active role in information exchange and commercial consideration of products, services and systems into conservation agriculture. Members are based in northern NSW and southern Qld primarily in the regions of the Fitzroy, Maranoa Balonne, Condamine, Border Rivers, Gwydir and the Namoi.

The Associations focus is on improving the future prosperity of its farming and associated membership. It does this by providing an effective link between researchers, machinery manufacturers, input suppliers, agri-businesses and growers.

There are two critical components to engaging farmer members;

1. Information networks and field days. The organisation is recognised within the agriculture community for coordinating, advertising and endorsing field days, one of the best means of engaging farmers and enhancing the adoption of new technologies. The field days are held at various locations across the northern cropping belt each year, attracting up to 100 attendees, primarily farmers who are keen to learn from each other.

2. Conservation Farmers Quarterly Newsletter.  The publication is distributed in March, June, September and December. It is segmented so farmers can easily find stories of most interest to them.

Conservation Farmers reviews innovative technologies and practices to help members determine how new concepts could improve profitability and sustainability. Our role is to foster information exchange and to disseminate and appraise information to give producers the confidence to employ strategic measures to improve their bottom line.

The agricultural business environment is becoming more complex and fragmented. Conservation Farmers Inc. has developed a strategy to position the business as a premium project manager and extension service provider to support research and development organisations in the northern region. 

The Association has a sound corporate governance framework and accounting system in place to ensure that, they reliable deliver project outcomes.

Corporate Vision:

Conservation Farmers Incorporated is the alliance partner of choice in delivering information and extension services to the Australian agriculture sector. It promotes continuous improvement, economic benefit and resilience.

Corporate Mission:

Conservation Farmers improves the future prosperity of its farming and associated membership as the trusted, independent conduit connecting innovative technologies throughout the agricultural supply chain. We achieve this by being a proactive and creative project manager underpinned by robust corporate governance, technical competency and empathy with the agricultural sector


Conservation Farmers Inc. has a 40 year history in on-farm extension and technology adoption having been established in 1976.The Association was incorporated as Conservation Farmers in 1985 under the Incorporated Associations Act. Conservation Farmers Inc. is a Not for Profit organisation servicing the northern grain and mixed farming sector of Queensland and Northern NSW.

One of the earliest achievements of Conservation Farmers Inc. was the broad scale adoption of minimum and zero till farming and the corresponding shift away from conventional farming practices in the northern region. The Association continues to focus on sharing information relevant to more profitable production and environmental conservation. 

Staff and Board

Conservation Farmers Inc. is managed by a five member Executive Board.

Executive Board

Lloyd Russell (Chairman) - Independent Director

Lloyd Russell is a qualified Company Director with dual accreditations from Australian Institute of Company Directors and Family Business Australia. He is a governance specialist who demands a high level of transparency and accountability. Lloyd’s knowledge of the economic and business environments, and his thorough understanding of the agriculture supply chain, adds to the Associations ability to identify and manage business opportunities.

Lloyd understands the challenges and opportunities within agriculture. He is passionately committed to improving the resilience, innovation and profitability of agricultural businesses. As the Chairman of Conservation Farmers Inc., Lloyd considers the Board’s role to be one of strategic leadership identifying opportunities that deliver sustainable outcomes for the Association’s membership.

His other Directorships include Chairman of Jayde Engineering Pty Ltd, Chairman of CKP Engineering and Machining Pty Ltd, Managing Director of Russcons Pty Ltd and a Director of the Animal Ethics Community Access Board.

Bernard O'Brien (Executive Officer) - Independent Director

Bernard became an Executive Board Member in April 2013. He brings a great deal of experience in strategy and change management to the Conservation Farmers Inc. board and management team.

Bernard has a strong background in the Agrifood sector attained through experience across Europe, the UK and Australia. He has a Graduate Diploma in Marketing, a Masters of Strategic Marketing and is a qualified director.  Bernard has worked extensively in the grain milling and dairy industries, with more recent experience in the agricultural input supply chain.  

He has held a significant number of advisory and board positions including; a member of the Ithica College Advisory Council, a Director of the Nandef Board, a Director of the Norco Pauls Joint Venture, and the Fast Freeze Joint Venture, and as a member of the Economic Advisory Committee to the Lismore Council

Darryl Bartelen (Director and Chairman Project Advisory Council) - Farmer, Tulloona

Darryl moved to Australia from Canada in 1995 and settled in the Moree region.  He manages his wife Sara’s family farm situated near Moree.  He became a member of Conservation Farmers Inc. in 2002 and in 2006 was invited to be part of the management committee. Following the 2013 restructure Darryl took on the position of chair of the Project Advisory Council and deputy chair of the board.

Darryl is passionate about agriculture and strives to continuously innovate from both an agronomic and a business perspective. He has been an active participant in research trials in the north of NSW and is a well respected trial co-operator with the NSW and Queensland government departments.  He is an active member of the Tulloona Conservation Farming Group and is a key person in the delivery of the annual Tulloona Field Day.

Roger Henderson (Director and Treasurer) - Business Manager, Dalby

Roger has worked in the conservation agricultural field for over 20 years and has a long history in farming, research and the agricultural supply chain. He was actively involved in the initial research into zero tillage practices in Queensland, and championed the adoption of many of the practices which are now common across broadacre cropping.

Following the broad scale adoption of conservation farming, Roger became involved in general agricultural research in irrigation and dryland cropping in Central Queensland. He has been involved with Conservation Farmers Inc. since 1988, Roger believes that the adoption of new innovative approaches to agriculture will ensure that Australian farmers remain sustainable into the future. 

Theresa Pilcher (Director and Secretary) - Farmer, Thallon

Theresa has a Bachelor of Applied Science in Rural Technology and has worked extensively in both the grain and dairy industry mainly with women and young farmers. Theresa and her husband Antony with their young children have a sheep and wheat property at Thallon where they also run a spray contracting business. Additionally she works off farm as the Queensland Coordinator of Partners in Grain where she provides demand driven professional development of farming families. Theresa has been the Queensland State Co-ordinator of Partners in Grain since 2007.

She joined Conservation Farmers in 2011 and became a member of the Executive Board in 2012 and the Project Advisory Council at its inception.

Theresa has always had a passion for empowering farmers by supporting networks and providing the resources for them to enhance their skills. She has been involved in research and extension through many roles with organisations including the Young Dairy Network and the Department of Primary Industries. 

Regional Landcare Facilitator

Jenny Freeman (Regional Landcare Facilitator)

"The Condamine Regional Landcare Facilitator is Jenny Freeman. Jenny joined Conservation Farmers Inc. at the start of February 2016. She has a Bachelor of Science in Natural Resources focusing on soil science and sustainability. Jenny has recently returned to QLD after five years in South Australia where she was working within the wine and viticulture industry. She has previously worked in revegetation and restoration and has extensive experience in communication through fifteen years of hospitality experience.

Jenny can be contacted on mobile: 0428 385 356; or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Project Advisory Council

The Project Advisory Council is a group of 12 members who meet on a quarterly basis to develop, discuss and determine the strategic direction of projects undertaken by Conservation Farmers Inc.

The present Council members are:

Darryl Bartelyn - Farmer, Tulloona, Chairman
Theresa Pilcher - Farmer, Thallon
St John Kent - Farmer, Jimbour Plains
David Anderson - Farmer, East Moree
Brendan Griffiths - Agronomist, Griffiths & Arthur, Goondiwindi
Lindsay Bell - Senior Scientist, CSIRO
Daniel Rodriguez - Senior Research Fellow, QAAFI
Michael Kennedy - Precision Ag Consultant, St George
John Coggan - Farmer, Meandarra
Kym McIntyre - Grains Biosecurity Officer, Biosecurity Queensland, Toowoomba
Ian Moss - Agronomist, Farm Agronomy & Resource Management, Southbrook
Scott Petersen, Farmer, Petersen Grains, Killarney



Conservation Farmers Inc. strives to build strong relationships with partners and members. Engaging the whole supply chain is critical to a vibrant and financially sound Australian agricultural industry into the future.

Research, Development and Extension is an integrated system which is essential to the viability of sustainable agriculture in Australia. Conservation Farmers Inc. focus is on extension to ensure research outcomes are continually advanced within the agricultural production sector.

To effectively achieve our goals Conservation Farmers Inc. relies on the continual support from corporate sponsors and research partners.

Corporate sponsors and Research Partners


As an extension specialist Conservation Farmers Inc. offers its sponsors the ability to access the membership through;

  • Links in articles and company advertisement on the website.
  • Articles and company advertisement in the quarterly newsletter.
  • Acknowledgement and a display or demonstration at field days, forums and seminars.
  • Opportunities to present directly to grower members at events.
  • Ability to put forward project concepts and actively participate in these projects.


Partners, Funders and Researcher Organisations:

Conservation Farmers Inc. works directly with research organisations giving them the opportunity to;

  • Test research hypothesis with grower members.
  • Develop grower relationships and gain direct access to land for research projects.
  • Access to the membership database for surveys and data collection.
  • The ability to work with the Association’s Project Advisory Council to develop sound project objectives and extension pathways.
  • A project manager backed by a robust governance and accountability system.
  • Confidence that integrity of the research is maintained.

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