Mark McKenzie

General Manager
Diploma of Applied Science (Agriculture)

Mark is the General Manager of Meridian Agriculture, with a background as CEO of a number of industry organisations in the wine industry and irrigation sector. He has a farming background in beef cattle, prime lamb and cereal production, and more latterly in wine grape and olive production.
Mark has extensive experience in strategic communications at industry and enterprise levels; industry policy and program development; project consulting; and government relations. He also has extensive experience in consumer brand development and marketing – particularly for the wine industry.

icon-phone 0417 839 665

icon-mail mmckenzie@meridian-ag.com.au

Jim Shovelton

Director and Senior Consultant
Bachelor Agricultural Science, Diploma of Business: Project Management Certificate IV in Assessment and Workplace Training.

Jim is a Director and a Livestock and Pastures Consultant. Jim has worked in pasture agronomy in the high rainfall areas of eastern Australia for over 35 years. He provides on-farm consultancy, including farm business analysis, farm development programs, pre purchase property assessment and new industry analysis. Jim has a strong project management background where he works with industry and government to deliver outcomes. Jim also provides specific technical advice in agronomy and animal husbandry, with particular emphasis on wool and sheep meat production.

icon-phone 0407 953 445

icon-mail jshovelton@meridian-ag.com.au

Mike Stephens

Director and Senior Consultant
Diploma Farm Management, Master of Science Diploma, Company Directors Course, Australian Institute of Company Directors, AgCredited, Cert IV Workplace Training and Assessment.

Mike is the founder, a Board Director and a senior Business Consultant for Meridian Agriculture. Mike has a farm management, recruiting and a project management background. He provides advice to individual clients specialising in property assessment, strategic succession planning, education, facilitation and industry projects. Mike is very well connected at industry level and enjoys a wide network of professional associates.

icon-phone 0418 508 150

icon-mail mstephens@meridian-ag.com.au

Andrew Speirs

Senior Agronomy Consultant and Director
Bachelor Agricultural Science, Certificate IV in Assessment and Workplace Training, Fertcare B and C trainer

Andrew is a Board Member and a senior Agronomy Consultant for Meridian Agriculture. He has an extensive background in grassland farming from a practical perspective. Based in Casterton, Andrew works closely with clients to improve pasture and business management. He has a depth of experience in project management and technical trials and enjoys strong industry networks.

icon-phone 0428 685 172

icon-mail aspeirs@meridian-ag.com.au

Paul Blackshaw

Farm Business Consultant and Director
Bachelor of Applied Science (Agriculture), Diploma of Community Welfare Work, Diploma of Community Services, Cert IV Workplace Assessment and Training.

Paul is a Farm Business Consultant with Meridian Agriculture. He is a specialist in farm business economics with experience in financial analysis, benchmarking, succession planning, industry extension projects, rural financial counselling, strategic leadership and planning. 

Paul is based in Rutherglen in north east Victoria and provides on farm consultancy.

icon-phone 0427 546 643

icon-mail pblackshaw@meridian-ag.com.au

Robert Adés

Chairman and Independent Director
MBA (Dean’s Award for Excellence), Graduate Diploma in Marketing, Bachelor of Engineering (Industrial & Computing)

Robert has an extensive background in Asset Management, Business Administration and Agribusiness.  He has served on multiple Boards over 23 years, spanning a range of executive, non-executive and alternate directorships within private, public and trustee companies. His involvement in farming began with his family in the early 1970’s and is both personal and professional.  He has sat on farm boards for most of the last 16 years, and remains connected personally through variously family members.

Ben Reeve

Human Resources Consultant
Bachelor of Management (Marketing), Certificate IV in Training and Assessment, Certificate in Recruitment and Selection, Leadership Ballarat and Western Region.

Ben is a Human Resource Advisor with Meridian Agriculture and works with producers and industry in the areas of human resource management and industrial relations. Ben has worked for Meridian Agriculture for over ten years. Ben has a strong background in skills analysis, recruitment and selection, people management, facilitation and coaching. Ben is motivated to place the right people in the right jobs at the right time.

icon-phone 0416 127 465

icon-mail breeve@meridian-ag.com.au

Gilles Clarisse

Recruitment Consultant
Bachelor of Humanities & Social Science (Psychology), Diploma Business Management, Cert IV in Training and Assessment

Gilles is a Recruitment Consultant with Meridian Agriculture. Gilles has spent 14 years working with a Ballarat based family business at Wilsons Fruit & Vegetable, where he was a Store Manager. His primary focuses included recruitment, training, business management, people management and performance management.

Gilles will be working with producers in the area of recruitment and advising on positions that they have vacant with candidates that will suit their needs.

icon-phone 0413 773 427

icon-mail gclarisse@meridian-ag.com.au

James Sewell

Pasture Agronomy Consultant
Bachelor of Agricultural Science (Hons), Master Science (Plant Breeding), Professional Diploma Agribusiness

James is a Pasture Agronomy Consultant with Meridian Agriculture. James has 11 years experience working in the Research and Development space in the pasture seed industry. Based out of our Yendon Office and building on his high level agronomic (plant breeding, trials and pasture establishment) and business management skills, James works closely with clients in providing pasture / livestock agronomic advice, farm management consulting and project management support.

icon-phone 0403 546 811

icon-mail jsewell@meridian-ag.com.au

Laura Forward

Pasture and Livestock Consultant

Laura is a Pasture & Livestock Consultant based at Meridian Ag’s Casterton office. She also works alongside Andrew Speirs managing our range of pasture trials as well as working individually with clients in the areas of pasture performance, animal production and farm planning.

icon-phone 0427 041 553

icon-mail lforward@meridian-ag.com.au

Esmée de Looff

Graduate Pasture and Livestock Consultant

Esmée is a Graduate Pasture and Livestock Consultant based at Meridian Ag’s Casterton office. She holds a Master’s Degree in Animal Science and has done research in modelling nitrogen metabolism in dairy cows. She also works alongside other Meridian Ag team members on a range of pasture trials, as well as with clients in the areas of pasture performance, animal production and farm planning with a main focus on dairy.

icon-phone 0458 824 844

icon-mail edelooff@meridian-ag.com.au

Shirley Downing

Office Manager – Casterton

Shirley is the Office/Administrative Manager at our Casterton branch. She will support Andrew Speirs, Laura Forward and Esmee de Looff by managing the administrative duties of the Casterton office. Shirley has had an extensive career in management and support in the legal industry.

icon-phone 03 5581 2826

icon-mail casterton@meridian-ag.com.au

Jen McKay

Finance Manager

Jen is the Finance and Corporate Manager for Meridian Agriculture. She has worked for Meridian Ag for over ten years. Jen manages invoicing, cost control, payroll and tax for the business.

icon-phone 03 5341 6100

icon-mail jmckay@meridian-ag.com.au

Angela Inkester

Administration and HR Support Officer
Bachelor of Business (Tourism)

Angela is the administration and HR support officer for Meridian Agriculture. She has strong skills in administrative management, project support, analytics and organisational logistics. Ang is the cheery voice at the other end of the phone and a speedy typist. She works closely with Candice and Jen to provide support to the whole business. Ang provides specific support to the Recruitment and HR team to organise applications, interview scheduling and client communication.

icon-phone 03 5341 6100

icon-mail ainkester@meridian-ag.com.au

Naomi Swift

Project Co-ordinator and Administration Support Officer

Naomi is an experienced project coordinator and administration support officer based at Meridian Agriculture’s Yendon office. Naomi brings over 20 years experience in project management, event management and documentation systems across national technology and energy sectors. She works across a number of projects within Meridian Ag’s management and works closely with the administration team to support all consultants.

icon-phone 03 5341 6100

icon-mail nswift@meridian-ag.com.au

Candice Thompson

Administration Officer

Candice is an experienced office manager and administration assistant. Candice works part-time for Meridian Agriculture and provides support to the team of advisors through scheduling, documentation management and client contact. She works closely with Ang and Jen to provide support to the whole business.

icon-phone 03 5341 6100

icon-mail cthompson@meridian-ag.com.au


Alistair Cameron

Workplace Health & Safety Advisor
Associate Diploma Farm Management, Certificate III and IV in Occupational Health and Safety, Diploma of Occupational Heath and Safety, Certificate IV in Workplace Training and Assessment

Alistair is a WH&S Advisor with Meridian Agriculture. Alistair specialises in Workplace Health and Safety. Alistair works with clients in developing WH&S Management systems, facilitates farm safety workshops and training for farming groups and facilitates workplace safety audits and action plans with management/ employees.

icon-phone 0428 968 167

icon-mail acameron@meridian-ag.com.au

Rod Manning

Beef Production and Farm Management Advisor
Bachelor of Veterinary Science (Hons), Cert IV Assessment and Workplace Training

Rod is a Beef Production and Farm Management Advisor with Meridian Agriculture. He has an in depth knowledge of the Australian beef industry and is widely respected for his ability to cover all aspects from production through to marketing. Rod runs 1200 Angus breeding cows in conjunction with his wife Maryke, and until recently ran the Mansfield veterinary clinic

icon-phone 03 5341 6100

icon-mail info@meridian-ag.com.au

Join Our Team

As a company, we are always interested in talking to people who share our values and approach to work.