Australia’s NFF announces new leadership team

Tony Mahar has been appointed as CEO of the National Farmers' Federation

The National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) in Australia has announced the appointment of Tony Mahar as the organization’s Chief Executive Officer.

Mahar has been a key member of the NFF’s leadership team since mid-2012 as Deputy CEO and will take over from Simon Talbot who has served as CEO, and spearheaded a number of transformational initiatives within the organization, for the past 18 months.

NFF President Brent Finlay said he was delighted to announce the appointment of Mahar, who has an outstanding track record across economics, trade and broader agricultural policy.

“Tony has been one of the key drivers in setting a new clear and progressive strategic direction for the organization and how it will best represent the Australian agriculture industry,” Finlay said.

“He has some of the nation’s best skills across agriculture and economics and, due to his knowledge and experience, is undoubtedly the best person to lead the NFF and drive the implementation of the organization’s future strategy in what is an exciting growth stage for both our organization and the broader industry.”

Finlay paid tribute to outgoing CEO Simon Talbot, who has taken up an opportunity in the corporate sector, and applauded the leadership he has shown in what has been a significant period of transformation for Australia’s peak body for agriculture.

“Simon’s achievements have been extensive and have included making significant progress towards the establishment of a unified model for farm representation, the development of a national digital agricultural service and a stronger voice for Australian agriculture through more targeted lobbying in media, political and business circles,” he said.

“Simon’s broad experience in the corporate sector has been invaluable at a critical time for agricultural representation as evidenced by the development of a clear strategic direction for the NFF and a broadened revenue base, both of which will continue to benefit the farmers we represent.

“Simon will now focus on finalizing a series of commercial arrangements for a number of weeks to ensure a clear handover to the new Executive at NFF. He is a strong supporter of digital agriculture and recognizes the critical role it will play in the future growth of our industry.”

In another key announcement current CEO of the NSW Farmers’ Association, Matt Brand, has been seconded on a part-time basis to the position of NFF’s Executive Director of Integration and Digital.

Brand will steer the next stage of the NFF’s Project Streamline and Strengthen (PSS) which has been has been developed to strengthen agricultural representation, remove duplicated structures and to streamline resources to ensure a stronger, more effective voice for farmers across Australia. It has been overwhelmingly endorsed by the NFF’s member organizations and will also include the NFF’s innovative new Digital Platform.

“Matt’s experience in agricultural advocacy, as well as previous marketing and commercial roles, makes him ideally qualified to cement the new digital platform, an initiative that has the potential to draw primary producers from across Australia together like never before,” Finlay said.

“The platform will form the centerpiece of our new unified approach to national farmer representation and will also offer valuable commercial incentives to our grass-roots farmer members.

“Tony and Matt have already worked closely together on the PSS process and will continue to work collaboratively to create a more unified organization that is an effective and efficient model delivering greater benefits to Australian agriculture.”