What we do
Since AFIA was established in 1996 our network of members, sponsors, supporters and engaged participants has worked to help the fodder industry grow. Our organisation strives to share information, address market and trade issues, promote research and development and engage with all fodder end users to understand issues, needs and ultimately provide a positive business operating environment. We are a central hub connecting the supply chain across agriculture sectors, industry and governments.
The fodder industry is one of the most important industries in Australian agriculture, underpinning production in dairy, livestock, horticulture and other intensive industries.
In addition to a domestic focus, the Australian industry is now a significant contributor to Australian exports, with fodder products exported to China, Japan, Taiwan, Korea and the Middle East.
The Australian Fodder Industry Association (AFIA) is the independent, peak national body for the Australia’s fodder industry.
Since its establishment, AFIA has supported the growth of the sector through:
- the generation and analysis of industry data;
- hosting events to support connections, learning, engagement and information sharing;
- engagement in research and development (R&D) priorities; and
- industry advocacy to ensure a positive operating environment both locally and globally.
AFIA Board of Directors
Brad is a passionate young farmer from Mallala, South Australia. Brad manages the family farm focusing mainly on cropping and hay and lives on farm with his wife and three children. Brad’s passion is for the hay and fodder industry. He has worked for some big contractors in the Mallala area and is now focusing on building his family business, which caters for both the export and domestic market with oaten hay being the main commodity grown. Brad has travelled to America and Israel to learn about baling hay in high moisture climates and to work as a consultant for a hay inoculant company. He joined AFIA as a Board Director in July 2018.
Jason runs Palmer Agricon in partnership with his parents which mainly consists of an irrigated farming business that produces irrigated lucerne hay and cereal crops, a silage contracting business and most recently, a beef feedlot.
Jason has been working full time in the fodder industry since 2003. He is especially interested in current affairs within the agricultural industry as well as the future of farming.
Suzanne Woods has been involved in the agricultural industry for over 25 years. Suzanne has been running a mixed-farming business of livestock and cropping with her partner since the year 2000, in the Shire of Victoria Plains in Western Australia. Her cropping enterprise consists of 50% oaten hay and the remainder wheat, barley and canola. Small herds of cattle and sheep make up the livestock enterprise. Additionally, Suzanne operates a farm contracting business concentrating mostly on mowing, baling and carting hay and straw in nearby districts.
Suzanne extended her business interests in 2006 by purchasing a third share in an export hay processing facility. Hay Australia processes hay and straw from premises in the Victoria Plains Shire, WA and the Shire of Loddon, Victoria. The company sells hay into the domestic and international fodders markets and processes more than 80 000tonnes per year. Suzanne believes that her investment in Hay Australia has enabled her to develop a sound understanding of all aspects of fodder production, processing and marketing, which will assist in her role as AFIA board member. Other special interests include farm safety, gender equality and technological advance for productivity and efficiency and she perceives AFIA as being a key industry influencer in these areas.
Outside of her personal farming activities, Suzanne is an active leader in numerous local, regional, state and national groups associated with agriculture and rural communities. She is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. This has led to Suzanne developing a thorough understanding of the issues affecting rural business and how to manage corporate governance through leadership positions.
Frank has 40 years experience with dryland cropping, lamb and beef production. He has spent 29 years with NSW DPI as an Extension Agronomist and Technical Specialist Cereals. In August 2010 Frank joined Auswest Seeds as a Product Development Manager for pasture and forage crops.
Frank has a Bachelor of Rural Science (Hons) – University of New England and a Graduate Certificate in Marketing – Charles Sturt University. Frank is a Director of the Bathurst and Orange Harness Racing Clubs and is Treasurer of Grasslands Society of NSW.
Chief Executive Officer
Ms Fitzgerald has a long history in the agriculture sector, starting with the CSIRO, working across many commodity sectors, with State and Federal Governments and has previously run a national organisation. A director of not-for-profit industry organisation Skills Impact and Animal Health Australia, Paula is also a member of the Federal Government’s Gene Technology Ethics and Community Consultative Committee. Ms Fitzgerald has experience in stakeholder and government relations, policy development and advocacy, communication, regulatory affairs, issues management, membership engagement and capacity building.
Neil is the owner/operator of Science Management Services Pty Ltd (t/a Synova) a company providing operational and company secretarial support to various start-up companies, agricultural and science-based R&D entities and lobby groups. He has past technical and management work experience with CSIRO, The Australian National University, several biotech start-ups and a Landmark rural franchise.
AFIA is a not for profit company limited by guarantee under the Corporations Act 2001.
The History of AFIA
In 2013/14 a dedicated group of founding AFIA members got together and compiled “The History of AFIA”.