About Us

The Irrigation Farmers Network (formerly Irrigated Cropping Council) is a farmer driven, not for profit, independent research organisation, committed to providing the latest research in irrigated grain production and connecting growers with local, state and national research and extension.

Collaborating with key research/extension organisations and funding bodies ensures growers across the region have access to the latest information in irrigated grain production systems to enable them to make informed decisions about best practice and drive profitable, sustainable farm systems.


A commercially competitive and sustainable mixed farming and cropping sector that can confidently use best practice irrigation to respond flexibly and rapidly to market demands in an environmentally and socially responsible manner.


To improve the profitability and long-term viability of mixed farmers and croppers in the irrigation areas of northern Victoria and southern New South Wales, through practical research, development and extension that leads to best practice.

Strategic Plan

Our 2022-2025 strategic plan outlines new exciting ventures for IFN.  View the plan

Irrigated Cropping Council 1pp A4 Strategic Plan FINAL

2023 Annual Report

Our 2022- 2023 Annual Report outlines achievements and new exciting ventures for IFN.  View the report

Annual Report 2023,


Our Region

Our region spanning across the Murray River from the northern Victorian irrigation regions to Southern Riverina in NSW presents a unique opportunity to build a knowledge base across many regions, environmental conditions, crop types, management systems and irrigation systems.

Our Trial Site

Our irrigated research center situated just outside of Kerang Victoria provides the perfect base to conduct local research providing relevant information to growers across the region.
Research trials conducted at the site focus on all aspects of irrigated grain production including agronomy, irrigation scheduling, plant nutrition, crop diseases, weed and pest management and risk management.

Our People

Executive Officer

Charlie Aves

Charlotte (known as Charlie) is originally from the UK and has an agricultural career spanning three countries in research, financial and farm-based roles. A common thread has been working closely with the agricultural community to provide information and options to help farmers be successful. Charlie successfully completed a PhD investigating glyphosate resistance in flaxleaf fleabane and its management in mixed systems with the University of Adelaide. Charlie is a current board member with Partners in Ag and is a volunteer coordinator at Bendigo Foodshare. She is a graduate of the Loddon Murray Community Leadership Program and a previous Vice President for Australian Women in Agriculture.
Trials Manager

Damian Jones

Damian Jones is an irrigated cropping agronomist that previously worked for DPI at Kerang and is now with Agronomic Results. He has been involved with irrigated trials for 15 years, and works closely with the Irrigated Cropping Council (Now Irrigation Farmers Network) on the Trial Block at Kerang. Variety evaluation, irrigation management and grazing cereals has been a focus of the trial work at Kerang. Damian brings specialist expertise to the team in irrigated crop trial design, establishment and management as well as extensive knowledge about crop agronomy.​
Technical Officer

Rohan Pay

Rohan grew up on a family dairy farm at Kerang where we worked for 20 years, before commencing a career with the Department of Primary Industries as a cropping technical officer. Rohan has expertise in irrigated cropping trials, NVT trials, soil moisture monitoring, emergency response including fire and locust. Rohan has been with ICC as our technical officer since 2012, he brings a wealth of experience in irrigated cropping trial establishment and management and is a key asset to our team that enables us to deliver high quality research for the cropping industry.​

Melinda Mann

Melinda (Mel) has extensive experience in communications and the design and delivery of leadership and training programs. Previous roles include working with the Department of Primary Industries in Dairy extension for 13 years and Program Manager for the Loddon Murray Community Leadership Program. She also brings a wealth of experience in project, stakeholder and event management from her time as Executive Officer with the Grasslands Society of Southern Australia and Victorian Young Farmers. In her spare time, Mel is also a Director of their family cropping enterprise in Southern Riverina. Mel holds a Bachelor of Applied Science (Agriculture) from the University of Melbourne.
Belinda Lambert
Extension Officer

Belinda Lambert

Belinda lives in Edward River Council, grows garlic and helps out on the family cattle property which has recently introduced irrigated cropping. Belinda is a current board member of the Australian Garlic Industry Association.
Her experience has predominantly been in Communication and Change Management for IBM and more recently as Communication Manager for the Ricegrowers Association of Australia. Belinda's recent roles and experiences have enabled her to establish a network of contacts in the region that will further her ability to engage with Irrigated Cropping Farmers.
As a Knowledge Broker on the Australian Government's Future Drought Funded program- the Southern NSW Drought Resilience, Adoption and Innovation Hub, Belinda's role will also focus on engagement with farmers and communities to identify issues, ideas and opportunities to inform the Hub's project development and to assist in the uptake of those projects.
Amy Miner
Agricultural Trials Officer

Amy Miner

Amy is originally from Canada and moved to Melbourne in 2009. After completing her Bachelor’s Degree at Monash University she started her career with Agriculture Victoria as a glasshouse assistant working with canola, wheat and pulses. Most recently she worked in Carnarvon, WA as a technical officer for DPIRD trialing varieties of mangoes, jackfruit and persimmons in high density orchards.

Our Board

Irrigation Farmers Network is an incorporated association governed by a Board of Management.

Our Directors are passionate advocates for profitable, sustainable irrigated cropping systems. Our Board is comprised of growers, industry and State Government Department representatives.
Michael owns and operates an irrigation farm in the Denimein Irrigation District, north west of Deniliquin, within the area of operation of Murray Irrigation. Michael has a strong focus towards a mixed irrigation system focusing on crops including rice, cereals and pasture. He has an intense interest in constantly improving the efficiency of irrigation farming and has been regularly involved in many R&D projects including variety trials, irrigation trials and agronomic techniques. Michael has strong involvement in irrigation off farm with his present roles being a non-executive directors for Murray Irrigation Ltd, Chairman of the Irrigated Cropping Council and a representative on the newly established Regional Cropping Solutions Committee – Irrigation Zone.
Rob resides in Darlington Point, on Murrumbidgee River between the MIA and Coleambally Irrigation Area, centrally in the “food and fibre” bowl of NSW.
Married with a son studying Ag Science, Rob manages NSW sales territory as agronomist for multinational plant nutrition and soil health Co., Omnia Specialities Australia.
Maintaining Omnia’s wholesale business with his NSW customers, Rob focuses on irrigated row crop and horticulture from Liverpool Plains to the Murray River.
Days are shared between irrigated and dryland broadacre fields from slopes to the plains, to the tablelands & coastal fringe bounding in horticulture produce and dairying.
He has in-field experience since the 90’s in row crops such as cotton, corn, nuts, and grapes, along with broadacre cereals, rice, pulse crops, oilseeds, and pasture forages.
Rob’s passion is for better biological soil health, with a willingness to get out there and discuss nutrient management strategies with growers, agronomists, and consultants.
Gilly’s interests are his family, the Geelong Cats, travel, and socialising with either golf clubs or a fishing rod.
Stuart Hodge is an Irrigated Cropping farmer based at Numurkah in northern Victoria. After running a large-scale Dairying operation for 22 years, Stuart and his wife Kate decided to sell the dairy herd and move into Irrigated cropping in early 2008. Stuart believes passionately in the contribution of irrigation to the Australian Agricultural sector. The significant reduction in production risk that Irrigated Cropping offers the Hodge farming operation has led Stuart to combine leading-edge agronomic advice with aggressive grain marketing techniques that he believes is relevant to all Irrigated Cropping enterprises. Stuart joined the committee of the ICC in October 2011.
Craig has been an irrigation cropping farmer for 30 years and has grown a wide range of crops including wheat, barley, canola, oats, field peas, faba beans, maize, soybeans and sunflowers. He has a range of experience gained from a combination of working and learning from other farmers and research and development, on-farm trial work and observations. Craig is interested in innovation and striving to advance irrigation management and irrigated cropping. He is currently the Chair of the Shepparton Water Service Committee of Goulburn Murray Water and previous member of the GRDC Irrigation Areas Regional Cropping Solutions Committee.
Graeme has been involved with ICC since it first commenced and has a strong interest in irrigation. Farming for well over 40 years, first on his parents dairy farm at the age of 15, and then leasing and share farming around Echuca.
Graeme and his wife Michelle bought a farm between Boort and Kerang in 2006 and now grow processing tomatoes and maize on trickle irrigation during the Summer months and cereals, canola and some pulses during the winter months utilising border check flood irrigation and still share farms at Echuca with dry land crops.
Evan is co-manager of the family farm business with his parents John and Helene. Their 1000ha property ‘Clontarf’ includes
400ha of flood and sprinkler irrigation. They use no-till production systems, continuously cropping cereals, oilseeds, pasture and
Scott has a Bachelor Degree in Applied Science (Agriculture). Scott comes from a farming background (Based at Rochester) before studying and entering the industry working with a seed company from Melbourne. Scott first become involved with the ICC when working with Pioneer seed (based in Horsham) in 2008. Scott now lives in Moama with his family working with specialty and liquid fertilisers since June 2012, and with SLTEC since early 2016 working in Northern Victoria as a Technical Agronomy Manager.
Dale currently works in the climate team of the Agriculture Victoria grains branch and is also the rural recovery coordinator for the Shepparton response division. Now residing in Moama, he has worked in DPI since 1999, was brought up on a farm in Calivil and has a background in irrigated mixed farming.
Dale attended Dookie Agricultural college where he learned more about his irrigated farming interest and background. Projects Dale has been involved in include both the double cropping project and the irrigation technology project that had a high utilisation of soil moisture monitoring equipment.
Dale is currently working on a project called risk management through soil moisture monitoring, where he co ordinates the moisture probe network for Victoria and data display for a greater understanding of the seasonal conditions.
Recently Dale has moved into more specialised areas including rural recovery work and is the Ag Vic representative for field assessments with plague locust responses.
Glenn operates a mixed farming enterprise with wife Hayley. west of Echuca. Enterprises include sheep and irrigated grain, including specialty seed crops, cereal grains, hay and canola.
Glenn has a bachelor of Applied Science (Agriculture) and a Graduate certificate in Rural Science (Agricultural consulting).
Glenn has been involved in the dairy industry helping farmers achieve better productivity and profitability outcomes on farm, for most of his working life. He sees the ICC is an important industry asset to both grain and dairy farmers, generating real solutions to challenges on farm.
Ray Thornton runs a 240 hectare property located at Yalca in Northern Victoria, growing wheat, barley, faba beans canola and maize.
Kimberley works for Local Land Services (LLS) in the agricultural advisory team based in Deniliquin. She has been with LLS since early 2019 and her core work focuses on two key projects: 1) persistence and productivity of irrigated pasture species and their impact on soil carbon; and 2) working with the rice industry to develop a sustainability framework that will help growers showcase their sustainability credentials, improve industry social licence and help maintain market access.
Kimberley grew up on an irrigation property in the Deniliquin area that produces wool, prime lambs, and rice, and has completed a bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Science from Charles Sturt University. Kimberley is currently share farming a small block with her siblings growing rice and wheat.
Pat is an agronomist based out of Elders Swan Hill, specialising in broadacre cropping, pastures and rice. He graduated from Dookie College in 2018 with a Bachelor of Agricultural Science, before moving overseas for a year to work on a dairy farm in England. He then pursed an agronomy role in the VIC Mallee, where he has close ties with family farms at Sea Lake, Nandaly and Wycheproof. His passion in irrigated cropping is soil health and irrigation efficiencies.

Our Sponsors

Support from our sponsors is greatly appreciated to enable us to provide high quality information to growers to optimise their irrigated grain systems.

Our Sponsors

Pioneer Seeds

Pioneer® brand seed is grown and processed to world-class standards in Australia.


AGT is Australia’s largest plant breeding company, and the market leader in wheat genetics.
Adama Australia
Adama strive for a world where everybody has food security, and everybody in farming has a fulfilling life. 

Waterpool is the only Not-for-Profit water trading entity in Australia. Set up by irrigators to ensure a fair, market driven trading platform.


Rubicon Water has a vision to sustainably increase global food and fibre production through improved water use efficiency. 

Eagle I

Eagle i Machinery are proud to be Australia’s premiere TL Irrigation dealer and we offer the full range of TL Centre Pivot and Lateral irrigators and the latest TL irrigation controllers including the brand new Precision Point Touch controller.

Become a sponsor

The Irrigation Farmers Network is the leading independent research organisation in Northern Victoria and Southern New South Wales for the irrigated grains industry.​

Our partners invest in our vision of a commercially competitive and sustainable mixed farming and cropping sector that uses best practice irrigation systems to respond to market demands in an environmentally and socially responsible manner.

Sponsors are able to partner with us to achieve this vision while increasing their businesses exposure through targeted opportunities to connect with growers and industry. 

Sponsorship packages are available, for more information please contact our Executive Officer Charlie Aves on 0448 120 531