VFF Board of Directors

Click to download the VFF Board Charter

DAVID JOCHINKE - PRESIDENT

David is a third generation farmer who operates a family property at Murra Warra (30 km North of Horsham) producing various broadacre crops and finishing prime lambs.

At Longerenong College, he studied a Diploma of Applied Science and in later years, had the honour of being awarded scholarships for Nuffield Australia and the Australian Rural Leadership Program.

For over a decade he has been heavily involved with the local VFF district that led to being elected as the last VFF treasurer and chair of the Finance Committee as well as Vice President from 2012 - 2016.

EMMA GERMANO - VICE PRESIDENT

Emma Germano is the Managing Director of her family mixed farming operation, I Love Farms, the Vice President of the Victorian Farmers Federation and President of the VFF Horticulture Group.

I Love Farms has a firm focus on sustainability and strives to connect consumers with Australian farmers to increase community understanding of food and fibre production. It produces brassica, potato and fodder crops under irrigation, sheep and beef and also has a market garden that supplies an on-farm retail outlet.

Emma was awarded a Nuffield Scholarship in 2014 and her research examined global export opportunities for Australian primary producers.

DR ZENA BURGESS

Dr Burgess was Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the RACGP from 2008 until 2019. She is a director on the boards of the Victorian Farmers Federation and the Australian Patients Association. Former directorships include President of Bicycle Network , Australian Medicines Handbook, Mental Health Professionals Network, Box Hill Institute and CAE as well as several other statutory appointments She is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and the Australian Psychological Society.

ANDREW DIX

Andrew is from Geelong with Western District roots. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants, a past President, and current professional member of the Institute of Internal Auditors, and a Graduate member of the AICD. His executive career started at Price Waterhouse (now PWC) and concluded at Telstra where he had roles that covered areas of strategy, risk, assurance, finance, and operations. After leaving Telstra, Andrew focused on non-executive roles.

Current roles include Board positions at Swinburne University of Technology, and Western Leisure Services where he also Chairs, the Risk and Audit Committees. He is also Chair of the Audit Committee at the Bureau of Meteorology and is a member of the Audit Committee at Services Australia.

He brings a strong commercial focus to all his non-executive roles and enjoys working with teams to deliver outcome based organisations that are well placed to meet their strategic objectives.

ASHLEY FRASER

Ashley Fraser was appointed to the VFF Board in February 2019. He is a grain farmer and seed producer from Rutherglen in north east Victoria. Along with the family farm business run in partnership with his extended family, he also manages the family’s seed processing business Baker Seeds.

Mr Fraser was awarded a Nuffield Scholarship in 2012, he is a graduate of the Australian Rural Leadership Program (ARLP), and he has held numerous positions in the seed industry, including currently as a Director of the Australian Seed Authority. He became a VFF Grains Councillor in 2013 and was elected as the VFF Grains President in 2019.

NATHAN FREE

Nathan is a fourth-generation farmer who operates the family farm in partnership with his parents. The farm consists of certified organic fruit, vegetables and cereals based at Lake Boga. Since 2014, Nathan has been Managing Director of Wattle Organic Farms. Using innovative technology and sustainable packaging, Wattle Organic Farms programs and promotes certified organic produce to major retailers and export markets.

Nathan was awarded the AusVeg Young Grower of the Year in 2014. The following year, Nathan received a Nuffield Scholarship to research sustainable organic production. Rabobank awarded him Emerging Leader for 2017. Nathan also completed the Rabobank’s Executive Development Program and Australian Institute of Company Director Course in 2019.

Over the last decade, Nathan has been on committees with Goulburn Murray Water, Horticulture Innovation Australia and other industry groups.

TIM KINGMA

Tim is the owner and manager of a 1,400-sow breeder to finisher piggery in North-Central Victoria. He has a Bachelor of Agricultural Science at The University of Melbourne, is an alumni of the Australian Rural Leadership Program and was an inaugural participant of the National Farmers’ Federation’s 2030 Leadership Program.

Tim has been involved in the VFF Pig Group for over 10 years and is the current VFF Pig Group President. Within the industry, Tim also sits on the APIQ panel and the Swine Industry Projects Advisory Committee. He has been a delegate of Australian Pork Limited for nearly 10 years and enjoys representing, and giving a voice to, family-run pig farms. Tim is a leader for rural communities and industries, especially the pork industry for which he is incredibly passionate about.

PAUL MUMFORD

After an initial stint in a bank, Paul Mumford and his wife Lisa chose a career in dairy farming. Today, their dairy farm in Won Wron consists of 330 hectares of dryland farming, running 450 jersey cows in peak operation with support from staff. Paul has a long history in the dairy industry as a Nuffield Scholar, industry mentor, committee member of DataGene Data & Services Standings, and an ADF (Australian Dairy Farmers) National Councillor.

LEONARD VALLANCE

Leonard, with his wife Faye and three sons, operate a 9000ha beef and grain property in the Central Mallee. They run a self-replacing beef herd of Euro-cross cattle and finish all sale stock on grain, either in the paddock or in their own feedlot area. Their cropping operation covers up to 7000ha and utilises minimum tillage precision Ag where appropriate.

They operate an on-property engineering workshop, equipped to manufacture, modify and service the 39 motorised machines and other associated equipment - also recently designing and constructing their own B Double semi-trailers to transport their grain.

Leonard's two sons are partners in the business, with Leonard's youngest son a fitter and turner apprentice in the farm workshop. He was awarded 'top second year apprentice' in 2015. Leonard's daughter is completing a Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine and Surgery at Adelaide University and intends to work in rural areas.

The adoption of precision technology and equipment, with the ability to maintain and operate the equipment with no out-sourcing of labour has increased their business production three-fold in 20 years. They were the first in Australia to gain accreditation in cattle care, flock care and grain care quality assurance schemes.