A cutting-edge cohort: evokeAG. 2024 Future Young Leaders announced - evokeAG.

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A cutting-edge cohort: evokeAG. 2024 Future Young Leaders announced

The Future Young Leaders for evokeAG. 2024 have been announced, unveiling a cohort of five young and emerging leaders who are building cutting edge solutions and knowledge for a more sustainable and productive Australian agrifood sector and supply chain.

evokeAG 2024 Future Young leader cohort

From the development of crop varieties that thrive in unpredictable climates, to an open-source DIY weed detector and a pioneering method for recycling livestock ear tags – the innovation displayed among this years’ cohort is vast.

The five successful applicants have been selected as they have demonstrated a dedication to driving positive change in Australian agriculture.

Designed to build the capabilities of emerging leaders, the Future Young Leader Program provides participants with a unique platform to voice their exceptional ideas, innovations, and research projects to a global audience at evokeAG. on 20-21 February 2024 in Perth, Western Australia.

AgriFutures General Manager, Global Innovation Networks, Harriet Mellish, said there is an exceptional level of talent among this year’s cohort.

“Each Future Young Leader selected has shown exceptional dedication to enhance the success and sustainability of Australian agriculture and its value chain,” Ms Mellish said.

“Their projects and ideas are working to develop real solutions to complex challenges that we face today. These include weed detection, commodity traceability, plastic recycling, cropping systems resilience and sustainability, as well as sustainable solutions for aquatic farming.

“evokeAG.‘s Future Young Leaders Program provides a rare opportunity for these very talented young people to access an international audience of investors, producers, corporates, researchers, government, and industry.

“Australia has a bright future ahead, with the level of talent coming through the agrifood supply chain. AgriFutures Australia is incredibly proud to support and amplify their voices as they lead the way in shaping the future of our industry.”

The 2024 Future Young Leaders are:

  • Natalie Bell (NSW, 27 years old) – is the founder of Hylo Ag, which is pioneering a method for livestock producers, feedlots, and processors to recycle ear tags. She envisions an inclusive supply chain model that empowers customers, regardless of their geographic isolation, to participate in eartag recycling initiatives. By reducing the reliance on virgin plastic, Natalie aims to create a more sustainable and circular economy while exploring potential material cost savings for producers.
  • Guy Coleman (WA, 29 years old) – is an advocate for open-source innovation in agriculture, created the OpenWeedLocator (OWL) – a low-cost, open-source DIY weed detector to improve accessibility to precision agricultural technologies. He envisions establishing a global open-source weed detection ecosystem, that empowers rural communities and the agricultural sector to drive technological innovation. With a background in precision weed control and a Fulbright Scholarship, Guy is committed to democratising access to precision farming and knowledge sharing, with users of the OWL already in Australia, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, South Africa, UK, and the USA.
  • Roberta Marcoli (QLD, 28 years old) – is a postdoctoral aquaculture researcher at James Cook University dedicated to finding sustainable solutions for aquatic farming that benefit both coastal communities and the environment. She combines her expertise in molecular biology and bioinformatics with a passion for science communication to bridge the gap between complex scientific concepts and the public. Roberta’s goal is to educate and inspire rural coastal communities about the potential of aquaculture, the consequences of unsustainable fishing, and the urgent need for sustainability, all while advancing aquaculture practices in her research.
  • Sam Lambert (NSW/Japan, 25 years old) – is the Co-Founder of zenGate Global, a technology company which seeks to provide equal access and opportunities for innovation in agriculture. Using blockchain technology, zenGate’s flagship product Palmyra provides a market access solution for commodity producers and buyers, with scalable modules such as traceability, payments, and compliance. Sam’s past work across the Philippines and Sri Lanka exposed the disparity in technology adoption and the challenges faced by underserved agri-businesses and communities. Through zenGate Global and its technology solutions he aims to bridge these gaps with scalable and modular solutions. It’s already making a significant impact in the tea industry in Sri Lanka, and Sam hopes to bring this innovation back to under-served rural communities in Australia, utilising the zenGate Global ‘Blueprint’.  
  • Katia Taylor (ACT, 28 years old) – is a Postdoctoral Researcher at CSIRO, Australia’s national science agency, driving innovation in agriculture. With a focus on enhancing cropping system resilience and sustainability, Katia’s work involves harnessing microbial communities to enhance formation of soil carbon from crop residues. She is at the forefront of improving soil health through innovative research, aiming to revolutionise farming practices and promote healthier, locally sourced food production.

In the lead up to evokeAG. 2024, the Future Young Leaders will work closely with industry professionals to enhance their presentation skills and confidence, preparing them to present at the event. Following the event, they will also collaborate with program mentors on the development of a strategic plan around key goals, coupled with a final focused placement, learning, and/or development opportunity.

To find out more on the 2024 evokeAG. Future Young Leaders cohort, head to evokeag.com/FutureYoungLeaders

For more information about evokeAG. 2024, and to purchase tickets visit evokeag.com/2024.

AgriFutures Australia is encouraging delegates to secure their tickets, flights, and accommodation early to avoid disappointment.


Reagan Ruppell | p: 0426 134 739 | e: [email protected]

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