Who We Are

Michael Clarke - Principal

Michael Clarke, principal consultant AgEconPlus, is a degree qualified agricultural economist (University of Sydney) with more htan twenty five years professional experience. Post-graduate training has included accounting, marketing, policy analysis and business administration.

Michael`s experience includes fourteen years with agricultural consultants Hassall & Associates (1990 to 2004) where he led the company`s Economics and Policy Division. Prior to joining Hassall, Michael was an economist with what are now the NSW Department of Primary Industries and the NSW Department of Natural Resources (1987 to 1990). Michael has been principal of his own firm, AgEconPlus, since March 2004.

Michael`s career specialisation has been economic analysis, policy analysis and strategic planning. Michael`s `stock in trade` is:

  • Benefit cost analysis
  • Economic impact studies
  • Program evaluation
  • Policy analysis
  • Regulatory Impact Statements
  • Business planning
  • Market appraisal and planning
  • Industry strategic planning
  • Financial analysis, feasibility and pricing studies
  • Social impact assessment
  • Stakeholder surveys and consultation
  • Project management and document preparation.

Please contact Michael (Clarke@AgEconPlus.com.au) for a detailed CV.

Michael is able to draw on assistance from the following AgEconPlus associates

Rob Gillespie - Economics

Rob has more than twenty years experience in government and consulting. He has undergraduate qualifications in science and economics and Masters degrees in economics and planning. Rob`s speciality is resource and environmental economics. Techniques include cost benefit analysis and input output analysis. Rob also has capability and experience in environmental planning and assessment. Rob is a director of his own company Gillespie Economics, established in 1997.

Greg Martin - Economics and Industry Analysis

Greg is a senior economist and industry analyst with a strong background in microeconomics. He provides analysis and advice on economic issues and policy for Australian corporate, industry and Government clients. In particular, he specialises in industry and policy analysis for manufacturing, the farm sector and service industries. His consulting work has included projects on microeconomic reform; industry assistance; statutory marketing; R & D policy and evaluation; farm, fishing and forestry policy; commodity outlooks; investment analysis; indirect taxation; defence; and energy. Greg has extensive experience in cost-benefit analysis and financial modelling, including project evaluation and business-level analysis. The major focus of his work has been promoting an efficient allocation of resources, especially through addressing impediments to market-based developments. Greg is a director of his own Canberra based consulting company - IDA Economics.

Sue Funnell - Program Evaluation and Program Logic

Sue has more than 30 years of experience in conducting, managing, facilitating and reviewing a wide range of projects involving evaluation, performance measurement and reporting, and organisational learning and development. Sue is a past president of the Australasian Evaluation Society and is an internationally recognised expert in program logic and its use to develop and implement robust program planning, monitoring and evaluation frameworks and methodologies. She is a director of her own company, Performance Improvement Pty Ltd, established in 1992.

Mike Williams - Natural Resource Management Facilitation and Strategy Development

Mike is a highly regarded facilitator within a NRM and business planning framework. He has facilitated over 150 high level workshops and forums to assist Australian, State, local Governments, CMAs and NGOs involved in agriculture and NRM policy development and program delivery. His engaging and involving style is well received by workshop participants and delivers impressive strategically focused outcomes. Mike is the director and principal of Sydney-based Michael Williams Associates Pty Ltd.

Janet Mackay - Tourism and Recreational Planning

Janet is a tourism and recreational planning and management specialist. Her sector specialisation is national parks, foreshores, natural areas and catchment management. Janet`s skills include strategic planning for sites and destinations; marketing and promotion; business planning; visitor surveys, monitoring and risk management. Her Berridale (NSW) business, Planning for People, services an Australia wide national park clientele.

Bob Hudson - Broadacre Agriculture and Crops

Bob is a farm management and farming systems analyst with more than 30 years experience. Bob is a founder director of agricultural consultants Hassall & Associates and currently maintains a farm management and strategy consulting business in Quirindi NSW. His business serves the Liverpool Plains and NSW northwest with cropping, farm management and business planning advice. His specialisations include grains, cotton and oilseeds cropping systems.

Bruce Standen - Meat and Livestock

Dr. Standen has a master`s degree in Agricultural Economics and a PhD in Economics from the London School of Economics. Dr Standen was Managing Director of the Australian Meat and Live-stock Corporation for almost a decade. He is currently a director of several companies including the Sydney Fish Market Pty Ltd and an adviser to a number of national and international companies and agencies focused on the red meat industry. His consultancy work has included reviews of Supermarket to Asia, HAL Three-Year performance review and for Livecorp/MLA, the development of a trade marketing strategy in the event of an FMD outbreak in Australia.

Peter Ayres - Fisheries, Food and Environmental Protection

Dr Ayres has a PhD in the interactions between the marine environment, shellfish and public health. He has a lifetime of experience in the Australian fishing sector. Commercial fishing sector experience includes managing two 47-metre tuna long line fishing vessels (crew of 40) in Australian waters and exporting catch to Japan and managing a NSW South Coast oyster farming business. Peter was appointed Chief of the Division of Fisheries when the then NSW State Fisheries was integrated into the NSW Department of Agriculture (now NSW DPI). He is a former section head of the NSW EPA (Local Government Section) and Executive Director, Seafood Branch, SafeFood Production NSW. Peter`s consultancy work has included assignments for the Healthy Rivers Commission, SafeFood Qld and NSW Fisheries in Australia and extensive experience in South East Asia, North America, Europe and the Mediterranean for various industry and Government clients.

Cathy Moore - Policy Analysis

Cathy Moore has worked in human services policy and practice for over 15 years. Formerly a long-standing policy officer for both the NSW and Australian Councils of Social Service, Cathy`s experience in Federal, State and Local Governments complements a decade of work in the non-profit community sector. Cathy has extensive experience analysing public policy and preparing research papers for a wide range of audiences. While at ACOSS, Cathy frequently dealt with a wide range of stakeholders from various sectors, garnering views and building consensus on the best way forward. Cathy has a particular interest in capacity building. Cathy has a Bachelor of Economics from the University of Sydney with Honours in Government.

David Ronning - Economics and Accounting

David Ronning is an economist (University of Sydney, 1982) and CPA with extensive accounting, finance and management experience. Raised on a family farm near Cootamundra, NSW, he has a detailed understanding of management practices covering the grain, meat and wool industries. David has worked with AgEconPlus since 2008 on assignments that include benefit cost analysis for rural Research and Development Corporations and various NSW government agencies. His work for HAL has resulted in a comprehensive understanding of supply chain issues facing Australian horticultural industries. David has also provided financial and accounting advice on industry feasibility studies and has performed extensive spreadsheet modelling and economic costing for GRDC. David understands that at the heart of good analysis is meaningful stakeholder consultation and he takes pride and patience in working with farm and other stakeholders to understand the implications of investment decisions.

John Baker - Horticulture

John has over 30 years experience in fresh fruit and vegetable production and marketing. He currently provides marketing and consultancy services to the global fruit and vegetable industry. Prior to establishing himself as a consultant, John was Managing Director (and previously Marketing Manager) of the Australian Horticultural Corporation, the national statutory marketing authority for the Australian horticultural industry. John is a previous General Manager of the Sydney Wholesale Fruit and Vegetable Markets.

Megan Taylor - Financial Analysis and Research

Megan is a financial analyst with more than fifteen years experience in business review and financial analysis at the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, AMP Financial Services, Optus Communications and AusAid. Megan has recently established here own consultancy and will boost the AgEconPlus team`s corporate financial analysis capacity.

Vickie Marchant - Consultation Logistics and Project Support

Vickie is a highly experienced personal assistant, personnel consultant and training coordinator. In her varied career positions she has been responsible for the organisation and execution of national workshops, seminars and conferences. She is a former PA to the Managing Director of Agribusiness at Ernst & Young and PA to East Asia Regional Manager at Australian Meat & Live-stock Corporation. Her last full time position before joining AgEconPlus was national training coordinator, Hays Personnel.

National and International Associates

Sydney based AgEconPlus is able to offer both Australia wide and international consulting capability through like minded firms including:

EconSearch Pty Ltd - Adelaide based specialists in economic research and analysis for the agricultural and resource industries. Services include project appraisal, regional economic modelling, policy development and review, economic analysis of regions, economic analysis of industries and markets and economic assessment of industry R & D.

Agra CEAS Consulting Limited - London, Brussels and Tennessee based agri-food economic and policy analysis specialists. Established in 1973 at the Imperial College, University of London, Agra CEAS`s numerous studies have helped both public and commercial sector clients to monitor, analyse, assess, evaluate and implement policies and business strategies. Specialisation is in the fields of agriculture, food and drink, rural development, environment and trade.