Dairy NSW Board of Directors

Dairy NSW is a company limited by guarantee run by a skills-based Board of Directors. The Board is made up of:

  • Four directors who are dairy farmers with diverse farming system backgrounds and from diverse geographic Dairy NSW regions
  • Two directors with specialist skills and experience in business, governance and industry

All Board members have a substantial dairy farmer contact base.

The Board meets bi-monthly to chart the direction and policies of Dairy NSW. The Board acts in accordance with the Dairy NSW constitution and the law in aiming to create and build substantial value for the dairy industry through the setting of effective strategies and financial objectives for the organisation.

The Board's charter is implemented and managed by the Regional Manager who acts as Company Secretary to the Board.

Review the Board's Annual Activity Report and Annual Operating Plan below.

Find out about current Dairy NSW programs on offer and register for upcoming sessions.


  • Dairy NSW Annual Report 2020-2021

    PDF3.62 MB
Dairy NSW
James Neal

James Neal is a fifth generation dairy farmer. For the past 10 years he has been milking 700 cows on the family dairy farm on Oxley Island, near Taree on the mid-north Coast. He has extensive agricultural research, development and extension skills having worked for the NSW Department of Primary Industries. He has also completed a PhD at the University of Sydney investigating forage water-use efficiency. Given the persistently dry conditions over the last few years, this knowledge has proved invaluable for growing and utilising pasture as efficiently as possible, which has been critical in remaining profitable at a time when cost increases are generally much greater than milk price increases. 

To improve uptake of research locally, James has been involved in on-farm research demonstrations to improve pasture production in autumn when forage is most limiting and alternative feeds are expensive.

    Dairy NSW
    Andrew Smith
    Deputy Chair

    Andrew is currently the Dairy Manager of Moxey Farms, Gooloogong, and is a registered veterinarian, graduating with first class honours from Charles Sturt University in 2018. Andrew has a passion for the profitability, sustainability and growth of dairy businesses, growing up in a family dairy business and dedicating his tertiary education to building a strong grounding in dairy production. This included time spent studying in both New Zealand and the United States.

    Andrew brings with him innovative ideas, endless enthusiasm and a genuine passion for the prosperity of the dairy industry. His vision for Dairy NSW is to provide quality extension to farmers, support valuable and targeted research and drive a culture of continuous improvement amongst the NSW farmer group.

      Dairy NSW
      Dimity Smith
      Industry Director

      Dimity Smith joins us as an Industry Director. She is an engagement psychologist, communications, events & engagement specialist based in Tamworth in rural NSW. Dimity has worked for the past 12 years as a registered psychologist across corporate allied health, rural women's development, human resources and marketing, specifically engaging with rural women and agricultural audiences across Australia. Dimity has held a previous board role and multiple leadership roles which have built her skills and expertise in corporate governance, the equine industry, communications, and agricultural innovation.

      Dimity is the daughter of dairy farmers from Scone, NSW. Whilst being based in Tamworth, she plays a significant role in supporting her family behind the scenes as they navigate the ever-changing dairy industry. She has a strong passion for Australian agriculture as a result of her upbringing, and has a real motivation for helping agricultural businesses and organisations move into the future with innovation, great communications, diversity and supportive workplaces. Dimity is really looking forward to joining the board of Dairy NSW and meeting farmers and stakeholders from across the state from October 2021.

        Dairy NSW
        Graeme Hollis
        Independent Director

        Graeme Hollis is endorsed as an independent, skills-based director with specialist skills in corporate governance and business affairs, directly address the priorities of the board as identified by the skills matrix process. Graeme holds a Bachelor of Rural Science (Hons), a Masters of Sustainable Agriculture, a Masters of Business Administration and numerous short course qualifications in strategic planning, leadership and organizational effectiveness. Graeme is currently the Director of Business Services for Invetus Pty Ltd following a career in Agribusiness and Finance.

        Graeme presents as a dedicated professional with a track record in finance and more recently governance within the private sector, as well as having a broad experience across multiple agricultural sectors. Graeme has a strong understanding of the culture of the dairy industry, and has excellent professional, interpersonal communication, and strategic thinking skills.

          Dairy NSW
          Andrew Farr
          Farmer Director

          Andrew Farr is endorsed as a Farmer Director of Dairy NSW. Andrew operates a 320-cow dairy farm at Singleton in the Hunter Valley through a leasing arrangement, giving him eligibility for this position and bringing diversity in geographic location and ownership structure to the board. Andrew demonstrates a thorough understanding of DNSW, it’s priorities and projects. He has a breadth of understanding of the challenges that farmers face and presents as a good listener and a sound thinker. The selection committee is confident that Andrew can make a positive contribution to the board of Dairy NSW, giving strong consideration to the range of farmers and farm systems which the organisation seeks to serve.

            Dairy NSW
            Carissa Wolf
            Farmer Director

            Carissa Wolf joins us as a Farmer Director. Carissa co-owns and manages an 110-cow dryland pasture dairy business on the Mid North Coast established in 2013. Over this time, she has experienced the wide spread of economic and environmental impacts the NSW dairy regions have faced, together with the challenges of a first-generation farmer. Her regional dairy industry involvement includes sitting on the Mid Coast Dairy Advancement Group's Management Committee since 2015 and being active in the Mid Coast Women in Dairy group.

            Through her consultancy role, Carissa has brought a corporate background in management accounting, internal audit, and systems experience to support businesses across a wide variety of dairy management systems and dairy-related organisations for more than 20 years.

              Dairy NSW
              Phil Ryan
              Farmer Director

              Phil Ryan joins us as a Farmer Director. Phil owns and manages Hillgrove Dairy, a mostly dryland farm in the Bega Valley. His family have had beef cattle all his life, and bought the dairy in 2007. Phil has managed the farm since 2010 after a career in IT project management and running a pub. Hillgrove is now milking about 250 cows. The herd is a mix of registered Holsteins and Jerseys, with a focus on breeding polled cattle, with strong health traits and high components.

              Phil is a member of the NSW Farmers' Association Dairy Committee, and a member of Dairy Connect. He represents NSW Farmers' Dairy Committee on the ADF National Council, the NSW Dairy Industry Advisory Panel and the Dairy UP Steering and Advisory Board. He is also a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD).

                Dairy NSW
                Tony Burnett
                Skills-based Representative

                Tony joined the Dairy NSW Board in October 2018 and currently sits on the Strategic Direction committee. His unique skill set covers farm management, business ownership and processing experience within the industry. Innovative extension services to help drive on farm profitability is one area of interest for Tony, who is currently the Northern Regional Manager for Dairy Farmers Milk Cooperative. Tony is also passionate about working collaboratively with all industry stakeholders throughout the dairy supply chain to ensure a long-term viability for all participants.

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