AgForce to begin search for new CEO as Charles Burke steps down

Beef Central, 19/05/2017

Charles Burke

Charles Burke has announced he will be stepping down as Chief Executive Officer of AgForce in August after almost five years at the helm of the Queensland’s peak livestock and broadacre farming representative organisation.

AgForce president Grant Maudsley said Mr Burke had provided invaluable service, dedication and advocacy on behalf of Queensland’s broadacre primary producers, and said would leave a positive legacy of structural and governance reforms at AgForce.

Mr Burke is a beef producer with cattle holdings near Esk in south-east Queensland and formerly represented AgForce in positions such as Vice President, Treasurer, State Councillor and chair of various committees. He also previously served as the Vice-President of the National Farmers’ Federation and as a Director of NFF Limited.

“On behalf of the entire AgForce Board and all our members, I want to acknowledge Charles’ enormous contribution to AgForce and to all of agriculture over many years, and wish him all the best for the future,” Mr Burke said.

Mr Burke said he was proud of his achievements as AgForce CEO and it was now time to move on to allow for a fresh approach to guide the organisation through its next chapter.

“When I started as CEO in October 2012, AgForce did not have a strategic plan, an operational plan or a plan for structural improvement and I implemented a process to address all these issues and make the most of the key capabilities AgForce already had,” he said.

“AgForce now has a more modern, corporate structure with a smaller, more nimble governing Board that allows for more functional and timely decision making.

“While this structure has many features of a modern Board, such as improved governance and a strategic focus, it still maintains the core values of an agricultural membership organisation focused on delivering better outcomes for primary producers and rural Queenslanders.

“It is now the right time to step aside, acknowledge the building work that has been done, and allow for someone with a fresh approach to capitalise on these achievements.”

Mr Maudsley said the AgForce Board would begin the search for a new CEO shortly, with Mr Burke to stay in the role for the next three months to allow for a comprehensive recruitment process and ensure a smooth transition.

Queensland Agriculture Minister Bill Byrne issued a statement praising Mr Burke’s honesty, integrity and advocacy.

“Mr Burke has been a fantastic advocate for Queensland producers and a great champion for the agriculture sector,” the Minister said

“He has demonstrated a tremendous capacity to work with everyone for successful outcomes and his achievements are a testament to his hard work, honesty and integrity.

“I have relied upon and trusted his advice on a wide variety of issues including rural debt, drought, cyclone and flood recovery, and the implementation of the new biosecurity legislation.

“I worked with him on the removal of stamp duty on intergenerational farm transfers and it is hard to imagine anyone doing a better job on behalf of Queensland’s farmers.

“On behalf of the Palaszczuk Government I’d like to thank him for his leadership and wish him every success for his future endeavours.”

Source: AgForce, Qld Government



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  1. Greg McNamara, 19/05/2017

    I think it is also timely to recognize the contribution of Rachael Fraser (CFO of the time) who did most of the ground work on the strategic plan, operational plan and the recent restructure of the AgForce board.
    Her attention to detail and capacity to see the big picture was a great contribution to the AgForce membership.

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