GPSA Directors bring skills, knowledge and experience from many parts of the grains industry, including crop production, research, merchandising, marketing, storage, transport and logistics. The Board determines GPSA policy in consultation with grain growers, farming systems groups and other grains industry bodies. GPSA Directors participate in regular regional and state forums to gain input from all sectors of the industry.

The Board is comprised of seven non-executive directors and its members can also appoint up to two independent directors, as outlined in GPSA’s Constitution.


Adrian McCabe - Chair

Adrian is a grain grower at Hamley Bridge, where he crops wheat, canola, beans and durum. His family has been farming in the Mid North since 1956 and also farms on the western slopes of New South Wales. Adrian was appointed to the GPSA Board in December 2016, holding the position of Vice Chair from 2018. He is a former board member of the Southern Durum Growers Association, a member of Fat Farmers and a previous member of the SA Farmers Federation.

Adrian believes there are a number of key issues for producers which are being tackled by Grain Producers SA. These include the need to invest in country road infrastructure, reduce spiralling grain handling costs, gain access to GM crops and further promote the grains industry as a major contributor to the state’s economy. sdf

Contact Adrian on 0427 973 024 or email

John Gladigau - Director

John is a partner in Bulla Burra, a collaborative farm which crops 8,500ha annually to cereals and legumes in the Northern Mallee region of SA. He is also a 2007 Nuffield Scholar, a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD), and has been a member of the SA Grain Industry Blueprint Steering Committee.

John believes the grains industry is an exciting place to be a part of, but will have many challenges over the next few years. The SA Grain Blueprint will be an important initiative in bringing together all the many different sectors within our industry, and have us working together cohesively and with a shared vision and mission.

Social licence, the perception of farmers and agriculture – along with our capacity to attract, educate and keep a strong agricultural workforce focussed on profitability, sustainability and professionalism is an area that John is passionate about. John brings skills and networks to GPSA which can assist the SA grain industry in telling our story to a non Ag audience, and articulating a clear message around the need for engagement and why we do what we do.

Contact John on 0428 874 315 or email

James Heaslip - Director

In 2016, James decided to move back to his family farm at Appila in the Upper Mid North. As a sixth-generation farmer he is extremely passionate about the agricultural industry and the opportunities it provides. Through his pathway into the agricultural industry he has developed a broad range of professional and technical skills, which will be highly relevant to serving on the GPSA board. James brings sound financial literacy through three years spent working as an external auditor and attaining a Diploma in Chartered Accountancy.

James is currently Vice-President of the Upper North Farming Systems board. James understands the importance of good leadership and has participated in the GPSA Emerging Leaders program which has contributed to this development.  

Contact James on 0429 233 139 or email

Nick Hillier - Director

Nick has operated a mixed family farming busines near Bordertown, in SA’s South East for nearly 30 years. The Hillier farm utilises irrigation and runs 2,000 Merino ewes and a prime lamb enterprise.

With tertiary qualifications in Agricultural Science and his own independent consulting business, Nick brings technical skills and expertise in RD&E activities, and agricultural chemical regulation.

Nick has previous committee and advocacy experience through irrigation associations, including the Zone 5A and 8A Irrigators Association, and has previously serviced in an agricultural policy advisory role to Government.

Agricultural policy advocacy, attracting and retaining young talent, and filling skills gaps are key drivers for Nick in serving on GPSA’s Board.

Contact Nick on 0428 390 771 or email

Dr Steve Jefferies AM - Independent Director

Dr Jefferies previously served as the Managing Director of Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) and has over 30 years’ experience working in the Australian grains industry. Steve was CEO of Australian Grain Technologies, Australia’s largest and market-leading wheat-breeding company, from its inception in 2002 until June 2016.

From 1996 to 2002, Steve was a wheat breeder, barley breeder and senior lecturer at the University of Adelaide. From 1984 to 1996, Steve held positions in research management and ministerial liaison in the South Australian Government.

Steve has also been Chairman of the Australian End Point Royalty Steering Committee, a non-executive director of Birchip Cropping Group and Barley Australia, and a member of the Waite Institute Strategic Leadership Group and the Wheat Quality Classification Council of Wheat Quality Australia.

Contact Steve on email

David Malpas - Director

David operates a mixed farming enterprise with his wife Angela, near Lucindale in the South East, comprised of cropping, sheep and cattle. He is a past member of the SAFF Grains Committee and former treasurer. David has been a member of Grain Producers SA since its inception and would like to see it continue to grow as the voice of the fund contributors. David believes grain producers need an efficient and competitive environment to be able to remain profitable as a farming enterprise. He sees GPSA having a large role in this as the voice of South Australian grain producers, to represent them as a united body to business and governments to drive change for the industry.

Contact David on 0427 058 701 or email

Jared Sampson - Director

After spending time on the other side of the fence working for Elders and Pasture Genetics, Jared returned to the family farm at Warramboo in 2012, growing wheat and barley and running a self-replacing Merino flock. He says GPSA provides the opportunity to contribute to a number of key issues facing the grains industry, particularly land access and transparency of the process involved, which is of considerable importance to not only our local community but the whole industry. With a mix of youth and experience, GPSA will hopefully continue to offer strong advocacy and representation for all growers, while encouraging the next generation to take a proactive approach in developing and promoting our industry.

Contact Jared on 0400 733 494 or email

Wendy Umberger - Independent Director

Professor Wendy Umberger brings a range of skills in board governance, knowledge of global agricultural markets and trade policy, and agricultural extension to GPSA. She is the University of Adelaide’s Professor of Agricultural Economics and Food Policy and Executive Director of its Centre for Global Food and Resources, which focuses on economic issues affecting global food and agricultural value chains. She is the immediate past president of the Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society and she is a director of the International Crops Research Institute for Semi-Arid Tropics – a $55 million international research for development organisation operating in Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. Prior to joining the University of Adelaide in 2006, she was an Associate Professor at Colorado State University and was raised on a beef cattle and cropping property in South Dakota in the United States, where her family still farms.

Contact Wendy on 08 8313 7263 or email

Dion Woolford - Director

Dion farms with his wife Chelsea and his parents near Kimba, cropping 4500 hectares to mostly wheat, barley and vetch for feed and running 5000 sheep under the prefix Karawatha Park. Dion says he is excited by the opportunity to work with the GPSA Board because the issues that GPSA deals with through its policy and advocacy role affects producers throughout SA. He is keen to contribute to the broad range of issues which GPSA covers, such as how supply chain costs affect farmers and the importance of machinery movement and the capacity to operate road trains on EP. Another important issue he believes in is regulation around access to technology, such as genetically modified crops to help boost productivity.

Contact Dion on 0427 323 583 or email