Stewart McRae – Chairman
Stewart joined the Hico board in January 2011, being the former General Manager of the Maffra and Gippsland Herd Improvement Co-operatives for 15 years, Stewart resigned in 2006 to take on a full time family farming opportunity. Since leaving the industry in 2006 Stewart has kept active in a large community Sports Club in Sale, as director for ten years also on the Board of ADHIS for five years.
Stewart, wife Nita and their five children live at Nambrok in Gippsland operating three dairy farms, 600 cow herd at Nambrok, 200 cow herd in Sale and a 400 cow herd at Fulham.
Ross Suares – Deputy Chairman
Ross was first elected to the Colac Herd Improvement board in 1997 and became chairman in 2007. Ross is also the vice-president of the Victorian branch of the Holstein-Friesian Association of Australia (HFAA) and a federal delegate of the HFAA.
Ross and his wife Jacqui, farm in Larpent, south west Victoria, at their farm, Calderbrae Their extended family continues to grow as they keep busy with the farm and their ongoing commitments.
Andrew Verboon – Director
Andrew joined the board as an independent director in August 2014 and was elected as a director in August 2016. He comes from the Korumburra region and represents our younger generation of shareholders. Both his parents held director positions on co-operatives and his father, Bill Verboon, is a former director of the dairy milk processor Murray Goulburn and his late mother Leanne was a former director at Hico.
Andrew and his wife Rebecca have two young children and have farmed for over ten years operating a 350 cow farm in Ruby near Leongatha South, with plans to increase their herd size in the near future.
Ross Anderson – Director
Ross joined the Hico board in August 2016. Ross started his career as a carpenter working both interstate and overseas before moving back to the family farm in Denison over 10 years ago. Ross share farms with his parents Graeme and Chris and is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the farm.
Ross bring a fresh approach to the Hico board having spent time out of the industry before returning to the home farm. Ross has gained recent experience participating in Victorian Government agriculture programs and the Murray Goulburn Supplier Consultative Committee and sits as a Director on the GippsDairy Board.
Gary Macfarlane – Independent Director
In August 2014, Gary joined the Hico board as an independent director, bringing with him a wealth of experience in agribusiness consultancy in the areas of strategic review & analysis, business development and governance. He has a Master of Administration and is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
Gary operates a successful business consultancy across a broad range of industries and has previously held senior executive positions in the wool and dairy agriculture industries. Gary lives in Melbourne but travels extensively throughout rural Australia and New Zealand to service clients.
Josh De Jong – Independent Director
Josh joined the Hico board in January 2016, filling a casual vacancy left by Mary Brown who retired later in 2015. Josh was then invited to join the Hico board in October 2016 as an Independent Director. Josh together with his wife Ellie and parents Jos and Winsome run a 450 cow farm at Irrewillipe East in Western Victoria. Josh has a strong passion for the dairy industry and believes strongly in the value of herd testing and artificial insemination for future growth and development of herds.