Fer­tiliser to farm switch for chief

Albany Extra - - News - Cally Dupe

The man se­lected to lead the State’s largest agri­cul­tural ad­vo­cacy group says he can­not wait to sink his teeth into the new role.

WAFarm­ers made a sur­prise an­nounce­ment at its Heart of WA Ball last Fri­day night, an­nounc­ing Trent Kensett-Smith as its new chief ex­ec­u­tive.

The for­mer El­ders Nar­ro­gin area man­ager and Koch Fer­tilis­ers State busi­ness man­ager will start at WAFarm­ers next Tues­day.

He re­places Stephen Brown, who left in Au­gust af­ter his fixed three-year term ended.

Mr Kensett-Smith was not avail­able for in­ter­view this week, but said in a state­ment he was look­ing for­ward to tak­ing the reins.

“I have moved through roles with larger and smaller com­pa­nies in the agribusi­ness sec­tor on both sides of the coun­try in lo­ca­tions in­clud­ing Dal­wallinu, Mel­bourne, Hy­den, South­ern Cross and Nar­ro­gin,” Mr Kensett-Smith said.

“I am look­ing for­ward to mov­ing ahead with WAFarm­ers and be­ing part of the ex­cit­ing times we as an industry and as in­di­vid­u­als have in front of us.”

Mr Kensett-Smith most re­cently worked at Koch Fer­tiliser Aus­tralia as its WA busi­ness man­ager, but was made re­dun­dant in July when the com­pany left the WA mar­ket.

The Al­bany Ad­ver­tiser un­der­stands there was a high num­ber of ap­pli­ca­tions for the chief ex­ec­u­tive po­si­tion from a range of in­dus­tries.

Ms Kensett-Smith was born and raised in New South Wales, where he grew up on a fam­ily farm which pro­duced mod­est herds of cat­tle, ran sheep for prime lamb pro­duc­tion and cropped ir­ri­gated crops and pas­ture.

He stud­ied a Bach­e­lor of Science in Agri­cul­ture at the Univer­sity of Syd­ney and, af­ter a brief stint in hor­ti­cul­ture, launched a ca­reer in broad­acre agron­omy.

WAFarm­ers pres­i­dent Tony York said Mr Kensett-Smith was a stand-out ap­pli­cant.

“Trent demon­strated out­stand­ing lead­er­ship and prob­lem-solv­ing ca­pa­bil­i­ties and proved him­self to be both knowl­edge­able of and com­pas­sion­ate towards the WA agri­cul­tural industry,” he said. “With his lo­cal and in­ter­state ex­pe­ri­ence in agri­cul­ture, we an­tic­i­pate that he will drive the or­gan­i­sa­tion for­ward with gusto and help us con­tinue to work towards a more vi­able, prof­itable and sus­tain­able fu­ture.”

Mr York had pre­vi­ously said WAFarm­ers would take a more com­mer­cial di­rec­tion in the fu­ture, which in­cluded build­ing on its WAFarm­er­sFirst milk and egg brands.

Pic­ture: Aaron Ver­yard

Trent Kensett-Smith

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