What sets Quadrant tours apart is the quality of our tour escorts and hosts. They hail from diverse backgrounds with years of experience and generally have specialist knowledge of their particular subjects. Many Quadrant tour leaders and hosts have international links and hold key positions in industry organisations which means they often provide exclusive access to private visits and have been known to open doors previously inaccessible to others. Through their professional knowledge and experience, they help you to get the most out of your tour and provide you with opportunities to relate what you learn on tour to your own business or interest area. We believe they really do enhance the value of your travel experiences. On a Quadrant tour you get the best of both worlds – professional English-speaking local guides plus expert tour escorts – handpicked by Quadrant to escort you on your journey.
Scott grew up on a sheep property near Winton in Queensland and in Townsville. During a long army career, he served in many parts of Australia as well as overseas. He left the Army to take up a position as General Manager of a Correctional Centre which, in addition to the normal range of activities, included a dairy and irrigated pasture. Scott completed an MBA before taking up management positions in the sugar industry, mining and government. Scott retains a lifetime interest in agriculture and is a director of Quadrant Australia.
Ross graduated with a B.Ag. Sc from Lincoln University, and spent the early part of his career as a Registered Farm Consultant both for the NZ government and in private practice. His work encompassed a broad range of extension activities from livestock, to arable and horticulture in NZ and Scotland. Ross established Farm To Farm Tours close to 30 years ago and has organised group tours for thousands of farmers throughout NZ and to more than 30 countries. His company has worked closely with Quadrant Australia since 1988. Ross is a passionate “people person” and enjoys both travel and agriculture. He has been directly involved in farming and wine grape production and is keen on golf, skiing, tennis and other sports.
Kirstie grew up in the South Island of New Zealand and has been working in her family’s agricultural travel business for a number of years. Prior to this, Kirstie practised law in New Zealand and London. Kirstie relishes the opportunity to ensure tours exceed expectations and she has travelled extensively, including leading agricultural tours to many corners of the globe.
Bryan has over 36 years’ experience in agriculture and public and private sector organisation management. Bryan worked with NSW Agriculture as a Beef Cattle Advisory Officer and in 1997 he was appointed General Manager of the Murray Grey Beef Cattle Society. Bryan currently works as a cattle and beef management consultant and is a director of Quadrant Australia.
James has been with Farm To Farm Tours in New Zealand for six years, bringing to the company a strong agribusiness background. With a B.Agr.Sc. from Lincoln University, he has farmed crops and stock in Mid Canterbury, managed a seed export company and prior to joining Farm To Farm ran his own consultancy providing agronomic and marketing services to primary sector companies. The technical management role at Farm To Farm appeals to him as the ideal combination – continued involvement with the primary sector mixed with travel around New Zealand and the globe leading group tours.
Kirra, a keen campdrafter and Livestock marketer for Fairfax Agricultural Media, grew up on commercial beef operations across northern NSW. Kirra was exposed to the seed stock industry through her grandparent’s Angus and Brangus studs and her family’s Australian Stock Horse stud. This saw her interest and passion for the Livestock industry develop at a young age. Kirra completed a Bachelor of Rural Science at UNE in 2009 and went on to work with Landmark Operations for 3 years in their Performance Horse and AuctionsPlus divisions before commencing her current role at The Land in 2012.
Pete Lewis is a director of Rural & Rugby Tours and Brisbane-based consultancy Way With Words after a 35 year career in broadcast journalism. He’s a former National, Rural and Regional Reporter for ABC News and Current Affairs, foreign correspondent and Executive Producer of ABC-TV’s Landline program. Pete is a representative of the International Federation of Agricultural Journalists (IFAJ), and Vice-President of the Australian Council of Agricultural Journalists (ACAJ).
Mark Lucas, the principal of Pasture Agronomy Service, is a highly-regarded agronomist/consultant based in Tumut NSW. He is widely accepted as an innovator and largely responsible for the adoption of pasture direct drilling and tetraploid ryegrass in southern NSW and Victoria. He is also the co-principal of Reiland Angus at Tumut (founded in 1973), which sells 180 bulls per annum and exports heifers to China and Russia. Over 1400 registered and commercial cows are run to produce feeder steers and breeding females. Mark is well travelled and together with Quadrant Australia, he has led a number of study tours focusing on pasture improvement and cattle, to South America, Russia and New Zealand.
John has had a long and distinguished agri-political career having worked for the Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association for just over 23 years. He has served a range of commodity groups including dairy, pigs, pyrethrum, vegetables and potatoes with a State, National and International profile. John was a regular and much-respected columnist for the Tasmanian Country rural newspaper for many years. He is widely travelled having either led or participated in study tours to England, Scotland, Holland, USA, Canada, South Africa, New Zealand and China.
Australia’s well-known outback photographer and book publisher, Fiona Lake grew up in the Riverina and has lived on a variety of farms and cattle stations. Career highlights including having an exhibition opened by the Governor General of Australia and a ‘Landline’ feature story. Fiona loves travel with a purpose and is looking forward to the great conversations and laughter that will eventuate on the Paddock to Plate Tour to the UK and Ireland.
Bill Dunlop has had a lifetime involvement in the beef industry across all areas of Australia. Bill has been a cattle producer, a general manager and president of breed associations and a breed society world president. This experience has involved pure breeding, cross breeding and composite breeds. Bill has led tours to Eastern Europe, North America, the UK and Australia.
Ron, our New Zealand colleague, has an agricultural science degree from Lincoln University and has worked on farms in New Zealand and Australia. He was formerly a farm advisor in the NZ Ministry of Agriculture (MAF) where he developed a comprehensive program for innovative hill country beef cattle management and consulted widely on land development programmes. Ron established his agricultural tour company, C R McPhail Ltd, in 1992 and has been working jointly with Quadrant for many years.
Fiona was born on a small farm in Scotland and has been involved in agriculture for most of her life. She commenced working in banking but later went back to her first love – agriculture. She is a past Chairman of the Scottish National Sheep Association and a founding member of the British Texel Sheep Society. She also worked with cattle in the role of Development Officer for Simmental UK, as well as with the World Simmental Federation. Fiona is an experienced tour guide working with our colleague company in the UK.
Kees Van Haasteren
Kees is from the Netherlands and began his working career with the Curacao Trading Company in Amsterdam before emigrating to Australia. He immediately became involved in agriculture, ultimately managing a large mixed property in NSW. Kees has an Advanced Diploma in Farm Management and has a keen interest in Landcare and sustainability. Kees combines his foreign language skills (English, Dutch, Spanish, German and French) with his extensive agricultural knowledge, providing a unique resource for the benefit of Australian and international visitors.
Tony Searle has been involved in the NT Pastoral Industry for more than 30 years – including 14 years as manager of Paspaley Rural NT (Melaleuca & Dry River Station).
Through stories and anecdotes, Tony brings firsthand experience to the tour from the years he has spent in the Territory, managing large cattle breeding enterprises, as well as backgrounding cattle for the live export trade. Tony is well connected with all the people we meet and places visited in the Top End and Kimberley.
Dale is one of Australia’s leading producers, trainers and riders winning at all major Royal Shows and has numerous National Titles to his credit. Witty and wise with an excellent sense of humour, Dale will offer participants a fun filled equine experience of a lifetime. Dale has been one of the horse show community’s stellar high flyers for over 20 years. He grew up in Bega and is a talented horseman who has added to his natural flair by working with some of the country’s most famous show horse producers.
Kerry is Quadrant’s Outbound Operations Manager. She grew up in the New England area in NSW and later travelled extensively to five continents and more than 45 countries before commencing work with Quadrant Australia. Kerry is directly involved with our international programs, including co-leading the South American Beef and Agricultural Tour in 2010 and leading the UK & Ireland Agricultural Tour in 2013 and the Farmers Tour to Italy in 2017.
Virginia is the Thoroughbred Editor for The Land responsible for the Thoroughbreds weekly section. She began working on thoroughbred studs in New South Wales and Victoria which led to working with thoroughbred yearlings and broodmares around the world. She spent 18 months in the naming department of the Registrar of Racehorses (within the AJC at Randwick) where all Australian Thoroughbred racehorses are named. Virginia has led successful Thoroughbred tours to the UK and Ireland and the USA, including the legendary 2012 tour where Black Caviar won at Royal Ascot.
Graeme lives in Armidale, NSW and is currently the General Manager of Quadrant Australia. He has been a beef cattle advisor in southern NSW and was formerly CEO of Shorthorns Australia. Graeme has led many beef and agribusiness groups throughout the world and is the current past President of Agricultural Tour Operators International (ATOI).
Ross Keane has led agricultural tours to most continents of the world. As a former Director of JBS and former Chairman of RMAC, he brings a wealth of experience and knowledge of the Red Meat and Livestock Industries particularly, but agriculture generally. His insight into agriculture in foreign countries and how it may affect the Australian Industry are well worth hearing.