GAIAC Leadership

Gordon Stone, Chairman
Gordon is the owner and founder of the Agri-Business Development Institute, a private consulting business which mentors farming, grazing and service industry business owners, managers and leaders through their business expansion plans.  He is a master facilitator and business strategist.

ABDI’s direct consulting and group business development programs focus on the ABDI 12x Pillars of business growth.

Clients operate throughout the Australian grains, cotton, horticultural, irrigation and livestock sectors.  They include small to medium enterprises, national agribusinesses and public sector organisations.  Team members also trouble shoot businesses with growing pains or to resolve internal problems – and more recently, looking to export globally from Australia.

Gordon has managed a national program attracting young people into agriculture and specifically a young cotton professionals program.  Prior to this role, his focus was on ‘delivering research results to farmers’ working with national R&D corporations and multinationals.

He is co-director of QualDATA, a company that evaluates the effectiveness of R&D programs.

Qualification/Affiliations:

  • Bachelor of Applied Science (Biology)
  • Member: Asia Pacific Extension Network
  • Board Member: GAIAC
  • Committee Chair: NAICC International Outreach Committee
  • Adjunct Associate Professor – International Centre for Applied Climate Sciences, University of Southern Queensland

Areas of Expertise:

  • Group Facilitation
  • Managing Change
  • Business Mentoring/Coaching – of Business Owners through Business Expansion
  • Business Strategy Development
  • Client and Industry Engagement
  • Corporate Presentations
  • Extension of R&D Results
  • Maximising the role of the Private Sector in R&D Adoption
  • Evaluating the Effectiveness of Projects and Programs – Including ROI.

Patrick Stephenson, Past Chairman
Patrick has been a practicing Independent Agricultural Consultant for over 25 years. He has worked in East Anglia, the East Midlands and for the last 20 years in the North of England. His company provides advice on 8,000 ha of combinable crops and he is the Northern Regional Agronomist for the NIAB TAG group. In 2003 he was awarded the Reed publishing ‘Agronomist of The Year’ and in 2007 ‘The Arable Advisor of the Year’. He is a past Chairman of the Association of Independent Crop Consultants and is currently a serving board member of the Global Alliance of Independent Agricultural Consultants. –Crops he advices on are Wheat, Barley, Oats, Canola, Beans, Peas and Linseed.
Patrick is current owner of Patrick Stephenson Limited and Arable advisor.com

Education, Qualifications and Professional Affiliations:
• Honors degree in Agriculture from Newcastle University.
• Certified member of the BASIS professional register.
• Certified member of the FACTS fertilser accreditation Scheme
• Soil and Water Diploma
• Biodiversity and integrated pest management diploma
• Treasurer of the Global Alliance of Independent Agricultural Consultants (GAIAC)
• Member and Past Chairman of the Association of Independent Crop Consultants (UK)
• Member of the executive board for UK Professional Agricultural Development (BASIS)

Areas of Expertise:
• General Management
• Crop Nutrient Management
• Integrated Pest Management and Crop Protection
• Soil classification
• GPS/GIS Mapping Services and Management
• Crop Research: Efficacy, Varietal, and Nutrient Strip Trials
• Planning and development
• Professional Training and Guest Speaking

Al Averitt, Secretary/Treasurer
Al Averitt has operated as an independent production agricultural consultant and researcher for over 27 years in southeastern North Carolina and eastern South Carolina in the United States serving large family farms in some of the most productive agricultural counties of the southeast. Al has worked alongside national and state governmental agencies, land grant university personnel and non-profit research organizations on numerous projects. Al has also owned and operated a farm (North Carolina recognized Centennial Family Farm) for 20 years and an ornamental tree nursery for 11 years. Some of the crops that he has provided pest and nutrient services and research for include: cotton, flue-cured tobacco, sweet potato, soybean, wheat, grain sorghum, corn, melons, strawberries, cucurbits, and turfgrass.
Al is the president and owner of Protech Advisory Services Inc. and Back Road Farms Nursery.

Education, Qualifications and Professional Affiliations:
• Associate of Science, Field Crops Technologies (NCSU)
• Associate of Science, General Agronomy (NCSU)
• Biology, core curriculum completed for BS per USDA (PSU)
• Licensed Agricultural Consultant by the North Carolina Department of Agriculture
• Certified Professional Crop Consultant- Independent (CPCC-I) by NAICC
• Vice-Chairman of the Global Alliance of Independent Agricultural Consultants (GAIAC)
• Member and Past President of the North Carolina Agricultural Consultants Association (NCACA)
• Member and Past President of the USA based National Alliance of Independent Crop Consultants (NAICC)
• Other Associations member: NC Nursery and Landscaper Association, Crop Protection Association, NC Turfgrass Association

Areas of Expertise:
• General Management
• Crop Nutrient Management
• Integrated Pest Management and Crop Protection
• Global GAP and GAP Audit Services
• GPS/GIS Mapping Services and Management
• Crop Research: Efficacy, Varietal, and Nutrient Strip Trials
• Agricultural Equipment Design, Setup, and Calibration
• GPS based Precision Application, Guidance and Sampling Systems
• Professional Training and Guest Speaking