GAIAC Leadership

Patrick Stephenson, 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

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

Gordon Stone, Treasurer
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.


  • 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.

Grady Coburn, Vice Chairman
Grady Coburn is the owner of Pest Management Enterprises in Louisiana, USA.  He is an
Independent Agricultural Consultant and Contract Researcher and has operated that
business for over forty years (Established in 1975).  Working from the firm’s 150 acre
Research Farm, he and his research staff conduct USDA Regulated Biotech Field Trials,
GLP compliant residue trials (RAC, Decline, Processing, Soil and Water Dissipation,
Bridging, Rotational, Foliar Dislodgeable, Etc.) as well as Efficacy field trials evaluating
Insecticides, Fungicides, Herbicides, Miticides, Plant and Insect Growth Regulants, Yield
Enhancers, Biostimulants, Harvest Aids, Plant Nutrients and Agronomic Varietal Screening
Trials.  He has consulted and/or conducted Independent Research on most commodities
Indigenous to Mid-South USA including but not limited to cotton, corn, pecan, rice,
sorghum soybean, sugarcane, sweet potato, peanut and wheat.

Education, Qualifications and Professional Affiliations:

• B.S. – Agriculture: M.S. – Entomology: Ph.D. – Entomology
• Member and Past President (1978) of Louisiana Agricultural Consultants Association (LACA)
• Charter Member and Past President (1986) of National Alliance of Independent
Crop Consultants Association (NAICC)
• Past President of Foundation for Environmental Agriculture Education (FEAE) – NAICC
• Director of Global Alliance of Independent Agricultural Consultants (GAIAC)
• NAICC Board of Directors 1998-1999
• 40+ years of Applied Field Experience
• Louisiana Cooperative Extension Service – Cotton Pest Management – 3 years
• Licensed & Certified Agricultural Consultant – Louisiana Department of Agriculture
and Forestry
• Certified Professional Crop Consultant and Researcher Independent (CPCC-I, CPCC-R)
•  Member of Louisiana Agriculture Hall of Fame (LACA)

Other Memberships:

• Entomological Society of America
• Weed Science Society of America
• American Soybean Association
• American and Louisiana Farm Bureau
• Chairman – Louisiana Advisory Commission on Pesticides – Louisiana Department of
Agriculture and Forestry

Areas of Expertise:

• Applied Field Research and Consulting
• Integrated Pest Management
• Soil and Water Management
• GLP and Regulatory Trial conduct


Ian Macleod, Immediate Past Chairman
Ian Macleod has over 25 years of experience in agricultural research and development. From a staff of one, based in Devonport, Tasmania Ian has developed and managed an R & D organisation that now operates in all states of Australia and in New Zealand with over 50 members of the team spread between 14 locations. From a role in hands on field research in a range of crops, Ian now focuses on the management of one of Australia’s largest private sector agricultural research organisations.

Ian has headed up Peracto since 1985 and has responsibility for setting and implementing strategic direction and overall company management.

Education, Qualifications and Professional Affiliations:
• Bachelor of Science (Hons, Botany)
• Diploma – Company Directors Course
• Fellow of the Australian Institute of Management (FAIM)
• Graduate Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (GAICD)
• Member of the USA based National Alliance of Independent Crop Consultants (NAICC)
• Chair, Research Education Committee, 2011, 2012 (responsible for organizing the Research program for NAICC annual conferences in Reno, Nevada and Jacksonville, Florida.
• Director of the Global Alliance of Independent Agricultural Consultants (GAIAC)

Areas of Expertise:
• General Management
• Research business administration
• Crop protection research
• GLP quality systems
• Project Management
• Industry funded projects
• Strategic planning
• Training
• Research methodology
• Industry contacts

Fernando (Din Din) Rodrigues Alves Martins, Secretary

Fernando Martins (AKA DinDin), is an Agronomist Engineer and a co-owner of Agroexata, an independent crop consultant company, specialized in precision farming, and in business since 2000. It is the second independent consultant company to use precision farming tools and is now the oldest still working in Brazil, with more than one million hectares sampled.

After graduating, DinDin took care of the family farms in Mato Grosso do Sul, raising beef cattle, and in 2003 joined Henrique Dobashi, his classmate, at Agroexata. He has been working with soil fertility, precision farming and crop consultants ever since, mostly with soybean and corn, but also with a significant variety of crops, including cotton, sorghum, sunflower, garlic, coffee and potato.

DinDin also oversees an internship program for undergrad ag students called PrEA (Agroexata Internship Program), that now comprises more than 70 internships per year, on farms in Brazil and also abroad.

Qualifications and Affiliations:

  • Agronomist Engineer – ESALQ-USP, Agriculture College of University of São Paulo
  • GAIAC Member since 2016
  • Chair of the Brazilian Association of Precision Agriculture Service Providers

Areas of Expertise:

  • Soil Fertility
  • Crop Nutrient Management
  • GPS based Precision Application, Guidance and Sampling Systems
  • GPS/GIS Mapping Services and Management

Bruce Niederhauser, GAIAC Director

Since 20013, Bruce has owned and operated Total Agronomic Services, Inc. (TAS) in Washington, NC
serving as an Agricultural Consultant and Agronomist assisting  22 grower clients in 8 counties on the production of crops over a total of 28,000 combined acres to produce potatoes, snap beans, cotton, corn, wheat and soybeans.  TAS provides services including soil sampling, fertility and lime interpretation, herbicide/insecticide/variety assistance, in-season pest management and also
conducts contract research on farms with three major companies testing efficacy of herbicides, insecticides and fungicides while providing a variety of evaluations.  Bruce was born in Mexico City, Mexico, is fluent in Spanish and married with three children. He enjoys travel, tennis, boating, skiing and photography.


  • 1981 Colorado State University Fort Collins, CO Bachelor of Science Degree in Horticulture
  • Concentration in Vegetable Crop Production
  • North Carolina Agricultural Consultants Association, Secretary/Treasurer and President
  • National Alliance of Independent Crop Consultants, Board of Director 4 years

Areas of Expertise:

  • Agricultural Consultant and Agronomist
  • GIS/GPS technology for the use in variable rate applications of soil and crop applied materials

Greg Whittington, GAIAC Director

Greg Whittington is a Senior GLP Research Agronomist for ICMS in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada. ICMS is a contract agricultural research company that operates across western Canada. Greg has worked for ICMS for 8 years conducting mainly GLP compliant residue trials (RAC, Decline and Processing) and CFIA Regulated Biotech Field Trials. Other trial work includes crop variety trials and efficacy field trials evaluating Herbicides, Insecticides and Fungicides. Greg has conducted research trials on most Western Canadian crops including: Wheat, Barley, Canola, Field Peas, Lentils, Chickpeas, Oats, Quinoa, Flax, Dry Beans and various forage crops such as Alfalfa, Brome grass, Timothy Grass and Rye Grass.
Greg has been a member of National Alliance of Independent Crop Consultants for 6 years and this past year completed the NAICC Leadership Program.


  • Bachelor of Science in Agribusiness from the University of Saskatchewan
  • Member of the Saskatchewan Institute of Agrologists (SIA) P.Ag
  • Croplife Compliance Management Program, University of Saskatchewan
  • National Alliance of Crop Consultants (NAICC) Leadership Program Participant 2018
  • Member of the Leadership Program Committee (NAICC)
  • Board Member GAIAC

Areas of Expertise:

  • GLP and Regulatory Trial Conduct