Australian Grain Technologies (AGT) has appointed Dr Haydn Kuchel as its new chief executive officer.

AGT appoints Dr Haydn Kuchel Chief Executive

Dr Kuchel has been AGT’s general manager of research and development since 2010 and will take up his new role immediately. He replaces Dr Steve Jefferies, who has become managing director of the Grains Research and Development Corporation.

In making the announcement AGT chairman Michael Iwaniw said he was very pleased with Dr Kuchel’s appointment after receiving much interest in this role from highly qualified people within Australia and internationally.

“AGT is going through an exciting period of growth and development: consolidating our competitive edge in wheat with the recent release of our new variety Scepter, the addition of both barley and lupins to our breeding effort, and a range of other plans in formation,” Mr Iwaniw said.

“AGT has made its name as a successful wheat breeding company producing outstanding varieties and is moving into other crops in a market that constantly demands greater performance.

“The international interest in joining this company is a testament to that success and we were looking for someone with the drive to meet and exceed those performance levels.

“After extensive and thorough consideration of all candidates it was clear to us that Haydn’s ability to combine his knowledge as a plant breeder with his financial and management skills, plus his ideas and understanding as a leader, made him the ideal person to take the organisation forward.

“AGT is a highly technical business that values innovation and scientific excellence however it is also a place that relies on teamwork, business skills and close identification with our market mission: providing agronomically sound crop varieties with highly valued quality characteristics for Australia’s grain growers.

“Haydn joined AGT as a young wheat breeder in 2002 and has risen through the organisation on the strength of his achievements.

“On behalf of the AGT board I congratulate Haydn on his appointment and look forward to working with him,” Mr Iwaniw said.

Haydn Kuchel biography key points:

  • 2002 Bachelor of Agricultural Science, University of Adelaide
  • 2002 Wheat breeder at newly-formed AGT, appointed senior wheat breeder 2006
  • 2008 Doctor of Philosophy in molecular plant breeding, University of Adelaide
  • 2010 Advanced Management Program at University of Melbourne
  • 2010 appointed general manager of research and development at AGT
  • 2016 appointed chief executive officer at AGT

Current additional roles:

  • Since 2008 – Affiliate lecturer in plant breeding, University of Adelaide
  • Since 2015 – Science Advisory Panel, Pastoral Genomics (New Zealand)