About Us

BACKGROUND

Ag Assist is a farm business management consultancy with multi-disciplinary expertise in rural business. It is based in Toowoomba in the heart of the Darling Downs in Queensland. Clients cover all industries and all regions of Queensland with clients from Richmond in the north to the southern border around Stanthorpe.

Ag Assist’s farm business management consultancy includes a customer base of farmers, and has included agricultural lobby groups, Charities, Govt departments, Non-Government Organisation, (NGOs), and small and large businesses. Ag assist provides event management, mediations, succession and business planning.

On behalf of clients Ag Assist works very closely with service providers to agriculture e.g. Lifeline, Centacare, QRAA, Centrelink, QDAF, LAQ, UQ, USQ, legal, accountancy firms, banks etc.
The business holds all necessary insurances.

SERVICES OFFERED

The services which Ag Assist provides is backed up by almost 50 years of combined staff experience, Rod having 30 years’ experience himself, specialising in succession planning, project management, farm business management services, mediations, negotiations and training. Ag Assist has extensive networks that are accessed as required for speciality skills as required for projects

Services include but are not limited to:

  1. Farm business management advice including “Passing on the Family Farm”.
  2. Business planning, viability and risk assessment, measurement and strategies to cope with the risk and options analysis. Loan and grant applications for farms and businesses.
  3. Large and small project management; cost/benefit analysis.
  4. Workshop development
    • Farm business management training for UQ.
    • Training for volunteers working with farmers.
  5. Coordination of training programs e.g. Building Bridges 2 and 3 with Rural and Remote Mental Health Qld, the Mental Health Community Coordination (Resilient Places) Project for the Qld Alliance for Mental Health and the recent Mates Who Open Gates project.
  6. Mediation preparation.
  7. Export projects
    • Rod Saal has exported meat to Japan as a non-packing meat exporter.
    • Currently is working in Timor establishing butcher shops and has a similar project under review with the Indonesian Govt. for small village level meatworks development in regional towns.
  8. Project planning and marketing.
    • Involved with USQ in GRDC project relating to farmer’s response to risk and their capacity to cope with drought and change.
    • Community capacity and resilience building
    • Completed 2 projects helping farmers and communities recover from the ravages of flood; Building Bridges 2 & 3 with Rural and Remote Mental Health Qld and a Recovery and Resilience project for the Qld Alliance for Mental Health. Geographically these projects ranged form the Lockyer Valley in the East to Mitchell and St George in the West. Whilst being funded under a mental health initiative they involved much one to one work with farmers in all industries.
    • A recent project, Mates Who Open Gates, dealing with farmers struggling to manage drought.
    • Project for Western Downs Regional Council assessing Community Drought Resilience.

 

PRINCIPAL

Rod SaalRod Saal OAM, BAgrSc, JP (Qual), CPAg, Cert IV WA &T, MAIST, MAAAC

Career Highlights

  • Bachelor of Agricultural Science.
  • Livestock and Meat Authority of Queensland managing Livestock Market Reporting.
  • Managing family farm.
  • Queensland DPI - farm financial counsellor.
  • Allawah Consultancy Service based in Millmerran and the Darling Downs.
  • Queensland Program Leader, Extension, in the Queensland Centre for Climate Applications (QCCA).
  • The Bush Connection as a Dairy Support Worker. In early 2002 was appointed Team Leader Rural Services.
  • AgForce 2003-09: applying for and implementing Exceptional Circumstance Drought and EC policy for their members; development of training for farmers.
  • Continued involvement in Farm Business Management and Training Consultancies since 1987.
  • In 2010 awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia, OAM, for services to primary industry, and to the rural community of Queensland.
  • In 2010 established Ag Assist.
  • Past Chairman of the Board of the “Toowoomba Clubhouse”
  • Current board member of the Sisters of Charity Community Care (Aust.).
  • Past Member of the Strategic Leadership panel of Lifelines’, Partners in Recovery Project.
  • 2015: Awarded and AgForce Grains Industry Excellence Award.
  • Appointed an Industry Fellow with the Australian Centre for Sustainable Business and Development at the University of Southern Qld

Memberships/Other qualifications

  • Member of the Australian Institute of Agriculture.
  • Member of the Australian Association of Agricultural Consultants.
  • Justice of the Peace Qualified.
  • Certified Practising Agriculturist.
  • Member of the Australian Society of Animal Production.
  • Professional qualifications relevant to areas of consultancy are regularly updated.
  • Holds all relevant Professional and Public Liability insurances via the Australian Institute of Agriculture.