Australian Soil Planners

piece of paper

Home / About Our Team

About Our Team

Meet Our Team

Matthew Barnes

Senior Agronomist – Northern Australia

Matthew lives on a farm in the Emerald Irrigation Area in Central Queensland with his wife and two daughters and relies on experienced farm staff to operate the day-to-day operations of his farm, which also includes a commercial compost business. Matthew has been involved in agriculture his entire life, growing up near Northern NSW and seeing most parts of the industry through his involvement with his parents’ contract harvesting business. He completed a Bachelor of Applied Science in Rural Technology at the University of Queensland’s Gatton College. Subsequently, he worked as a Sales Agronomist for IAMA Seeds & Grain and Pacific Seeds in various parts of Queensland and the Northern Territory. Before starting his private agronomy consulting business, he merged his clients with those of the already established WA-based ASP business and Martin Hockey. Under Martin’s guidance, Matthew has tested and trialed hundreds and thousands of products and ideas around sustainable agriculture. For the first 15 years, this was very challenging, but much was learned and some concepts were unlearned. These days were character-building to say the least but laid the foundation for the now globally used ASP Sustainable Farming System.

Liz McDonald 

Senior Agronomist 

Liz grew up on a sheep and cattle property north west of Goondiwindi. She studied an Associated Diploma in Animal Production at the University of Queensland Gatton College and then returned a few years later to study a Bachelor of Agronomy.  

Liz lives with her husband and children on a mixed farm west of Inverell NSW.  They enjoy breeding Dorper sheep and growing broadacre crops.  She has worked in the Goondiwindi and Moree area for 24 years and has experience in Dryland and Irrigated crops. She also has experience in pastures and fodder crop production.  She has special interest in soil health and biology and in her spare time she can be found working with her husband on the farm.

  • Bachelor of Applied Science Agronomy
  • Associate Diploma in Animal Production Majoring in Grazing Animals
  • Certificate in Cotton Production 
  • Post Graduate Diploma in Teaching and Learning

Jenny Stanton

Regional Agronomist – Kangaroo Island  

Jenny lives with her husband Will and three daughters on a farm at Stokes Bay on Kangaroo Island in South Australia. She grew up on a farm near Crystal Brook before completing a Bachelor of Agricultural Science at Adelaide University. Jenny spent 10 years as a broadacre agronomist on the Island with Elders Kingscote and the last 5 years as a project officer for Agriculture KI. She has been a voice for farmers on the  GRDC grower network for the high rainfall zone and the KI Landscape Board. In her spare time, Jenny can be found at the beach, in the garden, or reading articles on her favourite topic – the interplay between soil, plant, animal, and human health.

Andrew Johnson

Andrew grew up in various farming communities throughout NSW before settling in Goondiwindi, QLD. He worked on various cotton, grain, and cattle operations in the area, prior to and during his studies for a Bachelor of Agricultural Science (Rural Technology) degree at The University of Queensland, Gatton Campus.

Andrew gained some agronomic experience before exploring diverse career paths, first in horticulture and export sales, then in farm business management.

In 2021, Andrew joined Australian Soil Planners, driven by a shared interest in increasing farm profitability, reducing risk, improving soil health and resilience, and producing a more nutrient-dense and sustainable product.

Andrew enjoys spending time with his wife and daughter, reading, and engaging in outdoor hobbies, including skiing, mountain biking, surfing, and bushwalking with their dogs.

Hamish Verco

Hamish grew up in Bordertown, SA, on his family’s mixed-operation farm, focusing on cropping, sheep, and cattle. He completed a Bachelor of Agricultural Science at The University of Adelaide in 2016 before working as an agronomist in Bordertown for four years, specialising in broadacre crops, pasture, viticulture, and horticulture. He has also gained agronomic experience in compost production and use while collaborating with growers from various sectors to enhance soil health, plant nutrition, system changes, and agronomic practices. Hamish is dedicated to agronomy to assist farmers in cultivating healthy soils and plants, ultimately producing nutritious food and fostering healthy communities and societies. His goal is to contribute to the development of resilient agricultural businesses that are profitable, enjoyable, and beneficial to the natural environment

Logan Smith

Logan grew up in Ongerup, a small farming community located in the Great Southern region of Western Australia. This is where he gained his passion for agriculture and living in rural communities. He completed a Bachelor of Science, majoring in Agricultural Science and Conservation Biology at the University of Western Australia, before embarking on his agronomy career with Elders in the Wheatbelt in 2018.

Logan is enthusiastic about the future of agriculture and the emerging opportunities, especially those focused on sustainability. He is committed to working alongside farmers to enhance their business profitability while reducing their risks and reliance on inputs. By doing so, he aims to maintain their market relevance and ensure that crops and livestock are grown and raised with integrity. He appreciates the science-based, practical approach of ASP, valuing its realness and scalability across all industries.

In his spare time, Logan enjoys playing sports, listening to music, exploring the outdoors, travelling, and unwinding with a nice cold beer.

Lleyton Cave

Lleyton is a trainee agronomist with ASP, based in Emerald, Queensland. He studied a Bachelor of Agricultural Science at The University of Queensland Gatton campus, graduating in 2022.

Born and raised in Emerald, Lleyton enjoys working in agriculture to help farmers achieve sustainability.


Join Our Growth: Cultivating Futures Together

We’re in the business of growing futures. Here, you’re part of a vibrant team committed to positive change, where every role plays a critical part in advancing sustainable practices. Grab the chance to develop, pioneer, and excel within a culture that cherishes your skills and visions for a greener tomorrow. Let’s redefine the landscape of agriculture.