20 September 2022.

AgForce General President Georgie Somerset is celebrating an election win today, following a hotly contested leadership battle.

Mrs Somerset, who has held the position since 2018 and had never been contested before, faced tough competition from AgForce Cattle Board President William Wilson, who threw his hat into the ring for the first time this year.

A beef cattle farmer from Durong, she said she was proud to be able to continue to represent AgForce’s 6,500 members and thanked them for their support.

“It is more important than ever that agriculture is valued as we navigate global pressures, biosecurity threats to our industries, and a climate conscious community,” she said.

“In order to do this, we need a strong industry organisation that can represent members effectively on issues beyond their individual control.

“Going forward, I am looking forward to serving our industry, and will continue to build connections between urban and rural Queensland.

“I am determined our members will be heard and I will represent every single one of them now and into the future.”

Following his defeat, Mr Wilson will be standing down from the AgForce Cattle Board, after four years as Director and four years as President.

He said he was grateful for the chance to contest AgForce’s General Presidency.

“I thought the opportunity to move into the general role was timely and created an opportunity for change,” he said.

“After a close election I am pleased to see the members have voted and allowed the leadership to move into an exciting future for Queensland producers of cane, cattle, grain, and sheep and wool.

“I have really enjoyed my time as an elected and hope we were able to make a positive change for cattle members.

“I’d like to take this opportunity to wish AgForce all the very best for the future.”

AgForce North Queensland Cattle Director Peter Hall is excited to step into Mr Wilson’s shoes as Cattle Board President.

Meanwhile, the Cane Board also welcomes new leader Russell Hall (replacing Cane President Ricky Mio, who chose not to renominate), and AgForce’s Southwest Sheep and Wool Director Stephen Tully takes over as new Sheep and Wool Board President, replacing Mike Pratt (who also chose not to renominate).

Grains Board President Brendan Taylor will continue in the role.

As AgForce continues to grow in size and influence there is no secret to the foundation of its success. 

The voluntary membership organisation has, at any one time, more than 100 of its members volunteering their time and knowledge to policy development and advocacy work.

AgForce Nomination, Remuneration and Culture Committee Chair Kelly Ostwald thanked members for their strong participation in the voting process.

“Over the years AgForce has had the privilege of some incredible leaders in the General President role,” she said.

“In a testament to the strength of the organisation, we have just experienced a contested election with two leaders prepared to commit to the long hours and challenges of the General Presidency of Queensland’s peak agriculture industry body. For that we are extremely grateful.

“I would like to congratulate Georgie for winning another successful term, and wish Will all the very best for his future endeavours.”

Full election results available here.



Media comments: AgForce General President Georgie Somerset 0428390984, AgForce NRCC Chair Kelly Ostwald 0438 232 671, or AgForce CEO Michael Guerin 0488 002 092.