Mick Keogh has made a career out of stimulating thinking and debate around the major issues facing Australian agriculture.
Raised on a southern NSW property, Mr Keogh founded the Australian Farm Institute in 2003 with the view the agriculture sector needs to take responsibility for its own future directions by engaging in objective and credible policy research.
After 15 years as the institute’s executive director, Mr Keogh was appointed as deputy chairman of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission in June.
He will return to southern NSW in September to officially open the 2018 Henty Machinery Field Days.
His long and diverse history of involvement with the agriculture sector has ranged from farm manager and university researcher to agribusiness consultant and agricultural policy advisor.
During his time as executive director of the Australian Farm Institute, Mr Keogh was appointed chairman of the Australian Government panel to review drought support measures.
He was also chairman of the Australian government’s National Rural Advisory Council from 2012 to 2015.
Mick was awarded the Order of Australia Medal for services to agriculture in 2015 and holds Bachelors and Master’s degree in Wool and Pastoral Sciences, both obtained at the University of New South Wales.
He remains involved in the family farming interests in southern NSW.
AFI board chairman David Anthony said the institute, under Mr Keogh’s leadership, had developed a strong reputation for credible and principled policy advice in agriculture.
“Mick has nurtured the organisation from its inception through to its current position as the only independent Australian think tank specialising in agriculture,’’ Mr Anthony said.
The non-profit AFI was established to conduct independent research into public policy issues impacting on the Australian farm sector, and to promote policy solutions maximising the economic and social well being of farmers.
Despite its relative short history, Institute research outcomes have been influential in developing new approaches on a range of agricultural issues by governments.
“The work undertaken by the institute under Mick’s tenure has led to the development of policies benefitting agriculture in areas such as carbon farming and the adoption of digital technology in agriculture,’’ Mr Anthony said.
“As well, research in a variety of policy areas, including trade, competition policy and genetic modification has supported important debates in these areas.’’
Mr Keogh’s role at the ACCC includes involvement on a range of committees, and oversight of the small business, franchising and agricultural units.