Agronomist, Clare, South Australia
GROWTH AWARDS 2015 WINNER: COMMUNITY & PEOPLE
David Heinjus grew up on the farm which he now manages on the edge of the Barossa Valley in South Australia, producing wheat, beans, canola, wool, lambs, hay and straw.
His passion for agriculture was cemented early on, when David took on extensive tertiary education in the field. He holds a Diploma of Applied Science in Natural Resources, a Bachelor of Applied Science and a Master’s degree in Entrepreneurship.
David now runs a successful agribusiness consultancy called Rural Directions.
A key challenge that David has experienced throughout his career, has been finding people with the same values and ethos as the rest of the Rural Directions team. So he started a graduate program within his business designed to help newcomers to the industry develop the technical skills and values he considers most important. Such values include professionalism and the ability to work collaboratively with clients to help develop their operations. This approach has been very successful for David and has created numerous opportunities for tomorrow’s agribusiness leaders.
The development of the graduate program fits with David’s attitude of ‘leadership by example’. David believes it is part of his role in the industry to stay positive about agriculture in Australia and to inspire others.
David and his team also facilitate wider industry benchmarking through a grower group called the Gilbert Agribusiness Group. In addition, David also chairs the National Integrated Weed Management Initiative that provides strategic recommendations to the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC).
David is a finalist in the Community and People category of the Growth Awards for his industry leadership and dedication to developing local talent.