General Manager, Branson Farms. Founding Member & Former President, SPAA
Owner manager of ‘Branson Farms” a 1200ha mixed farm at Stockport, 80km North of Adelaide. The farm grows Wheat, Barley, Canola, Field Peas, Faba Beans, Lentils, and breed fine wool merino sheep that run on cereal and legume pastures.
He went to Roseworthy Ag. College where he graduated with a Bachelor of Applied Science in Agriculture.
He purchased a yield monitor for his header in 1997 and has been yield mapping since then. He took up Controlled Traffic in 2004 becoming one of the first South Australian farmers to take on the system and operates on the same Controlled Traffic lines today.
In 2002 he was a founding member of and ex-president of SPAA – Society of Precision Agriculture Australia, ex-president SA Crop Science Society. He is also on GRDC’s High Rainfall Regional Cropping Solutions committee.
In 2005 he was awarded a Nuffield Scholarship where he travelled the world for 18 weeks looking into Precision Agriculture, Conservation Agriculture, their profits and effects on the environment. After the scholarship Mark has been adopting new farming system techniques learnt from his scholarship. Branson Farms is now CSIRO’s feature “Future Farm” for the Southern Region of Australia.
Mark is one of the leading farmers into the adoption of new cropping technologies in Australia and talks at many conferences on technology in annual rainfed cropping systems including being asked by the Chinese government to talk at the Yangling Agricultural High Tech Fair in 2007, and one of two farmers to speak at the World Congress in Conservation Agriculture in Brisbane in 2011. He recently spoke at the International Tri Conference in Precision Agriculture in New Zealand 2017.