OUR STAFF

 

James DeBarro

James De Barro has consulted to the agricultural industry since 1989 and is widely regarded as one of Australia's premier 'thinkers' in agricultural production and regional needs.

Through his professional career he has refined his knowledge of lucerne seed production and irrigated crop management and irrigation design. He has particular interests in integrated pest management, pollination, soil moisture monitoring and irrigation scheduling.

As an entomologist James has developed and tested numerous concepts relating to pest management and has written and spoken on this topic on many occasions.

James has published a series of wide ranging research reports from research undertaken in a range of crops including lucerne, white clover and olives. In addition James has published research relating to water balances, pest management and seed quality.

Research into the lucerne seed wasp and abnormal lucerne seed have been critical to the high quaility product produced in Australia.

James designed the methodology for the volumetric conversion of water licences the South East of South Australia within his research - 'Dividing the Droplet'. This research gave advocacy to the South East's irrigators for a fair conversion of the area based licences to volume licences.

In 1999 James was awarded a Churchill Fellowship to study the commercial pollination of lucerne in North America. In particular James studied the comparative commercial uses of European honey bees, leafcutter bees and alkali bees to pollinate lucerne seed crops in the USA and Canada.

James is well respected for his advocacy for the irrigation industry and the lucerne seed industry. He is known for sharing his knowledge with his peers and assisting and encouraging new members of the consulting trade.

 

Shane Oster

Shane Oster owned and operated a successful consulting business prior to the formation of The Alpha group in 2007. Shane grew up on lucerne farms firstly in the Langhorne Creek area, then later at Keith. Lucerne hay in small square bales at Langhorne Creek, and then seed production at Keith. After graduating from Roseworthy Agricultural College in 1996 Shane worked at home on his parents farm for a short stint before commencing work with a local consulting firm, Wally Cole & Co.

After working with Wally for four years Shane took over the consulting side of the business which was successfully run for six years before the formation of The Alpha Group.

Shane is married and lives in the Keith township with his wife Kirralie.

 

Ben Farmer

Ben graduated with a Bachelor of Agricultural Science from Adelaide University in 2013 and began work with Alpha Group Consulting full time after working as a Lucerne Scout for three summers. Working as a Lucerne Scout was the inspiration behind Ben choosing to pursue a career in agronomy.

Ben has a passion for developing sustainable agricultural systems. He is particularly focused on integrated pest management, irrigation scheduling and soil health.