Beef Australia unveils esteemed panel of Pitch In The Paddock judges

Published 20 March 2024

Media release

Beef Australia, the premier beef industry event, is thrilled to announce the distinguished panel of judges who will preside over the highly anticipated evokeAG Pitch In the Paddock event at Beef2024.

This event, slated to take place on Wednesday, 8th May 2024 promises to showcase groundbreaking innovations and ideas in the beef industry, providing a platform for forward-thinking entrepreneurs and industry leaders.

The esteemed panel of judges comprises a diverse group of experts, each bringing a wealth of experience and knowledge to the evaluation process and highly competitive competition.

The judges for the evokeAG Pitch In the Paddock Event at Beef2024 are:

  1. Julia Spicer OAM, Queensland Chief Entrepreneur
  2. Robert Bell, Co-founder and Chief Technical Officer, ProAgni
  3. Harriet Mellish, General Manager of Global Innovation Networks, AgriFutures Australia
  4. Duncan Ferguson, Head of Venture Growth and Investment, Farmers2Founders
  5. Mark Allison, CEO, Elders Limited

Beef Australia CEO Simon Irwin said he is honoured to have such a distinguished panel of judges for the evokeAG Pitch In the Paddock event.

“The judges’ collective expertise and industry insights will ensure a fair and comprehensive evaluation of the innovative pitches that will be presented by our eight finalists at Beef2024”, said Mr Irwin.

“The evokeAG Pitch In the Paddock event is a unique opportunity for entrepreneurs, startups, and innovators to showcase their groundbreaking ideas, products, and technologies that have the potential to shape the future of the beef industry.

“The eight finalists, announced in January 2024, will have the chance to pitch their innovations to the panel of judges, receive valuable feedback, and compete for a $10,000 cash prize.

“Beef2024 is set to be a landmark event, bringing together industry leaders, stakeholders, and innovators from around the globe.

“The evokeAG Pitch In the Paddock event is just one of the many highlights that demonstrates Beef Australia’s commitment to fostering innovation and driving positive change in the beef industry, and we thank our judges for their time and expertise in helping us achieve this”.

Federal Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Murray Watt said Pitch In The Paddock would deliver fresh ideas.

“Beef is well-known for being a great day out for a lot of families, but of course it’s also an important event that provides major opportunities for people in the industry to drive it forward,” Minister Watt said.

“Pitch In The Paddock is the perfect place for start-ups, developers, innovators and inventors to showcase their talent to a panel of industry experts.

“Innovation is key to ensuring our agriculture industries remain sustainable and competitive now and into the future.

“I look forward to seeing the panel at work and the 8 Pitch In The Paddock finalists as they go head-to-head in May.”

AgriFutures Australia General Manager of Global Innovation Networks Harriet Mellish said that this collaboration highlighted AgriFutures unwavering dedication to nurturing agrifood tech and innovation startups.

“At AgriFutures, we are committed to supporting the development and export of agritech and innovation, as well as supporting producers to access and adopt these technologies and innovations.

“Our advocacy for Pitch In The Paddock, in addition to our own programs, supports our ambitions, for these startups pitching, as well as the producers attending the event.

“I’m thrilled to be part of the judging panel alongside Julia Spicer OAM, Robert Bell, Duncan Ferguson and Mark Allison,” said Ms Mellish.

Read more about the evokeAG Pitch In The Paddock finalists and judges at the link –

Find our more about the eight finalists at the link –

The evokeAG Pitch In The Paddock event will take place at Beef2024 on Wednesday, 8th May from 1pm – 3pm. Tickets can be purchased at

Beef Australia is proudly presented by the Australian Government and the Queensland Government.


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