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Meet the VegNet Team

Matthew Plunkett

Matthew has more than 20 years' experience in agricultural extension with specialist skills in irrigation management. He recently led the national extension component of the Horticulture Innovation funded project Review of Current Irrigation Technologies in partnership with NSW DPI and Irrigation Australia Limited.

Matthew has worked on community engagement and targeted best management practice projects with vegetable growers in the Riverina and Greater Sydney regions. His role involves working with many culturally and linguistically diverse communities. Through the VegNet project Matthew is focused on promoting precision horticulture, irrigation system efficiency, water disinfection, soil health, protected cropping and increasing the adoption of integrated pest management strategies.

Peter Conasch

Peter has more than 20 years' experience working in the irrigation / water industry and providing whole farm advice. He has developed numerous best practice demonstration sites for water and nutrient use efficiency in field and greenhouse horticulture. Most recently, Peter has been managing demonstration trials to evaluate the benefits of different compost blends in vegetable production and organising variety trials for a number of seed producers.

Sonia Lee

Sonia has worked with farming communities for more than 15 years and has an extensive background in farm sustainability with a focus on soil management. She also has a lifetime of personal experience in sustainable food production from vegetable and tree crops through to chickens, lambs, pigs, cattle and dairy. Her current role on the Central Coast as Sustainable Farming Development Officer focuses on servicing the needs of local growers via field days, info sessions and providing linkages to expertise in Local Land Services, NSW DPI and industry.

Bill Dixon

Bill has more than 20 years’ experience in regional management including community engagement, total catchment management and sustainable agriculture. He has a particular interest in the landscape approach through managing the interrelationships between agriculture, urban areas and natural areas. His main role in the VegNet project is in planning, project management and reporting.

Renee Pearson

Renee performs an important role in the NSW VegNet project as first point of contact in event management and logistical support. She has considerable experience in assisting extension to the agricultural sector having been involved in the Nutrient Smart Farms and Water Smart Farms in the Hawkesbury Valley under the National Water Initiative.