A shared passion
Agribusiness expert’s legacy and optimism for GrainCorp’s future
March 18, 2024

Farmer, Company Director and long-standing member of the GrainCorp Board of Directors, Dan Mangelsdorf, has announced he’s moving onto new endeavours after two decades of dedicated service.

Having joined the Board in February 2005, Dan brought a wealth of experience as a grower and passionate advocate for agriculture from West Wyalong, in Central West NSW.

In addition to his role at GrainCorp, Dan is currently a Non-Executive Director for Warakirri Asset Management and is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

His deep understanding of the cyclical nature of agricultural businesses has proved invaluable among his peers on the Board and provided a crucial perspective within corporate decision-making circles.

“The land has always been a big part of my life and has instilled in me a lifelong passion for agriculture and regional Australia.”

“I’ve got a real appreciation for the challenges that people involved in farming face on a day-to-day basis, including the uncertainties of the weather and dealing with whatever Mother Nature likes to throw at us.”

Growing up as the eldest of five siblings on a mixed farming enterprise, Dan’s upbringing instilled a connection to both the land and family.

“From operating machinery, fixing fences, to stock work, there was always a job to be done on a farm. In that regard, I believe it teaches you a great work ethic,” he says.

“I’m blessed to have four beautiful kids and feel very fortunate to have raised them on our farm, so that they too can leverage that connection and learn these sorts of rural life skills as they make their way in the world.”

Dan pictured with his son, Hugo, on the family farm near West Wyalong, in Central West NSW.

His passion for farming life led him to pursue a Bachelor of Agricultural Economics (Hons) from the University of New England – and he’s embraced the challenges and rewards of the agriculture industry ever since.

“Agriculture is a great industry to be in, irrespective of what part of the supply chain you work in.

Personally, I get a lot of satisfaction in being connected to an industry that’s so evidently tangible in its nature and has a holistic purpose – it’s very rewarding.”

Throughout his tenure as a non-executive Director, Dan participated in GrainCorp’s evolution from a bulk handling business to a major player in the global agribusiness sector.

“When I first joined, the company was still finding its identity after consolidating and being listed as a public company, and many of the export grain markets were still regulated,” he recalls.

“However, the deregulation of these markets was on the horizon, and this would be a significant structural change for both the industry and the company, enabling GrainCorp to pivot and connect with growers in a more meaningful way.”

Dan notes that during his time with GrainCorp, there was always a focus on diversifying the business.

“One of the biggest changes included the acquisition of United Malt Holdings. While GrainCorp has since demerged this business unit, it was a transformational acquisition that drove a lot of momentum and, importantly, internationalised the business.

“This acquisition, along with the deregulation of the export grain markets, marked a step-change in terms of connecting GrainCorp with international markets and exporting grain in our own right.

“GrainCorp remains focused on continuing its growth and diversification today, while strengthening its core business, and overall, I believe it’s much more confident in its strategy.”

Dan Mangelsdorf

Looking to the future, Dan is optimistic about the opportunities for GrainCorp and the broader agricultural sector, citing global trends including population growth, demographic shifts, and sustainability as key drivers of opportunity.

“The macro themes around the food and agriculture industries remain very positive – and Australian farmers and agribusinesses are extremely well placed to continue to meet the growing and evolving demands of global markets,” he says.

“As we navigate towards a Net Zero future and embrace broader sustainability initiatives, I’m confident in the Australian agriculture industry’s ability to continue to adapt and innovate.

“I believe it’s essential that we better recognise the role of growers who have been custodians of the land for generations, and their ongoing contributions to sustainability efforts,” Dan emphasises.

“Australian growers have a great story to tell and can readily demonstrate the real and practical steps they take every day to nurture and protect their natural assets, as doing so sustains their businesses and livelihoods.”

GrainCorp Chairman, Peter Richards, expressed his gratitude for Dan’s invaluable contributions to the Board and GrainCorp as a whole.

“Dan’s passion for Australian agriculture has been an inspiration to all of us,” he said.

“We extend our thanks to Dan for his significant contribution and wish him all the success with his future endeavours in agriculture and beyond.”

Dan pictured with his kids (L to R), Hugo, Izzy, Olivia and Joe, at GrainCorp’s AGM in February 2024.

At GrainCorp’s Annual General Meeting in February 2024, Dan bid farewell to the Board, surrounded by his family. He reflected on the camaraderie and friendships forged with colleagues and industry peers as one of the highlights of his tenure.

“I’m very fortunate to have worked with many incredible people at GrainCorp, a number of whom have been great mentors over the years,” Dan says.

“It’s been a great privilege to have made a contribution to GrainCorp throughout such formative years of the company’s development.

“I’m excited for my next steps, both on the farm and continuing my non-executive roles, wherever that takes me.”

Media enquiries.

Sophie Harrison

Corporate Affairs Advisor

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