Overview

More than 40 years experience in providing services to the livestock industry.

The Agricultural Business Research Institute (ABRI) is a company based at the University of New England, Armidale, Australia.

ABRI specialises in servicing the domestic and international livestock industries with a wide range of agribusiness information services.

With a staff of approximately 85 people, ABRI has more than 40 years experience in providing services to the livestock industry. The main products and services provided to clients both domestically and internationally can be seen below:

Hugh Nivison, Managing Director

+61 2 6773 3555
hugh.nivison@abri.une.edu.au

Hugh Nivison was appointed Managing Director of ABRI in October 2015.

A sheep and cattle producer from Walcha NSW, Hugh has most recently been working as an advisor in the Agricultural Investments industry, with operations in Australia and overseas.

Hugh has a Veterinary Science degree from Sydney University and is Adjunct Associate Professor in the School of Veterinary Science at the University of Queensland. He has a high level of corporate experience as a Director of Australian Wool Innovation, a board member of the Australian Sheep Industry Co-operative Research Centre, Chairman of UNE Rural Properties, Director and CEO of Australasian Rural Investments Pty Ltd and Hugh remains Chairman of Australian Farmers Fighting Fund (AFFF).

Hugh’s focus at ABRI is to ensure the connection between ABRI and the end users of our services, primarily breeders and breed societies, remains strong. Hugh is also keen to explore how the expertise and experience developed by ABRI over the last 40 years can be further used to help livestock industries throughout the world.

Key Personnel

Arthur Rickards


Business Development Consultant

Arthur was Managing Director of ABRI from its inception in 1970 until June 2011.

During his career, Arthur was Manager of Australia's National Beef Recording Scheme from 1972 - 2011 and Executive Director of the Australian Registered Cattle Breeders Association (ARCBA) from 1979 - 2011. ARCBA is the peak industry coucil for the Australian beef and dairy cattle breeding industries.

Arthur has led the marketing of ABRI's livestock recording technology into many overseas countries and has been ranked in the top ten of Australia's "movers and shakers" in agribusiness. Arthur received the “Red Meat Achiever of the Year Award” from the Rural Press Group.

Arthur continues as a Business Development Consultant to ABRI.

Steven Skinner

Manager
International Beef Recording Scheme (IBRS)

Steve’s honours degree in Agricultural Economics led him to a seven-year appointment in applied agricultural economic research. He then managed a sheep and cattle property for five years before joining ABRI’s BREEDPLAN team in 1993. He soon became Manager of the ABRI support team for servicing associations which use BREEDPLAN.

Steve is actively involved in conducting GROUP BREEDPLAN evaluations for major clients from Australia, New Zealand and the USA and was Operational Manager of a national project in the Philippines in which genetic evaluation procedures were introduced to beef cattle, buffalo and small ruminants.

In 2010 Steve was appointed as Executive Officer of the Australian Registered Cattle Breeders Association and in 2011 he was promoted to Manager of ABRI’s flagship division, the International Beef Recording Scheme.

Jack Allen

Manager
Other Livestock Division

Jack joined ABRI in 1981 and has extensive experience in the application of BREEDPLAN, GROUP BREEDPLAN, BreedObject, TakeStock® and GeneProb.

Jack has had a major role in the commercialisation of BREEDPLAN within Australia, while also supervising the introduction of BREEDPLAN internationally in Thailand and has made major contributions to the uptake of the technology in South Africa, Namibia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and Argentina.

In 2011, Jack took over management of ABRI’s services to Other Livestock which includes, dairy cattle, sheep, goat, alpaca and horse breeds in several countries.

Erik Ahlefeldt

Manager
IT Systems

Erik undertook his tertiary training in South Africa graduating in 1973. His 37 years of IT experience includes various programming assignments in South Africa and Australia before moving more towards systems management from 1987.

Erik joined ABRI in 1990 as Systems Manager and has seen the servers running ABRI software multiply exponentially throughout many countries. His in-depth knowledge of hardware, software and networking has contributed to ABRI’s dominance in the global market for breed register software.

Erik plays a key role in assisting new clients to bring their servers to a “commercial-ready” state.

Cody Wilson

Manager
Software Development

Since 1998 Cody has been engaged by ABRI on PC software development. The resulting platforms are now used in 12 countries worldwide.

In 2014, Cody was promoted to the position of manager of Software development at ABRI, leading the software development team in embracing latest software development practices and technologies as we move ABRI corporate platforms into the cloud.

These developments take advantage of the latest tools and technologies provided by companies such as Microsoft.

Marcus O'Sullivan

Manager
International Livestock Register Support Team

Originally from Broken Hill, Marcus has always been interested in agriculture. He started out Jackarooing for Pastoral Companies in South Australia and Victoria and again in Denmark via an Agricultural exchange.

Marcus then attended Agricultural College and University and graduated with an honours degree in Agricultural Economics. He began his career working in Management Consultancy in Sydney and New Zealand before moving to Armidale where he has now worked for 25 years with ABRI's International Livestock Registers.

Marcus has been involved in the development, installation, and support of ABRI's International Livestock Registers for breed society clients in Australia, the USA, Canada, and most recently in South Africa, Namibia and Zimbabwe.

Trish Faint

Office & Human Resources Manager
Breed Secretariat Manager

The administration of the ABRI office is capably handled by local New England resident Trish Faint. With extensive rural knowledge from her family's cattle properties to the east of Armidale and many years office administration experience Trish has been Office Manager since 2004.

Trish has been employed at ABRI for over eleven years and has an extensive knowledge of ABRI and our clients.

Trish is also responsible for Human Resources at the ABRI. Trish's organisation skills ensure the company operates smoothly.

Geoff Potts

Manager
Dairy Express

Geoff studied Animal Husbandry at Queensland Agricultural College in Gatton and has spent the last 34 years in various roles in the dairy industry including dairy farming, managing corporate dairies, a dairy nutrition consultant, a Dairy Express herd recorder, a regional agent and since 2006 he has been Operations Manager of Dairy Express.

Geoff has been able to draw on his vast practical experience to enhance the reporting of Dairy Express so that it zeros in on information that increases farm profitability. This, coupled with a fast reporting of results through the internet has allowed Dairy Express to build its user base when most herd recording services are going backwards.

Coenraad Mouton


Company Accountant

Coenraad Mouton, with dual qualifications in Computer Science and Accounting and years of experience gained in the US and Australia. Coenraad is ABRI’s Accountant.

Coenraad has held many positions during his employment with ABRI and most notably was responsible for the management of the Saltbush Software division and their associated range of on-farm software products for many years.