Members elect John Said and re-elect Michael Nixon and Victoria Taylor to the Hort Innovation board

(l-r) John Said, Victoria Taylor and Michael Nixon

(l-r) John Said, Victoria Taylor and Michael Nixon

One new and two returning board directors have joined the grower-owned research and development corporation for Australian horticulture, Hort Innovation.

At the organisation’s annual general meeting, voting members elected John Said and re-elected Michael Nixon and Victoria Taylor to the Hort Innovation Board. Julie Bird was later re-elected as chair by the new board, and Victoria Taylor was elected as deputy chair.

Bird said the new board directors join Hort Innovation at a historical time for the organisation.

“In the backdrop of our recently unveiled 2024-2026 Strategy, which outlines our vision of a prosperous and sustainable Australian horticulture industry built on innovation, we warmly welcome our new and returning Board Directors,” she said.

“Our commitment lies in extracting value from the investments we make, ensuring benefits for all levy payers. The strategic guidance provided by our new and returning Directors will be instrumental in driving Hort Innovation toward achieving this overarching goal.”

The elected directors bring a wealth of experience and skills to the role.

Said has established and successfully managed a thriving fresh produce company for the past 30 years developing great strength in strategy and business management. Said is an experienced board chair and director, servicing national and global horticultural associations.

Nixon was first appointed to the board in 2020 and is passionate about Australian horticulture and innovation. He grew up in agriculture, with his family farming sheep, cattle and wheat. Nixon previously owned and grew a broad range of horticultural crops as part of his Carnarvon-based business, River Lodge.

Taylor was first appointed to the board in 2020 and has more than 20 years’ experience in agricultural policy, governance and communications. Taylor is an experienced board member, being the current chair of the Rice Marketing Board for New South Wales, chair of the Centre for Entrepreneurial Agri-Technology at the Australian National University, and a non-executive director of WaterNSW.

Bird said the board looked forward to working with the new directors, Hort Innovation’s teams, delivery partners, and growers.

“We welcome our new and returning directors and look forward to the skills and knowledge they will bring to the role, along with a desire to make a lasting impact through Hort Innovation’s work,” she said.

Bird also acknowledged the work of outgoing Hort Innovation board director Paul Harker and thanked him for his contribution to both Hort Innovation and the broader Australian horticulture industry.