Home Our Events - Lower Blackwood LCDC Events Ground Cover in Vineyards Workshop & Field Day


Lower Blackwood LCDC
Lower Blackwood LCDC
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  • Jade Killoran
    Jade Killoran
    Agronomist, Healthy Farming Systems

    Jade Killoran is an independent multispecies cover crop advisor and researcher, working in Victorian grazing systems. Jade founded ‘Healthy Farming Systems’ in 2020 and likes nothing better than to be out on-farm, helping farmers trial, adopt, and manage multispecies cover crops. Jade has a strong background in paddock scale research and is extremely passionate about multispecies pastures/cover crops, and their potential benefits for livestock-based farming systems.

  • Dr Mary Retallack
    Dr Mary Retallack
    Viticulturalist & Managing Director, Retallack Viticulture

    BAppSc., PGradDip (NRM), BEd., GradDip (Viti), PCert. (Arb), PhD (Viti/PlantProt), CPAg, MAIA, GAICD, ARLF

    Mary co-founded and manages the National EcoVineyards Program. Mary is also the Managing Director of Retallack Viticulture Pty Ltd which offers a broad range of agribusiness and agroecological consulting services throughout Australia and overseas.

    As an experienced agricultural scientist, agroecologist and third-generation viticulturist, Mary brings a wide range of skills and experience from practical, research, teaching, and consultancy roles and is recognised internationally as a Certified Practising Agriculturist (CPAg).

    Mary has a PhD in viticulture and plant protection and associated tertiary qualifications in conservation and park management, natural resource management, adult education, and arbitration. Mary is a recognised leader in the field of functional biodiversity enhancement. She recently finished PhD studies in this area with a focus on the role of native insectary ground cover plants and measurement of their functional biodiversity benefits by assessing the predatory arthropods found in association. She is also an adult education extension specialist with tertiary qualifications in education.

    Mary has published broadly on the topics of native ground cover species and functional biodiversity enhancement in vineyards with 24 recent publications produced over the past three years, and numerous public speaking engagements both in Australia and internationally. Recent examples include: 21st GiESCO International Meeting (Group of international Experts for Cooperation on Vitivinicultural Systems) in Thessaloniki Greece; the 42nd Congress of Vine and Wine, International Organisation of Vine and Wine (OIV) in Geneva, Switzerland; the 18th Australian Wine Industry Technical Conference in Adelaide, South Australia; and the Bragato Research Institute Grape Day webinar presentation in 2020.

    She is also a member of the International Organisation of Vine and Wine (OIV) Viticulture Commission, Enviro and Protec groups, and The Australian and New Zealand Grapegrower and Winemaker Journal Editorial Panel.

    Mary’s leadership and excellence in science have been acknowledged via inclusion in The Australian inaugural list of 100 Green Power Players 2022, Gourmet Traveller WINE Len Evans Award for Leadership 2020, National Farmers’ Federation inaugural Diversity in Agriculture Leadership program 2018, Businesswomen’s Hall of Fame 2017, Emerald Grain’s list of 100 Women in Australian Agribusiness 2014, RIRDC Rural Women’s Award (national winner) 2012.

    Mary is an ambassador for PIRSA’s Women Influencing Agribusiness and Regions, and Great Wine Capitals Knowledge Exchange initiatives. She is a Stepping into Leadership program and Drought Resilience Leaders Mentoring Program mentor. She lives on a small vineyard and apple orchard in the Adelaide Hills, South Australia.

  • Keith Smith
    Keith Smith
    Biodiversity Restoration Specialist

    Bachelor Horticulture (Hort Mngt), Muresk/Curtin University 1994-7)

    Keith is Director and owner of Formosa Seeds, a Native Seed Company operating from Torbay near Albany in Southern WA. Specializing in large scaled seed collection to major mining companies in Perth Hills, Goldfields, Pilbara and for revegetation projects in Southern WA, with particular focus on biodiversity collections and seed farming. Keith is passionate about collection, seed science and education with a life experience dedicated to seed collection. Understanding the secrets behind seeds has been a driver in sourcing and supply material for educational institutions for many years and linkages with researchers like UWA, Kings Park Botanic Gardens and Curtin University.

    Keith focuses on high quality seed collections and with significant attention to cleaning standards, storage and supplying a superior product.


Wayfinder Vineyard
168 Clews Rd Cowaramup
QR Code


24 Oct 2023


8:30 am - 4:00 pm

Ground Cover in Vineyards Workshop & Field Day

Join hosts agroecologist/viticulturist Dr Mary Retallack, Retallack Viticulture Pty Ltd and Regional On-ground Coordinator, Kate Tarrant, Lower Blackwood LCDC for the Margaret River Region National EcoVineyards Program ground covers event.

Special guest presenters Jade KilloranHealthy Farming Systems and Keith Smith, Formosa Flora will provide lots of practical tips and experience on the use of multi-species cover crops and native grasses and forbs in and around vineyards.

Included will be discussions on

  • Benefits of ground covers
  • Deciding what to sow
  • Preparation (including inoculants)
  • When, how to sow, management and assessing the benefits
  • Trial and seasonal insights

Event Logistics:

When? Tuesday October 24th, 9.00am to 4.00pm

Where? Wayfinder Vineyard

Cost? This is a free event, morning tea and lunch provided.

What else? Wear suitable farm footwear, byo refillable water bottle, and dress for the weather.

The event is finished.