About Us

PLF Australia (Precision Livestock Farming), based in Emerald, Central Queensland, commenced operations in 2017 to design and deliver ‘best-of-breed’ sensor-based, on-farm systems delivering real time management information for agricultural operations.

While we at PLF have considerable knowledge and experience in the utilisation of sensor technology and its application in all areas of agriculture, our prime focus is on how such systems can benefit the farmer’s business and quality of life.

Through the considerable time and resource saving, with farmers only having to deal with exceptions as informed by the system, they can allocate that time and resources to operations that can deliver improved farm output, resulting in profitability gains, as well as time to better plan for future growth and development.

The use of sensor technology to monitor farm performance and to control systems remotely has until recently been expensive and largely proprietary,  meaning AgTech companies tend to lock customers into their systems, leaving the farmer with little option but to stay with those systems and services, despite them potentially becoming outdated.

PLF Australia is committed to continue to grow and evolve, along with the global advancement of Internet of Things (IoT) technology. In so doing, by maintaining a non-proprietary approach to the devices and systems, PLF can continue to deliver the ‘best of breed’ solution to meet its clients’ needs.

Farm management today involves considerable time with farmers having to continually inspect their properties, checking fences, stock/crops, water supply, and so on. This activity can take anything from hours to days and fixing problems when they are detected is often delayed.

In addition, livestock and crop growth and resultant profitability can be compromised through a lack of timely information. Research shows material gains in productivity across a wide range of agricultural businesses, if real time information is presented to farmers. (https://www.csiro.au/en/Research/AF/Areas/Digital-agriculture)

Examples of the information that can be captured in real time include water levels and flow, soil moisture and temperature and animal identification, location, growth and overall wellbeing, as well as on-farm weather (current, historic and forecast).

With timely, accurate management information, the farmer can act quickly to mitigate problems before they become serious and make more informed management decisions on where to foster growth and minimise costs.

The Team

Paul Stapleton – Managing Director

Paul has over 30 years’ experience as a leader of cultural change within business, with special experience in the adoption of digital technology to improve productivity, enhance profitability and sustainability, as well as customer acquisition and retention.

Over recent years, much of this work has been undertaken throughout regional Queensland, especially in Central Queensland, including several years as advisor to HEME in Emerald.

He has been accredited for many years, with both State and Federal Governments, as an advisor and mentor in the areas of:

  • Strategic and Business Planning
  • Operations Improvement
  • Marketing Strategy
  • Human Resources

Anthony (Tony) Hellmuth - Investor, logistic support

Tony is the managing director of HEME Pty Ltd since 1997. HEME is an engineering and manufacturing business located in Emerald, which currently employs 29, servicing civil, agricultural and mining. Its client base is over 200 businesses located primarily across Central Queensland, with some interstate.

HEME has been awarded Business of the Year 2013, 2015 & 2017 and Manufacturer of the Year 2013, 2015 & 2017, which has resulted in it becoming the inaugural recipient of the Hall of Fame 2017.

Outside of HEME, Tony owns two cattle properties, one just outside Emerald, currently running 250 head and another north of Bundaberg, not yet stocked.

Tony has a private helicopter licence and owns a Robinson R44, which enables fast response to clients.

Keith Ellis – Livestock Expert/Advisor

Keith Ellis has enjoyed a successful career in science, spanning a number of disciplines, working in and for universities, commercial enterprises, and with the principal Australian Government research organization, CSIRO.

He has worked in Australia, USA, Britain and New Zealand, associated with groups as disparate as medical biochemistry, fisheries research, livestock nutrition, reproduction and health, and with various “Smart Space” projects to study wildlife and livestock movement and well-being, and general farm and resource management.

His work has taken him across a variety of science disciplines from radiation and kinetic chemistry, through biochemistry and enzymology, ruminant physiology, nutrition and health, to the controlled delivery of nutrients and bioactive materials (pharmaceutics) to a range of livestock species, with several divergences along the way.

Keith has always been interested in the use of analytical instrumentation and has keenly followed a progression over the past 50 years from mechanical, through electrical to electronic, and now to digital technologies. (For example, along with several highly skilled and dedicated technical and engineering individuals, he has contributed: to “home-made” recording spectrophotometers before commercial versions were readily available; to the concept of using model airplanes to monitor and muster livestock (now done by drones!); and to the continuous monitoring of intra-ruminal temperatures and pressures, gas composition and food and water intake by free-ranging cattle.)

Jose Torres – M2M Connectivity (Supply Partner)

Jose is an IoT (Internet of Things) specialist with more than 10 years’ experience in the telecommunications sector. He completed his master’s degree in engineering in Advanced Telecommunications at the University of Adelaide in 2012, graduating with High Distinction.

His experience ranges from technical to managerial positions. He is hands on in IoT activities, deploying complex solutions for customers. Jose has been able to work with a variety of technologies and platforms including cellular, satellite, short range and IoT wireless networks. He has successfully led an Engineering team to deploy a new IoT platform for tracking assets.

Jose has a personal interest in IoT topics and has done public presentations to both Engineering Australia and Telecommunication Society Australia about IoT deployments.

Paul Berkovic - Rayven (Supply Partner)

Paul Berkovic holds a double major in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from UNSW and has spent over 20 years commercialising enterprise technologies.

Paul has worked for global companies such as Cisco, Brocade and Dell, during which time he developed a passion for innovation and has since co-founded and grown several tech startups.

Paul is the Chief Commercial Officer for Rayven.io – a codeless platform for IOT, machine learning and predictive analytics.