Mike Stephens, the founder of Meridian Agriculture, has over thirty years’ experience in directing, managing and advising small and medium sized businesses. He has developed and directed industry projects, and consulted extensively on succession in business.
From 1983 to the present day Mike has been a Director of Meridian Agriculture, which is a broad based agricultural consulting company, providing advice, training and services to farmers, agribusiness and government. The company and its affiliates have a team of twenty consultants plus support staff. He is also the Deputy Chair of National Indigenous Pastoral Enterprises (NIPE) which is one of the largest cattle owners in Australia.
From 1992 until 2008, as a concurrent activity, Mike was the Executive Officer of the Beef Improvement Association of Australia and for most of that period a Director of Working With People. He is Chairman of the Churchill Trust Victorian Primary Industry Selection Committee. Before establishing Meridian Agriculture, Mike worked as a Station Manager from 1967 until 1983. The largest business he managed ran 77,000 sheep and lambs which were shorn annually and produced 2000 bales of wool.
In 1993 he was awarded a Churchill Fellowship and studied Farm Business Management in the United Kingdom, New Zealand and France. In 1998 he was awarded the inaugural Marcus Oldham College Excellence in Agriculture Award. He is a weekly columnist in The Weekly Times and in a former life he broadcast on the ABC Country Hour for seven years as Michelago Mick.
In addition Mike wrote the history of the only independent Farm Management College in Australia (Marcus Oldham) and a book on ‘Structural Adjustment’ in Australian Agriculture. He has written several booklets on succession in business. Mike holds a Diploma of Farm Management, is a MSc, a Fellow of Ag Institute Australia and the Australian Institute of Company Directors. He is an accredited advisor with Family Business Australia and is currently a PhD candidate studying Business Succession.