Our Team

Ned Skehan

Soil Scientist / Founder

Ned, the driving force behind OptiSoil, is a seasoned soil scientist with a rich educational and practical background, including an Honours degree in Agricultural Engineering from the University of Southern Queensland. Growing up on a mixed farming operation near Inverell, his soil science journey began in 2016 as a precision agriculture consultant, 2020 he began his PhD, leading to the inception of OptiSoil in 2022.

Recognising a gap between soil science research and practical agronomy, Ned's venture focuses on mapping subsoil constraints, turning them into financial opportunities for growers. The business not only develops soil maps from an ROI framework but also operates a high-throughput soil laboratory and a proficient soil sampling outfit, ensuring comprehensive soil management and regular nutrition assessments for agronomists.

Ned, an awardee for Excellence in Soil Science, joined the  University of Southern Queensland's soil judging team. Travelling to Queenstown, NZ, Adelaide, Perth and Brisbane. Rain, hail, dust storms, floods. Soil work goes on no matter what!

Outside of work, Ned enjoys supervising his meat smoker, playing hobby farmer with his family, and planning his next motorcycle adventure. 

Through Ned's leadership and the innovative approach of OptiSoil, smart soil science joins practical farming know how, ensuring farmers not only nurture their land but reap solid financial returns.

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Henry Stacey

Field and Laboratory Technician

I was raised on a cattle station in Northwest Queensland. I've previously worked in cattle mustering across North Queensland and at the Charters Towers Saleyards. My experience also includes working for a business that created water supplement systems and other telemetry solutions for livestock. These roles gave me the opportunity to meet many graziers who were implementing innovative methods to enhance their business efficiencies and increase drought resilience.

The most overlooked factor in all of these improvements I found was soil health. This guided my decision to undertake a bachelor's of Rural Science, minoring in plant production at UNE, which I am now in my third year and loving it. I started work with Optisoil in January 2024. 

OptiSoil is my first foray into the soil science field so I'm keen to try my hand at any and all roles. The fact that I can experience pulling soil cores, testing them in the lab, gathering the results, and consulting the farmers at the end is the main reason why I was attracted to OptiSoil. As the business grows, I will likely focus more on the gathering of soil cores and maintaining relations with farmers, as well as play a larger hand in the consulting.