THE Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) has announced new appointments to its regional panels in the northern (NSW and Queensland), southern (South Australia, Victoria and Tasmania) and western (Western Australia) regions.
In announcing the appointments, GRDC chairman John Woods said the new panels were well equipped to serve the interests of grain growers.
“A key strength of the GRDC, the Regional Panels play a critical advisory and strategic role in informing GRDC investments in research, development and extension (RD&E) to create enduring profitability for Australian grain growers,” Mr Woods said.
The new-look, 10-person northern panel comprises growers, consultants and researchers from southern NSW to central Queensland.
Incoming panellists include:
- Liverpool Plains senior agronomist Peter McKenzie;
- Central Queensland senior agronomist Graham Spackman;
- Riverina district grower Roy Hamilton;
- Parkes district grower Bruce Watson;
- West Wyalong grower Roger Bolte;
- Southern Queensland research pathologist and private consultant, Jo White.
They join returning panellists:
- NSW grower and agricultural consultant John Minogue, West Wyalong, who will continue as chair;
Grower, Tony Hamilton, Forbes, NSW;
- Agricultural consultant, Andrew McFadyen, Lake Cargelligo, NSW;
- Grower, Arthur Gearon, Chinchilla, Queensland;
- GRDC’s general manager for applied R&D, Brondwen MacLean, Canberra.
Outgoing panellists are:
- NSW Department of Primary Industries agronomist, Loretta Serafin, Tamworth, NSW;
- Sydney-based crop consultant, Jules Dixon;
- Agronomist, Penny Heuston, Warren, NSW;
- Agronomist and grower, Jack Williamson, Goondiwindi, Queensland;
- Agronomist and researcher, Neil Fettell, Condobolin, NSW.
One of the first commitments for the new northern panel will be the GRDC spring tour in mid-September when panellists will meet with growers, advisors and researchers to tour trial sites and research facilities in southern NSW.
The southern panel has three new members:
- Fiona Marshall, Mulwala, southern Riverina;
- Richard Murdoch, Warooka, SA’s Yorke Peninsula;
- Randall Wilksch, Yeelanna, SA’s Lower Eyre Peninsula.
The new southern panel commences duties on September 1. One of its first undertakings will be the annual spring tour of growers’ farm enterprises, GRDC trial sites and research facilities, starting on September 18.
GRDC Southern Regional Panel chair Keith Pengilley, Evandale, Tasmania, said panel members worked closely with growers to identify cropping constraints and opportunities and played an important function in helping to ensure that the GRDC’s investments are directed towards the best interests of growers.
Mr Pengilley and the GRDC have also recognised the contribution of outgoing Panel members.
“We say farewell to South Australians Bill Long from Auburn, and Mark Stanley from Port Lincoln, as well as Rob Sonogan from Swan Hill in Victoria, who have all served multiple terms on the panel,” he said.
On a state-by-state basis, the new southern panel comprises:
- Tasmania – Keith Pengilley (chair), Evandale.
- Victoria – John Bennett, Lawloit; Jon Midwood, Inverleigh; Rohan Mott, Turriff; Kate Wilson, Hopetoun; Fiona Marshall, Mulwala.
- SA – Mike McLaughlin (deputy chair), Adelaide; Peter Kuhlmann, Mudamuckla; Richard Murdoch, Warooka; Randall Wilksch, Yeelanna.
- GRDC deputy chief executive Dr Steve Thomas, based in Canberra, is the GRDC staff representative on the southern panel.
The western panel comprises three new members whose fresh insights and differing backgrounds will complement the perspectives and skills set of those members who have been re-appointed for another term.
Dunn Rock grower Peter Roberts, who will continue as GRDC western panel chairman, welcomed incoming members:
- Mingenew grower and applied economist, Fiona Gibson;
- Agronomist, Michael Lamond, York;
- Binnu grower, Rohan Ford.
The three new panel members join those who have been reappointed for another term:
- Dunn Rock grower and chairman, Peter Roberts
- Agronomic and agribusiness advisor, Chris Wilkins, Badgingarra;
- Ravensthorpe grower, Andy Duncan;
- Mingenew grower, Darrin Lee;
- Munglinup grower, Gemma Walker;
- Merredin grower, Jules Alvaro;
- CSIRO wheat geneticist, Greg Rebetzke.