Cropping

Program encourages young farm leaders of the future

Grain Central, November 8, 2016

NOMINATIONS are now open for GrainGrowers’ Australian Grain Farm Leaders Program (AGFLP).

The program is a national leadership opportunity designed specifically for young Australian grain farmers to help them develop their leadership skills, knowledge and potential.

Each year up to 10 farmers from across Australia are selected to pursue a small project of their choice and to benefit from leadership mentoring and peer networking.

David McKeon

David McKeon

GrainGrowers general manager, David McKeon, said the opportunity was an exciting one.

“The program is a diverse mix of individual, one-on-one and group efforts. Participants meet face-to-face at least twice throughout the nine-month program. Nominees are required to submit a small project they would like to pursue as part of their development,” he said.

“In past years projects have focussed on topics such as farm-funding models, succession planning, farmer health and safety and the co-existence of farming and mining.”

Open to farmers under 40 year of age, the AGFLP offers participants the opportunity to:

  • Meet other likeminded growers;
  • Develop leadership knowledge and skills;
  • Gain an insight into the leadership pathways of established leaders and learn from inspiring speakers;
  • Develop a mentoring partnership with an industry leader; and
  • Set individual goals and implement a plan to achieve these via an on-farm project.

“GrainGrowers is proud to be providing opportunities for industry participants to embrace the challenge of leading and driving change in the Australian grains industry,” Mr McKeon said.

“We’re also looking for industry partners to help us develop these young growers into producers who will be our industry’s top performers in the future.”

Central Queensland grain grower Luke Bradley is a graduate of the 2016 Australian Grain Farm Leaders program.

Mr Bradley said the program challenged him to think outside the box and opened his mind to new opportunities within the industry.

“One of the most worthwhile outputs of the Programs was the opportunity to meet and learn from a group like-minded farmers from across country – with whom I probably wouldn’t have even met otherwise,” he said.

As part of his project, Mr Bradley investigated farming systems groups and commenced discussions with farmers from across industries to look at the development of a farming systems group in Central Queensland.  During September he was also named as a 2017 Nuffield scholar.

Applications close on Monday, December 19, 2016.

To apply or to find out more visit http://www.graingrowers.com.au/education-events/australian-grain-farm-leaders-program

2016 Australian Grain Farm Leader Program graduates

Tim Paschke – Waikerie, South Australia

Tim Paschke

Tim Paschke

Tim has become an advocate for social and mental wellbeing in farming and rural communities. He has taken up opportunities to promote the importance of farmers asking for help during difficult times. He has raised awareness and support for others by encouraging them to reach out and ask for support via local and national 24 hour support services. Tim has spoken at a number of farming and community based meetings and is keen to continue to advocate for mental wellbeing in the bush.

Cameron Parker

Cameron Parker

Cameron Parker – Boort, Victoria

Cam has completed financial plans, had discussions with possible business partners and met with banks in regards to funding options to establish his own first generation commercial harvesting business. In doing so, he has developed his leadership and confidence to be able to profile himself and his business concept to attract interest and funding. He is also working with a mentor via Rabobank.

Simon Martin – Karoonda, South Australia

Simon Martin

Simon Martin

Simon has worked up scenarios about separating sheep / livestock and grain production on his mixed enterprise taking account of soil types, weather and historical data. This has resulted in key decisions about where / when sheep / livestock / cropping occurs whilst achieving maximum profit margins.

Lewis Johnstone

Lewis Johnstone

Lewis Johnstone – Williams, Western Australia

Lewis has investigated expansion opportunities for his business. He is working on an ‘investor ready’ strategy to present to possible investors and trialled this recently on a trade trip to China. He has developed his leadership and communication skills to be better profile and promote himself and his business to others. He is also working with a mentor through Rabobank.

Luke Bradley – Springsure, Queensland

Luke Bradley

Luke Bradley

Luke has investigated farming systems groups and commenced discussions with farmers from across industries to look at the development of a farming systems group in Central Queensland.  He has committed to progress his own leadership in the grains industry and was recently named a 2017 Nuffield scholar. Next year Luke will travel to world – best farming enterprises with the aim to reignite Australian leadership in precision agriculture.

Boyd Carter

Boyd Carter

Boyd Carter – Wubin, Western Australia

Boyd has established a leadership pathway forward. He engaged with the latest R+D and supported its regional implementation through the Liebe Group / host of field day and farm tours. He is now setting up a core group of forward thinking farmers to investigate information technology from other sectors, such as mining (that agriculture can benefit from) and also to trial new technology and share learnings with farmers to enhance the grains industry.

Michael  Nichols  –  Sisters Creek,  Tasmania

Michael Nichols

Michael Nichols

Michael has continued his positive promotion and advocacy of the grains industry in Tasmania. He is now an active member of a range a number of farming systems groups, recently visited New Zealand as part of a delegation and last week represented Tasmania as one of 100 future ag leaders in Australia at the GrowAg Conference here in Albury. Michael is keen to progress his interest in grains industry decision making, leadership and influence in 2017 and beyond.

Tom Hewitt

Tom Hewitt

Tom Hewitt – Areegra, Victoria

Tom has investigated, trialled and implemented an online data management system for his business. He has included all baseline data and this has already been used to budget and scenario plan for possible enterprise expansion. Tom has practised his leadership, influencing and communication skills throughout this process in his multi-generational business.

Jim Wakefield – Walpeup, Victoria

Jim Wakefield

Jim Wakefield

Jim has developed systems, tools and processes to better communicate and manage staff in his joint partnership business. This has included introducing Monday morning meetings as well as using smart phone app Wunderlist which is about sharing to-do lists and work projects. The business is now using the online cloud service Drop Box for shared file management. Jim has a focus on development as well as effective implementation of new systems and processes.

Source: GrainGrowers

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