People on the move

Grain leaders program selects growers and industry professionals for 2021

Grain Central, December 7, 2020

TEN individuals from around Australia have been selected for the 2021 Australian Grain Leaders Program (AGLP).

The AGLP is a bespoke program specifically developed for the grains industry.

The 2021 participants are:

Zoe Starkey – Sanderston, SA

Zoe is an active member of her community and has been very involved in her local farmers group. As her AGLP project, Zoe hopes to profile influential individuals within the grains industry and bring together community conversations around farming.

Tom Ferguson

Charlie Bensen – Butler, SA

As well as working on-farm, Charlie has a strong background in environmental sciences. Charlie hopes to use his own property as a case study to investigate the role of strategic fencing in managing environmental risks.

Tom Ferguson – Garah, NSW

Tom is passionate about grain growing and advocacy for his industry. For his AGLP project, Tom hopes to gain a better understanding of risk management in farming and how to manage it.

Nellie Evans – Young, NSW

As a research agronomist, Nellie works on developing new technologies for grain growers.  Nellie hopes to create a program tailored to new agronomists around the different herbicide applications for her AGLP project.

Dani Whyte – York, WA

Dani is looking to better understand and celebrate the benefits of mentorship in agriculture as part of her AGLP project.

Dani Whyte

Chris Gillam – Toowoomba, QLD

As a farmer and agronomist, Chris hopes to share his knowledge with the broader ag community. As part of his AGLP project, Chris hopes to develop an app to share key seasonal metrics between farmers to give them access to more data.

Alisha Chinner – Lameroo, SA

As part of her AGLP project, Alisha hopes to educate multitasking growers who can be time poor on approaches to grain marketing.

Rebecca Kelly – Mingenew, WA

Rebecca has returned to farming after spending five years as a tour guide in Europe and now helps with both the production and business side of her family farm. As part of her AGLP project, Rebecca hopes to look at ways to increase productivity beyond increasing scale.

John Sanderson – Grass Patch, WA

John has a love for ag-tech and data, which he hopes to utilise as an innovator in the grains industry. As part of his AGLP project, John hopes to create a centralised information hub for reporting on historical and real time data.

James Venning – Bute, SA

James is an active member of his local farming systems group and utilises online platforms to share information between growers. As part of his AGLP project, James will explore options around farm expansion, managing a strong retained labour force and demonstrating a safe food industry to consumers.


GrainGrowers general manager, leadership and events, Kaitlin Commins, said she always found it exciting to meet and learn about the emerging leaders who step forward to participate in the AGLP.

“To see the unique leadership and management skills develop in each of the participants makes us really proud to be able to offer the AGLP and excited about the future leadership of our Australian Grains Industry,” she said.

The AGLP has been running for over 13 years. A key component of the program is participants also complete a project focusing on how a farm business challenge or industry issue could be addressed.

“I look forward to seeing the projects the AGLP participants will be undertaking. The program is a great opportunity for people that can sometimes work in quite remote and isolated areas to develop a support network and come together to consider how the grains industry can approach different challenges,” Ms Commins said.

GrainGrowers covers the cost of participants taking part in the year-long program as well as travel and accommodation expenses, which is often a barrier for those in regional locations wanting to participate in more traditional professional development programs.

Source: GrainGrowers




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