News

People on the move in the grains and cropping sector

Grain Central, October 11, 2019

Who is on the move in the Australian grains and cropping industry? Catch up with our latest update of industry appointments, rewards, retirements and achievements.

  • Directors fill GrainGrowers vacancies
  • Nuffield elects new national chair
  • Market Check opens WA office
  • Rural Women’s award winner
  • Churchill Fellowship focus on invasive pests
  • Speed breeding researcher recognised
  • Crop competition winners
  • Young farmer business program

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Directors fill GrainGrowers vacancies

GRAINGROWERS’ Annual General Meeting in Bendigo this week elected directors to fill one vacancy for the Northern Region and two vacancies for the Southern Region.

Fourth-generation farmer from Goondiwindi, Queensland, Nigel Corish was elected as a director for the Northern Region.

Nigel Corish

Mr Corish, who runs a family enterprise of a rain fed food and fibre company, will serve until the 2021 GrainGrowers AGM.

In the Southern Region, current Board member Julia Hausler and incumbent chairman Brett Hosking were both re-elected.

Mr Hosking farms at Quambatook, Victoria, with his wife Jane and four daughters.

Ms Hausler is a grain grower from the Wimmera region of Victoria.

“I would like to congratulate Nigel, Brett and Julia and am looking forward to working with them as we continue to work on behalf of our grower members across Australia. I believe our directors bring a wealth of experience and industry knowledge that is invaluable,” GrainGrowers chief executive officer, David McKeon, said.

Long-standing director Michele Allan has officially completed her tenure on the GrainGrowers Board after six years’ service.

GrainGrowers is currently undertaking an executive search for Dr Allan’s replacement.

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Nuffield elects new national chair

NUFFIELD Australia has elected 2009 Tasmanian Nuffield scholar Robert Bradley as its new national chair, replacing outgoing chair and 2000 Nuffield scholar from Western Australia, Andrew Fowler.

Robert Bradley

Mr Bradley has served on the Nuffield Australia board since 2016.

With his wife Jo, he runs a mixed cropping and livestock operation based at Longford, near Launceston.

“In an ever-changing Australian agriculture sector, it’s important we keep building the capacity of our producers across all industries, and the Nuffield program continues to be an unrivalled platform to do this,” Mr Bradley said.

“With over 460 alumni, the organisation has a proud culture and I look forward to building on our past while we continue to develop and evolve into the future.”

During his three years as chair, Mr Fowler has overseen an important phase of consolidation and strengthening of Nuffield systems and processes, which has positioned the organisation well for the future.

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Market Check opens WA office

SYDNEY-BASED grain-marketing advisory company Market Check has opened its first Western Australian office.

It will be headed by Ben Gliddon, who hails from Bunbury, and has worked for more than 10 years in domestic and international grain marketing.

Ben Gliddon

Mr Gliddon began his career with Plum Grove before moving to Singapore for seven years with Interflour, where he managed price risk and accumulated wheat for its mills.

Market Check’s previous on-the-ground involvement with WA revolved around a grower workshop series which run until 2002.

“Our presence in WA this time will be vastly different to 2002. Rather than working on a FIFO basis we will have a full-time office based in Perth,” Market Check founder and managing director Brett Stevenson said.

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Rural Women’s award winner

NEW South Wales remote work advocate and founder of Pointer Remote Roles, Jo Palmer, has been named the 2019 AgriFutures Rural Women’s Award National Winner.

Based in The Rock, near Wagga Wagga, Ms Palmer plans to use her Westpac Bursary to create a portal within Pointer’s platform that will provide a series of resources, training and formal certifications to help alleviate road blocks that hold many rurally based professionals back from engaging with remote work.

Jo Palmer

The portal will also educate and support businesses to adopt remote employment.

AgriFutures Australia managing director, John Harvey, said Ms Palmer’s ability to identify societal shifts and use these to drive opportunities for rural, regional and remote Australia demonstrates exceptional leadership.

Victorian beekeeper, Claire Moore, Kyneton, is the National Runner Up.

Applications for the 2020 AgriFutures Rural Women’s Award are now open and close on Thursday 31 October 2019, 11.00pm AEDT. Northern Territory entrants closes Sunday, 26 January 2020, 11.00pm AEDT.

Full details can be found at www.agrifutures.com.au/people-leadership/rural-womens-award

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Churchill Fellowship focus on invasive pests

AGRICULTURE Victoria’s Established Invasive Species program manager, Michael Reid, Wodonga, is one of 22 Victorian recipients of the prestigious Churchill Fellowship award.

Michael Reid

Mr Reid will travel to New Zealand, the United States, the United Kingdom and South Africa to investigate community-led programs that support the management of weeds and pest animals.

“Invasive species, such as deer, rabbits and blackberry, cost the state an estimated $1 billion, undermine the cultural heritage in our landscapes, reduced the productivity of farms and degraded our ecological systems,” Mr Reid said.

“My Churchill Fellowship will provide me with the opportunity to gain knowledge of models and approaches not used in Australia.”

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Speed breeding researcher recognised

THE University of Queensland’s Foundation Research Excellence Award has gone to research team leader, Lee Hickey, for his work on speed breeding technology, inspired by NASA astronauts growing wheat in space.

Lee Hickey

The technology involves rapid growth of plant and horticultural crops under 23-hour day lighting to speed up the breeding cycle, slashing the time to develop improved varieties for farmers.

The speed breeding technology has been used to create novel wheat varieties in Australia and was being adopted by plant breeding programs around the world.

Dr Hickey is now integrating precision breeding technologies, such as gene editing, into the speed breeding system.

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Crop competition winners

THE University of Sydney has for the second year in a row taken out line honours for the team category at the 2019 GrainGrowers Crops Competition.

The competition brings together students from across Australia and internationally and enables them to apply their classroom knowledge to on-farm conditions.

Students took part in a mixture of theory and hands-on tests covering agronomics and farm business management. Challenges included seed identification, in-field crop inspections, weed identification and diagnosing crop diseases.

It was a United States victory over Australia in the individual category with Luke Ryan from Kansas State taking out first place.

The top three Australian individual students will now be heading to the United States courtesy of GrainGrowers to take part in a crops competition there.

2019 competing universities:

Kansas State, South Dakota State, La Trobe, Charles Sturt University, University of Adelaide, University of Sydney, University of Western Australia, Scienze e Technologie Agro-alimentari.

2019 university winners:

1st place: University of Sydney

2nd place: Kansas State

3rd place: Charles Sturt University

2019 individual winners:

1st place: Luke Ryan, Kansas State

2nd place: Meg Brown, University of Sydney

3rd place: Ryan Malone, Charles Sturt University

4th place: Zali Mahony, University of Sydney

2019 GrainGrowers crop competition participants

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Young farmer business program

THE NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) is calling for Expressions of Interest for four independent members to join its Young Farmer Business Program Advisory Committee.

The four independent members will work with key young farmer and fisher stakeholder organisations to ensure the program remains relevant to its target audience as well as share fresh insights into emerging issues and industry trends.

DPI’s Deputy Director General of Engagement and Industry Assistance, Brett Fifield, said the Young Farmer Business Program was a four-year initiative of the NSW Government delivered by a small team based out of Dubbo.

“The program aims to improve opportunities for younger farmers and fishers to enter into, or expand their businesses and to improve connections, knowledge, skills and experience through capacity building activities and access to information,” Mr Fifield said.

“The Advisory Committee will provide support and add value to the program, which is an initiative jointly developed by the NSW Government and NSW Farmers to make a real difference to young farmers and fishers across NSW.”

Applicants will need to provide their resume and either a one page letter or a two minute video, outlining why they would like to be a part of the Young Farmer Business Program and what skills and experiences they can offer the Advisory Committee.

The position is until 30 June 2021 with sitting fees and expenses reimbursed.

For more information, visit: www.youngfarmer.nsw.gov.au

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