It's that time again — time for change in the composition of the GRDC regional panels, appointed for three-year terms. Ground Cover salutes outgoing panel members and presents below sketches of the new regional panels, which commence their term on 1 July. More detailed introductions will follow through the year under our 'Meet your panel' feature.
The nine-member panel — farmers and scientists chosen for their expertise in different aspects of the grains industry — advise the GRDC on its research investments in the northern region — Queensland and NSW north of the Macquarie River.
Panel members for 2001-04 are:
- Mark McKay, owner/manager of 3,400 ha 'Winnabri', near Warren, whose mixed farming operation includes cereals, pulses, cotton, sheep and cattle; Mr McKay holds a Certificate in Agriculture from Yanco Agricultural College
- Chris Joseph, who manages a family farming operation at Dalby, producing a wide range of irrigated and dryland crops and collaborating with QDPI and seed companies in trial work; Mr Joseph is in his second term with the Darling Downs RAC to the GRDC
- Dianne Bentley, partner in Gunnedah Management Consultants, executive officer of the Liverpool Plains Land Management Committee, chairman of the Namoi Combined Projects Coordinating Committee, former member of the North West NSW Catchment Committee
- John Doughton, principal agronomist with Queensland's Department of Primary Industries at Emerald, leader of the GRDC project 'Sustainable Farming Systems for Central Queensland'; and
- Bob Eisemann, principal policy officer, Office of the Chief Scientist, Queensland's Department of Primary Industries; Dr Eisemann, who has worked in areas including plant breeding, biotechnology and genetics, is the new deputy chair of the Northern Panel.
Tamworth durum wheat breeder Ray Hare and growers Philip Bardsley, of Moree, and Warwick Fisher, Breeza, will continue their membership of the Northern Panel into its new term.
Also continuing is Central Queensland grower Ian Buss, who is replacing current chairman, Norm Marran, from 1 July.
Ten grains specialists with wide-ranging expertise and experience will make research investment recommendations for the southern Australian cropping belt during the next three years.
Joining the panel for the first time are:
- molecular biologist Barbara Howlett, from the University of Melbourne
- Senior Principal Research Scientist with CSIRO Plant Industry, Mark Peoples
- manager, Grains Processing at BRI Australia, Michael Southan, who will take up the position of deputy chair of the Southern Panel
- NSW graingrower and Wool Council of Australia president, David Wolfenden.
Current panel members who will be continuing are NSW Agriculture agronomist Bob Freebairn, SA graingrower Neil Smith, NSW farmer-agronomist Alan Umbers, and Wimmera grower Jon Whykes.
Reprising an advisory role is SA graingrower David Shannon, who served on a previous GRDC Committee from 1991 to 1994.
Chairman of the Southern Panel is Tasmanian graingrower Ian MacKinnon, who has been a panel member for six years and chairman for three.
Three graingrowers and a scientist have joined the Western Regional Panel, complementing the skills of the continuing panel members as well as injecting fresh ideas and expertise:
- Deane Aynsley, Beverley grower (cropping 1,250 ha) and no-tillage practitioner who also has an agricultural science degree from the University of WA
- Darrel Dent, Cuballing grower (cropping 1,150 ha) and a former Deputy Chairman and Director of the Grain Pool of WA (eight years) and Agracorp (five years)
- Andrew Lee, Dumbleyung grower (cropping 1,600 ha) with a business degree in agriculture from Curtin University (Muresk campus). Mr Lee has worked as a rural consultant for Bird Cameron and as an adviser for AGWEST
- Robert Belford, stepping down from the position of Director of the Victorian Institute for Dryland Agriculture. Dr Belford works part-time for the Department of Natural Resources and Environment. He has a science degree and PhD in plant sciences.
Continuing their terms on the GRDC's Western Regional Panel are Chair and Hyden grower Dale Baker, Deputy Chair and agricultural economist Juliann Lloyd-Smith, Yuna grower and agricultural consultant Belinda Eastough, CSIRO entomologist James Ridsdill-Smith and CLIMA Director Kadambot Siddique.