With a Bachelor of Business and a major in agriculture from Curtin University's Muresk Campus, as well as five years as a financial and agronomic consultant, Andrew Lee brings a broad range of experience to his first term with the GRDC’s Western Regional Panel.
Mr Lee runs 5,000 sheep and annually crops 1,600 hectares at Dumbleyung.
He is a member of the WA No-Till Farmers’ Association, Southern Graingrowers, Great Southern Pulse Growers, Oil Mallee Association of WA, Saltland Pastures Association and the Kondinin Group, giving him strong connections with his fellow WA growers and the issues they face.
“Our dry winter is taking the spotlight this season, but beyond that there are several environmental issues facing WA farmers. Obviously there's salinity, and I'm heavily involved in that, there's soil health and leaching and, of course, our pest and disease problems.
“That's why I wanted to be a part of the GRDC, I’m interested in environmentally sound farming, but it obviously has to be profitable for the grower," he said.
After returning from his induction in Canberra, where he met with GRDC program heads and fellow Panel members, Mr Lee was enthusiastic about tackling his allocated Crop Protection program, which includes weed and pest management.
“Weeds and pests cost Australia $6 billion a year in lost production and control initiatives. Diseases too can decimate yields and have virtually hunted some crops, like faba bean, out of growers’ rotations. So, I see it as an exciting area and one where there’s a real opportunity to make a big impact on agriculture in this State.
“In WA we have excellent research partners and a supportive infrastructure, with modern facilities, so we're geared up and ready to go,” he concluded.
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