Grains Research and Development

Date: 01.07.2005

GRDC - Ground Cover Issue 56 - GRDC news and views

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Central NSW farmer Michele Simpson has recently embarked on an Australian Institute of Company Directors" course aimed at helping growers to better represent their communities in industry, research and natural resource management bodies. Michele"s participation in the company directors" course is being supported with GRDC funding.

[Photo: working towards a vibrant industry: Michele Simpson (left) and GRDC board member Christine Hawkins at Grains Week]

Michele and husband Ross farm a mix of dryland crops such as cereal, feed grains and canola and produce prime lambs, wool, cattle and farm forestry north of Wellington in central NSW. Michele is particularly interested in natural resource management because of dryland salinity issues in the Macquarie region.

This has led to a strong interest in biodiversity, sustainable cropping and socio-economic benchmarking and an advanced diploma in land management.

Michele"s ambition is to help achieve a vibrant agricultural industry that has grasped and implemented the changes needed to achieve positive social, environmental and financial outcomes - and in doing so will become more widely recognised as a smart, efficient and vital contributor to Australia"s wellbeing.

PHoto of St John Kent (right) and Terry Enright (left)[Photo: Winner: St John Kent (left) accepts the $8,000 check from GRDC Chairman Terry Enright]

"Is it good for the casino?" quipped Darling Downs grower St John Kent when accepting an $8000 cheque from GRDC chairman Terry Enright after he and his neighbours in the Jimbour Farmer Group won the GRDC"s Queensland and national grower group awards for 2004. Terry made a quick check of the signature and assured the winners the paper was indeed legitimate. The growers were presented with their award at this year"s Grains Week in Brisbane.

Report page 5

The GRDC and Bayer CropScience have presented Eyre Peninsula growers hit by the January bushfire with special information packs to help them prepare for this year"s sowing season. When GRDC and Bayer CropScience asked growers how they could help, the replacement of information, such as ute guides, paddock diaries and other reference books, was high on growers" lists.

[Photo: From L to R: Helping hands: Natasha O"Brien, Vic Dobos and Ken Blowers at Port Lincoln]

Vic Dobos, GRDC executive manager for communication and customer services, Bayer CropScience area manager Natasha O"Brien and broadacre support southern manager, Ken Blowers, travelled to Port Lincoln in April to present growers with the packs. They also included rain gauges, to replace those melted in the fire, and flower seeds for family gardens.

Mrs O"Brien says: "We all wanted to help and after speaking to growers found that many had lost valuable information guides. So, with the GRDC"s help, we decided to create an information pack." The fire, which affected 150 farms in the area, was the worst since the 1983 Ash Wednesday fires.

Report pages 16-17

Region North