Northern New South Wales grain grower and company director Richard Clark has been appointed as the new Chair of the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) Board.
Mr Clark’s appointment, effective October 1 this year, was announced today by Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Joel Fitzgibbon.
Mr Clark, who was a GRDC director from 1996 until 2002, will replace outgoing Chair Keith Perrett who has held the position for the past six years.
In partnership with his wife Barbara, Mr Clark runs an intensive 1340 hectare grain enterprise at Tulloona where the focus is on summer and winter cereals, pulses and oilseeds.
A graduate of Orange Agricultural College and a Fellow and graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, Mr Clark has considerable experience as a chairman and director of companies in the agricultural sector, including a number involved in agricultural research.
The appointment of Mr Clark has been welcomed by GRDC Managing Director John Harvey who said Mr Clark’s broad industry experience would be an asset to the GRDC and its stakeholders.
“As a primary producer, Richard has an intimate understanding of the many challenges confronting grain growers across Australia and I am looking forward to working with him over the next three years,” Mr Harvey said.
“This first-hand knowledge combined with his experience in the boardroom and within the research sector gives Richard a unique set of credentials that will no doubt serve GRDC and the grains industry very well.”
Mr Clark said he was fortunate to be taking over from current chairman Keith Perrett at a time when GRDC was considered to be dynamic and proactive in servicing the needs of its stakeholders, especially Australian growers.
“Keith’s legacy is an organisation that is very much in touch with the grass-roots of the grains industry. The GRDC as it stands today plays a considerable role in the discovery, development and delivery of world-class innovation to enhance the productivity, profitability and sustainability of our growers.”
Mr Clark said he was eager to take up his new role and would use the coming weeks to acquaint himself with the GRDC’s current research, development and investment program so he could “hit the ground running” come October 1.
“I’m looking forward to becoming more familiar with GRDC’s current business and the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead. As part of that process, I hope to get out to as many regions as possible, to meet with growers and to hear their views on the issues they’re facing and how GRDC can best respond to those.”
Mr Clark is currently Chairman of the Wheat Research Foundation of NSW and a director of wheat breeding company Advantage Wheats Pty Ltd. He has been a director of a number of companies, including ChemCert Ltd and its registered training organisation ChemCert Training Ltd, GrainFoods CRC, Quality Farms Australia, and NSW Farmers Association and its subsidiaries.
Mr Clark has served on a number of national bodies, including as a councillor of the Grains Council of Australia and a councillor of the National Farmers Federation.
He was the founding chair of the NSW Farmers grains research committee, a founder of the NSW Research Advisory Committees for GRDC and a strong advocate for stakeholder focussed research outcomes.
Jane O’Brien, GRDC Communication Manager
0477 708 791