Grain growers across New South Wales and Queensland have three new voices on the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) northern panel with the recent appointment of the 11-person panel for 2015-17.
In announcing the appointments, GRDC chairman Richard Clark said the role of the GRDC’s Regional Panels was critical in linking GRDC to growers, researchers, scientists, agribusiness and grower groups.
“The GRDC Board considers the appointment of members to the regional panels as crucial to the GRDC’s success,” he said.
Northern panel chair, James Clark agreed saying that the GRDC panel process was very important in ensuring grower concerns, ideas and priorities were fed into GRDC.
“The new look panel boasts a dynamic and progressive mix of expertise and capacity,” Mr Clark said.
“Growers, researchers and advisers can be confident that this panel will debate research investments with vigour and in-depth knowledge of opportunities and constraints.
“I urge the industry to engage with the panel and drive the region’s productivity forward.”
The new panelists include: Tony Hamilton, a grower from Forbes, NSW; Andrew McFadyen an agronomy consultant from Coolah, NSW; Arthur Gearon, a grower from Chinchilla, Queensland, and former Southern Panel Members John Minogue from Barmedman in NSW and Neil Fettell from Condobolin in NSW have been appointed to the Northern Panel.
Mr Clark said the panel selection process undertaken by the GRDC Board was thorough, ensuring the interests of growers and other grains industry stakeholders in the northern cropping region would be best served by the members appointed.
“The new panel is well rounded in terms of industry experience and expertise. Members come from diverse backgrounds – they include growers, researchers, consultants and advisers – and all are highly respected by their peers.”
While announcing the composition of the new panel, Mr Clark said it was also timely to recognise the contribution of outgoing panellists John Sheppard of Toowoomba in Queensland; Rob Taylor from Macalister on the Darling Downs; Kelly Becker from Theodore in Central Queensland, Keith Harris from the Liverpool Plains in NSW and Will Martel from Wellington in NSW.
“These individuals have represented the grains industry in their respective regions with distinction and enthusiasm and should be proud of their contribution. I thank them for their efforts and achievements and wish them all the best in their future endeavours,” he said.
Mr Clark said members of the panel for the coming term were already actively determining priorities for GRDC-funded R&D in their local areas and were looking forward to meeting with growers and others during this year’s spring tour in September.
“The GRDC northern regional panel is designed to be the conduit of information and insights between the grass-roots industry and the GRDC, so I encourage all growers and consultants to make themselves known to their local panel members.”
The GRDC’s three regional panels are a key strength of the organisation, playing an important advisory and strategic role in GRDC investments.
The regional panels help to ensure that the GRDC investment plan responds to the regional and national priorities of grain growers and the Australian Government, and is aligned with the GRDC’s corporate strategies.
The newly appointed panellists join returning panellists including Hunter Valley-based Mr Clark; Loretta Serafin, NSW Department of Primary Industries agronomist, Tamworth, NSW; Jules Dixon, crop consultant on the Liverpool Plains, NSW; Penny Heuston, agronomist, Warren, NSW; Jack Williamson, agronomist and grower, Goondiwindi, Queensland; and Brondwen MacLean, GRDC executive manager research programs, Canberra, ACT.
GRDC’s regional panels in the northern (NSW and Queensland), southern (South Australia, Victoria and Tasmania) and western (Western Australia) regions are renewed every two years.
James Clark, GRDC Northern Panel Chair
0427 545 212
Kylie Dunstan, GRDC Communication Manager
02 6166 4500; 0428 864934