The interests of the southern grains industry are well represented by the 11 members appointed to the Grains Research and Development Corporation’s Southern Regional Panel for the next two years.
In announcing the appointments, GRDC Chairman Richard Clark said the Southern Panel’s chair Keith Pengilley would be supported by a team with substantial cross-industry experience.
“The role of the GRDC’s Regional Panels is critical in linking GRDC to growers, researchers, scientists, agribusiness and grower groups,” Mr Clark said. “The GRDC Board considers the appointment of members to the Regional Panels as crucial to the GRDC’s success,” he said.
Panel chair Keith Pengilley agreed, saying: “The GRDC Panel process is very important in ensuring grower concerns, ideas and priorities are fed into GRDC, and the new Panel consists of personnel who not only offer a broad cross-section of expertise and experience, but also geographical representation.
“Grain growers in just about every pocket of the southern cropping region have a direct voice through the Panel members who will be serving growers’ interests over the next two years,” Mr Pengilley said.
“And in addition to the 11 Southern Panel members, we have more than 40 grain growers, consultants and researchers represented on the four Regional Cropping Solutions Networks (RCSNs) which provide support and advice to the Panel.
“The GRDC is therefore extremely well placed to identify cropping issues in local areas and to act swiftly in response through targeted research and development (R&D).”
The Panel comprises six new members along with three panelists who have been re-appointed for another term.
Appointed to the Panel for the first time are John Bennett, a grower from Lawloit in the west Wimmera of Victoria; Peter Kuhlmann, a grower from Mudamuckla on South Australia’s Eyre Peninsula; Michael McLaughlan, a soil nutrition specialists from Adelaide in SA; Jon Midwood, an agronomy and farming systems specialist from Inverleigh in Victoria; Rohan Mott, a grower from Ninda in north west Victoria; and Kate Wilson, an agricultural consultant from Hopetoun in Victoria.
Mr Pengilley said the Panel selection process undertaken by the GRDC Board was thorough, ensuring the interests of growers and other grains industry stakeholders in the southern 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 Pengilley said it was also timely to recognise the contribution of outgoing panelists Chris Blanchard of Wagga Wagga in NSW, Richard Konzag of Mallala in SA, Susan Findlay Tickner of Horsham in Victoria, and Geoff McLeod of Finley 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.”
Former Southern Panel members John Minogue from Barmedman in NSW and Neil Fettell from Condobolin in NSW have been appointed to the Northern Panel which now covers all of NSW.
Mr Pengilley 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 Southern 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.”
On a state-by-state basis, the new Panel comprises:
Tasmania – Keith Pengilley (chair), Conara.
Victoria – Rob Sonogan, Swan Hill; John Bennett, Lawloit (new); Jon Midwood, Inverleigh (new); Rohan Mott, Ninda (new); and Kate Wilson, Hopetoun (new).
SA – Bill Long, Ardrossan; Mark Stanley, Port Lincoln; Peter Kuhlmann, Mudamuckla (new); and Michael McLaughlan, Adelaide (new).
ACT – Andreas Betzner, GRDC Acting Executive Manager, Commercial.
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.
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.
Keith Pengilley, Southern Panel chair
Kylie Dunstan, GRDC