The Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) is boosting its presence and outreach to growers in the southern cropping region through the establishment of a regional office.
The office will initially be located in Adelaide, South Australia, and will service the three states that comprise the GRDC’s southern region – SA, Victoria and Tasmania.
Expected to be operational by early next year, the office will initially house five staff, with more positions likely to be added over time.
As general manager of systems and agronomy south, Dr Stephen Loss will lead GRDC’s operations in the southern region and he will be supported by a manager of systems and agronomy and a team assistant. A manager of grower services and a contracts administrator will also be located in the Adelaide office.
GRDC Southern Regional Panel chair Keith Pengilley says the establishment of a dedicated office in the south will enable the organisation to enhance its existing relationships with growers and other grains industry personnel.
“This move is really about getting closer to growers,” said Mr Pengilley. “Having a permanent staff presence in the southern region will improve the GRDC’s accessibility to growers.
“And it will complement the network of 11 Southern Regional Panel members we have spread across the region and the 40 members of the Regional Cropping Solutions Networks that support the Panel in identifying GRDC-funded research priorities.”
In 2014-15 the GRDC invested more than $196 million in grains related research – much of which supports researchers, advisers and grower groups based in regional locations in delivering positive outcomes for the benefit of levy-paying growers.
Mr Pengilley said the transfer of some of the GRDC’s functions and roles out of the central office in Canberra and into the three cropping regions – southern, western and northern – was in recognition of the increasing diversity in environmental factors, farming systems and grower profiles across the nation.
“We believe this ‘hub and spoke’ model is most appropriate for an organisation like the GRDC which has a mandate to work closely with growers and industry at a regional level but to also maintain and foster strategic relationships with research partners from across Australia and the globe, which we can do most effectively from a national head office.”
Keith Pengilley, GRDC Southern Panel
Sharon Watt, Porter Novelli
Caption: Dr Stephen Loss, who recently participated in the GRDC Southern Regional Panel’s spring tour, will lead GRDC’s operations in the southern region.