Kate is a partner in a large grain producing operation between Woomelang and Hopetoun in Victoria’s southern Mallee region.
Kate and her husband Grant are fourth generation farmers and with their two children they produce wheat, canola, lentils, lupins and field peas.
She has been an agronomic consultant for more than 20 years, servicing clients throughout the Mallee and northern Wimmera.
Kate is passionate about producing high quality grain, whilst enhancing the natural ability of the soil to do so.
Having witnessed and implemented much change in farming practices over the past two decades, Kate is also passionate about research and the extension of that research to bring about positive practice change to growers.
Kate says she decided to apply for a position on the GRDC Southern Regional Panel because she “felt it was time to give back to the industry in a big picture way rather than just dealing with 30 or 40 growers”.
“I thought it was time to increase my circle of influence and I think being on the Panel is a great way to do that.”
Kate says the main concern for growers is trying to maintain profitability in an environment in which costs are rising continually and there is a heavy reliance on fertiliser and inputs.
She says the GRDC’s Farm Business Management initiative, instigated by the Southern Regional Panel, is assisting in increasing growers’ knowledge of the business side of farming.
To address farming systems constraints, Kate says the GRDC is directing funds into the research of break crops in the rotation, frost and heat – issues of importance to growers in her region.
Kate sees her role as Panel member as being a conduit between growers and the GRDC.
“I can act as the growers’ voice and hopefully I am seen as someone that growers can approach with their issues.”
She aims to raise the profile of the Regional Cropping Solutions Networks (RCSNs) so that more growers are aware the RCSNs’ role in identifying local cropping issues and bringing these to the attention of the Panel and the GRDC more broadly.
Kate encourages growers who have concerns about impediments within their farming systems to raise these with a Panel member or with a member of the RCSNs.
“There are a number of ways that growers can get their message through to the GRDC,” Kate says.
M 0427 571 360