Winning grain growers prepare for world study tour

Author: | Date: 29 Jul 2011

Winning grain growers prepare for world study tour

The 2011 cropping season will be one to remember for three Australian grain growers.

They are about to embark on the study tour of a lifetime, representing their peers as they traverse the globe to view and experience cutting-edge agricultural research.

Tony White from Miling in Western Australia, Anne Williams from Coonamble in New South Wales, and Craig Reynolds from Congupna in Victoria are travelling around the world as the winners of the Grains Research and Development Corporation’s (GRDC) The Way We Were competition.

GRDC Communication Manager Kylie Paulsen says The Way We Were initiative was established to recognise the contribution industry-funded research and development has made to advance the Australian grains industry over the past 20 years.

“The winning growers, one from each GRDC region, have revolutionised their farming systems by improving farming practices and implementing change to increase productivity, sustainability and viability,” Ms Paulsen said.

“Those efforts will be rewarded in August when the growers set out on the study tour that will take them to some of the world’s leading grains research institutes.”

The tour will kick off in Singapore on August 2 with a visit to flour producer Prima Mills where participants will gain an understanding of how Australian grain is used in Asian markets.

Two days in France will include a visit to the Limagrain Clermont research facility, before the touring party travels to the United Kingdom where the itinerary begins at the Brewing Research Institute at Red Hill, the foremost provider of scientific support and technical services to the brewing industry worldwide.

The Red Tractor assured food standards scheme based at Bristol, Homegrown Cereals at Cambridge and the Scottish Agricultural College will also be visited.

The growers then travel to Canada where they will meet with the Saskatchewan Pulse Growers industry body before they visit field sites and the Indian Head Research Station.

Five days in the United States of America will begin in Iowa at the site of comprehensive speed breeding programs in multiple plant varieties, followed by an inspection of the Monsanto agricultural biotechnology complex in Missouri and feed grain sites and feed lots in Texas.

In Mexico, the Australian contingent will focus their attention on the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center’s (CIMMYT) facilities at El Batan and Toluca. Wheat breeding programs, demonstration blocks on local farms and stripe rust research will be on the agenda.

Ms Paulsen says that while the study tour will be a unique and valuable educational opportunity for the participating growers, it will also generate benefits for the broader Australian grain growing community.

“The three growers travelling on the tour will be conveying their learnings to other Australian growers by completing a regular YouTube diary while overseas via the GRDC YouTube Channel,” Ms Paulsen said. “They will also share their stories and experiences online via

“I’m certainly looking forward to hearing about their experiences and the knowledge they gain from visiting centres of excellence for global grain research and development.”

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GRDC Project Code PNS00006