Social media helps GRDC keep industry ahead

Author: Sarah Jeffrey | Date: 29 Jan 2015

Image of Prue Cook, manager of online communities for GRDC

When the Grains and Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) was founded in 1990, the internet was a phenomenon virtually unheard of in Australia.

By 1998, only 16% of Australians had access to home internet and just two out of every five households owned a personal computer.

Since then, Australian’s use of computers and the internet has exploded in line with expanded infrastructure, improved efficiency of servers and more affordable access to digital technologies and mobile devices.

This progress has transformed the way information is accessed and enabled business’ in rural and regional Australia to keep up-to-date with the latest industry information and advice.

Similarly, the GRDC has evolved significantly in the way it interacts with growers and the research community, embracing the use of Twitter and Facebook to offer users the ability to view and engage with the latest in grains information.

GRDC’s manager of online communities Prudence Cook said Australian grain growers had much to gain from the use of social media as a communications tool, enabling them to source on-the-spot agronomic information and production advice from other growers, industry bodies, respected advisors and researchers.

“Social media can be a very powerful tool for Australian agribusiness’ but often people start off without a clear understanding of what information they’re after or who they want to talk to,” Ms Cook said.

“Think about what you want to get out of social media and ensure you get information relevant to your farm business from the outset.”

Ms Cook will host a social media presentation at this year’s GRDC Grains Research Updates in Coonabarabran on February 25 and 26 and Goondiwindi on March 3 and 4.

Topics covered in the presentation include the evolution of social media in Australian agriculture – how is it used in the grains industry and common myths; Twitter – what is it, what conversations are happening and what’s the best bang for your buck when looking for grains information and troubleshooting;  and key considerations before you start tweeting.

The sessions will also incorporate an interactive component to help interested participants set up a Twitter account and find key ag followers, discuss social media terminology and analytics as well as troubleshoot problems existing social media users may have.

For more information on the 2015 Grains Research Updates, agendas or registration forms visit or or call John Cameron or Erica McKay on 02 9482 4930 or email

Growers can keep up with the GRDC on Facebook and on Twitter @theGRDC.


Caption: GRDC manager of online communities Prudence Cook says social media can be a powerful communications tool for Australian agribusiness.

Contact Details

For Interviews

Prudence Cook, GRDC manager online communities
02 6166 4568


Sarah Jeffrey, Senior Consultant Cox Inall Communications
0418 152859

GRDC Project Code ICN00014

Region North