GRDC to recruit new northern panel

Author: Sarah Jeffrey | Date: 13 May 2015

Image of James Clark, GRDC northern panel chair.

Grain growers and industry personnel across Queensland and New South Wales are being offered an unparalleled opportunity to influence the future direction of northern grains research, with the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) announcing it will appoint a new northern panel effective from September 1, 2015.

The northern panel provides an effective link between growers, the research community and GRDC and plays an important advisory and strategic role in GRDC investments across the research, development and extension spectrum.

The panel system helps ensure that the GRDC’s investments deliver practical gains in the productivity, profitability and competitiveness of Australian grain growers by identifying and refining key research priorities for the northern region, according to GRDC northern panel chair James Clark.

“The northern panel is dedicated to ensuring that grower levies are directed into research and development activities that have a meaningful, lasting and profitable impact in the paddock,” Mr Clark said.

“A key role of the panel is to source feedback from regional growers and industry personnel about the major agronomic and production challenges they are facing.

“Being part of the northern panel offers an opportunity to investigate these challenges and find long term solutions through innovative research, development and extension projects – it’s an extremely rewarding way to help raise the bar on industry production and profitability.”

The northern panel selection will draw from an area spanning Queensland as well all production areas in New South Wales following the GRDC’s recent revision of its northern region boundary.

The GRDC’s northern region now stretches from the NSW/Victorian border along the Murray River to Central Queensland, representing some of the most diverse cropping environments in Australia.

“Being such a diverse and productive region means that it is critical for GRDC-funded research to be regionally focussed and deliver local solutions to growers and the northern panel is the conduit to ensure that happens,” Mr Clark said.

“I’d encourage all growers and industry personnel who have a keen interest in contributing to the future productivity of the northern grains industry to consider applying be become a northern panellist. It’s rewarding, insightful and an excellent way to make a positive and meaningful contribution to the future of the Australian grains industry.”

The current northern panel includes chairman James Clark; deputy chair John Sheppard; growers Rob Taylor, Macalister, Keith Harris, Quirindi and Will Martel, Wellington; grower and agronomist Kelly Becker, Theodore; senior agronomists Loretta Serafin, Tamworth, Penny Heuston, Warren, Jules Dixon, Avalon and Jack Williamson, Goondiwindi; and GRDC executive manager commercial Dr Steve Thomas.

Applications for northern panel positions are open until Tuesday, June 9, 2015. Further information on the regional panel application process is available on the GRDC website in the Regional Panel Member Information and

Application form or by contacting GRDC executive manager regional grower services Stuart Kearns on 02 6166 4500 or via


Contact Details

For Interviews

James Clark, GRDC northern panel chair
0427 545 212


Sarah Jeffrey, Senior Consultant Cox Inall Communications
0418 152 859

Region North