Williamson hits the ground running on second term
Author: Sarah Jeffrey | Date: 04 Feb 2016
Young, university-educated and professionally trained Jack Williamson is amongst a new breed of grain growers with a passion for agriculture and a determination to effect change.
A private agricultural consultant at Goondiwindi, Mr Williamson also helps run his family’s broadacre cropping operation on the border and believes the combination gives him valuable insights into the research, development and extension (RD&E) needs of the grains industry.
It is one of the reasons he is stepping into a second term as a panelist on the Grains Research and Development Corporation’s (GRDC) northern panel.
His aim is to be a crucial link between growers in his region and industry research.
“RD&E is vital to the grains industry if growers are going to remain financially viable,” he said.
“Unless there’s a paradigm shift in commodity prices, success will primarily come through improvements in yield and water use efficiency and RD&E is at the forefront of that.”
His family’s primarily dryland operation produces both summer and winter crops – wheat, barley, chickpeas and sorghum – which he believes ties in well with his work as a consultant agronomist.
“As a consultant I work with the same sorts of crops we are growing at home, so this gives me a good understanding of the needs of local growers,” Mr Williamson said.
High on that list of local needs is further research into water use efficiency.
“We’re in the business of turning water into production systems. With longer dry spells and shorter, more intense wet periods we have to learn how to capture, store and use that water more effectively.”
As a member of the 11-strong panel, the young agronomist says he is particularly keen to see the regional results from a more localised approach to research.
The GRDC investment in regional nodes such as the Narrabri Plant Breeding Institute (PBI) plays a critical role in progressing regionally relevant crop productivity research through increasing the scope and validity of trial work.
As a panellist, Mr Williamson seeks to serve an advisory role ensuring levy investment is targeted, practical and delivers a beneficial return to growers.
“We are gate keepers to ensure research is of the highest standards and is timely, relevant and realistic.”
To hear Mr Williamson talking about his involvement on the GRDC northern panel, follow this link
Jack Williamson, GRDC northern panellist, Goondiwindi
0438 907 820
Sarah Jeffrey, Cox Inall Communications
0418 152 859