Workshops to develop ‘soft’ skills for early career agronomists

Date: 21 Dec 2020

image of Graham Spackman
GRDC Northern Region Panel member and retired farm adviser Graham Spackman said the Emerging Agros Network was about building the capability and confidence of early career agronomists. Photo GRDC

Grain growers are increasingly reliant on agronomic advisers to stay informed and help them make the best decisions on-farm. But how do newcomers to the advisory sector deal with the difficult conversations, negotiation and diplomacy that are vital ‘soft’ tools for their role?

An industry-driven initiative with investment from the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) is providing training and skills development to arm early career agronomists and advisers with the support and information they need to do their jobs well.

GRDC Northern Region Panel member and retired farm adviser, Graham Spackman, said the Emerging Agros Network was firmly focused on helping young agronomists develop effective communication and negotiation skills, linking them with relevant GRDC research resources and connecting them with a trusted network.

“By equipping young agronomists with key skills such as how to manage difficult conversations and providing them with a roadmap to available GRDC resources, we are effectively speeding up the process of gaining knowledge and experience,” Mr Spackman said.

“This is the second year of the Emerging Agros Network project and what we have heard while delivering events across Queensland and New South Wales is that young agronomists want more advice and guidance on negotiation, conflict and effective communication.”

As a result, a workshop series will be offered in 2021 as part of the Emerging Agros Network project, which is managed by specialist agricultural communication providers, Seedbed Media.

The free-of-charge series, which will include three webinars and a face-to-face workshop, will cover the following:

  • March 10, webinar from 1pm: Understanding your core values and direction and setting personal and business goals.
  • March 17, face-to-face workshop from 9-3pm, Moree: Working with different people; communicating for success, negotiation and conflict management. (This workshop will also be available as a recording).
  • March 24, webinar from 1pm: Manage yourself, manage your time.
  • March 31, webinar from 1pm: Building effective networks and getting the best of out of client and business relationships.

The March courses will be delivered by experienced grains industry trainer Rebecca Fing from House Paddock Training and Consulting.

For more information or to register your interest in the webinars, email Seedbed Media director Rachel Bowman on or register.

For more information about the Emerging Agros Network, watch this GRDC video explaining how and why this pilot project is making a difference to early career agronomists.

Contact details

Toni Somes, GRDC Communications Manager – North
0436 622 645