Join the GRDC in shaping future research agenda: Call for tenders and new members now open

Author: Sharon Watt | Date: 04 Aug 2016

At a recent GRDC Southern RCSNs meeting in Melbourne, Victoria, were GRDC Southern Manager Grower Services, Craig Ruchs (left); GRDC Executive Manager Regional Grower Services, Stuart Kearns; South Australian Research and Development Institute entomologist Greg Baker; and medium rainfall zone RCSN facilitator Tony Craddock.

The Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) is calling for grain growers, researchers, farm advisers, consultants and agribusiness professionals to nominate to become a member on its Southern Regional Cropping Solutions Networks (RCSNs).

Tenders are also open to individuals or organisations for the provision of facilitation and co-ordination services for each of the three RCSNs in the southern cropping region. An overall lead co-ordinator will also be appointed to ensure consistency in reporting and function across all three network zones.

The southern region RCSNs were established in 2012 to further ensure grower levies are targeted to address major production constraints and opportunities in the GRDC southern region (comprising South Australia, Victoria and Tasmania).

The RCSNs provide advice to the GRDC Manager Regional Grower Services, Craig Ruchs, and the Southern Regional Panel on local grain production constraints, opportunities and how best to tackle them. They also assess the effectiveness and impact of existing research, development and extension (RD&E) activities in the southern region and provide recommendations for continual improvement.

Each of the three networks comprise 12 members and are focused on farming systems in a particular production zone – low rainfall, medium rainfall and high rainfall. Members liaise closely with, and represent, the wider grains community in their respective zone.

Craig Ruchs says the RCSN initiative provides a platform for cross-industry collaboration and is an important partnership that is valued greatly by the GRDC. He says the RCSN initiative provides another “check and balance” to ensure grower levies target areas of greatest present and future need and thereby deliver continued value to growers.

“The networks provide members with yet another mechanism to shape grains RD&E investments and to directly assist in developing solutions that industry has collaboratively helped to design,” Mr Ruchs said. “In addition, individuals are provided with a unique opportunity to network and learn from like-minded and passionate individuals committed to delivering enduring profitability to Australian grain growers.

“The networks not only play a vital role in understanding and addressing priority grains industry issues in the regions, but also provide a means for the GRDC to continue to work more closely with growers and industry to reduce the time it takes for research outputs to be adopted.” 

Applications for RCSN members close on September 2, 2016, with appointments being for a two-year term, commencing November this year.

To continue to support the RCSNs, skilled and experienced facilitators and co-ordinators are being sought by the GRDC.

Mr Ruchs said successful applicants for facilitation and coordination services would be required to establish, link, support and develop a network of growers, farming systems groups, agribusiness personnel, agronomists and advisers and R&D organisations.

“They will work with the respective networks to contribute to and support the identification and prioritisation of local production issues and opportunities within the southern region. They will form an effective interface between these networks and the GRDC, and provide feedback to the GRDC through the Southern Panel and myself on emerging issues.”

Tenders for the provision of facilitation and co-ordination services close on August 31, 2016. The term will be for a five year period, commencing early October this year.

More information about the RCSN member, facilitation and co-ordination opportunities are available via the Current Tenders page.

For Interviews

Craig Ruchs, GRDC

0477 710813


Sharon Watt, Porter Novelli

0409 675100

Region South