Panel service an opportunity to broaden horizons
Author: Natalie Lee | Date: 23 Feb 2016
After a successful first term on the Grains Research and Development Corporation’s (GRDC) Western Regional Panel, Chris Wilkins was keen to embark on his second term.
Mr Wilkins, based in Badgingarra, is a well-known agronomic and agribusiness adviser.He has 24 years’ experience in Western Australia’s agricultural industry, including offering farm business, agronomy, farming systems and crop protection advice through his Vision Agribusiness Services company for the past 17 years
He is also a director of agricultural consultancy business Synergy Consulting WA, chairs the Council of Grain Grower Organisations Ltd (COGGO) and is a member of WA Agriculture Minister Ken Baston’s Ministerial Agricultural Advisory Council.
Mr Wilkins says being a member of the panel has given him valuable insights into many facets of the grains industry.
“Being a member of the panel allows you to see into other sectors of the grains industry and look at how they work together to improve productivity and profitability in Western Australia,” he said.
“It gives people an opportunity to broaden their horizons and to look beyond the area they work in, whether it’s as a grower, researcher, adviser or agronomist consultant.”
Personal development is another big factor that has driven Mr Wilkins to return to the panel.
“The panel gives you the opportunity to get you out of your standard operating environment and get you outside of your box and have a look at the world in a different way,” he said.
Mr Wilkins joins 10 other panel members, including fellow returning panellists Dunn Rock grower Peter Roberts (chairman), agronomy and farming systems specialist Mike Ewing (deputy chairman), Mingenew growers Paul Kelly and Darrin Lee, agricultural consultant Bill Ryan and Esperance grower Gemma Walker.
Merredin grain grower Jules Alvaro, West River grain grower Andy Duncan, wheat geneticist Greg Rebetzke from CSIRO and GRDC executive manager Stuart Kearns are new panellists.
Mr Wilkins says the role of the Western Regional Panel is crucial in the way GRDC functions in WA.
“We’re looking firstly at strategy, to make sure we’re getting the most out of our investments in WA, and secondly, we are a major component of linkage and feedback for growers, researchers and advisers in WA." he said.
“We act as a conduit of information to and from people who are paying levies, people who are doing research and extension, and GRDC the organisation.
“It’s a very important role to have good feedback and good linkages with the research community, and especially growers to make sure they are having adequate input into GRDC’s priorities and directions in Western Australia.”
A video interview of Mr Wilkins talking about his role on the GRDC Western Regional Panel is available on the GRDC YouTube channel.
The GRDC plans and invests in RD&E for the Australian grains industry. Its primary objective is to drive the discovery, development and delivery of world-class innovation to enhance the productivity, profitability and sustainability of Australian grain growers and benefit the industry and the wider community.
Chris Wilkins, GRDC western panellist
0427 940 925
Natalie Lee, Cox Inall Communications
08 9864 2034, 0427 189 827