New GRDC prize for schoolsPanel Changes - Reflecting 'Single Vision'

The GRDC hopes to foster closer ties between regional towns and cities and their surrounding grains industries by sponsoring a new schools award as part of the prestigious Eureka Prizes for scientific and industrial achievement.

The new prize will encourage students to explore issues relating to grain growing and agriculture through a new $10,000 GRDC Eureka Schools Prize for Agricultural Journalism.

The prize will allow senior high school students to develop and use journalistic skills with which to inquire into the challenges and opportunities in the grains industry.

Vic Dobos, GRDC"s manager of Communication and Customer Service, says the prize is intended to help students discover for themselves a grains industry that is high-tech and brimming with opportunity, despite the environmental challenges it often comes up against.

The new prize replaces the $10,000 Eureka Prize for Research to Improve the Environmental Sustainability of Grain Growing. It will be awarded to year 11 and 12 students for preparation of a newspaper article of 800 to 1000 words reporting on an issue relating to grain growing, farm succession or rural community development.

Sponsored by the GRDC with additional support from Microsoft, the prize seeks to encourage students" science writing and journalism skills.

With its focus on technological changes and developments in the grains industry impacting on rural communities" economic and social wellbeing, Mr Dobos says the new GRDC Eureka prize will be of particular interest to rural schools and students.

Prizes total $10,000 to be divided equally between the members of the winning teams and their schools.

In addition, each student in the top four entries will receive a copy of Microsoft"s Digital Image Suite 10 plus a second copy for their school.

The winning article will be considered for publication in Ground Cover, and a representative of the top team will win a trip to Sydney for the the gala 2005 Australian Museum Eureka Prizes award dinner on Tuesday 9 August 2005.

Entries close on 14 May 2005 and entry forms can be obtained from www.amonline.net.au/eureka

A report in the December issue of Ground Cover on the experiences of GRDC panel members that represent the northern, southern and western regions has drawn considerable response from growers and other industry professionals interested in becoming involved.

In the lead-up to the next round of applications for vacancies that will soon be arising on
the panels, the GRDC is making some adjustments to the roles and responsibilities of panel
members. This is to reflect some of the changes resulting from "The Way Forward" - GRDC"s
revision of its strategic plan - and the industry"s "Single Vision" strategy.

A full report on these changes and panel application procedures will be published in the
April edition of Ground Cover.