AgForce Cane is now a reality, with AgForce and the former Invicta Combined Growers Organisation (ICGO) signing and lodging the official paperwork on Friday.
From today, any cane farmer in Burdekin / Herbert can join AgForce and already membership applications are being received.
The offices of the former ICGO in Ayr will become AgForce’s first permanent premises in north Queensland with signage being installed later this week.
General President Georgie Somerset said she looked forward to working with cane farmer members and elected representatives for the betterment of Queensland agriculture.
“On behalf of the AgForce Board, as well as the Cattle, Sheep & Wool and Grains Commodity Boards, I’d like to welcome them to the AgForce family,” Mrs Somerset said
“We are looking forward to working alongside our new cane members and their elected representatives, who have done so much to improve the lot of cane farmers and the cane industry at a local level.
“They now join their strong and passionate voices to ours.
“I’d like to commend the courage and forward-thinking of the Board of the former ICGO – Chairman Ricky Mio, Deputy Chairman Laurence Dal Santo, and Directors Peter Papadimitriou and Russell Hall – for both their initial approach to AgForce and the way they have negotiated professionally but vigorously on behalf of their members along the way.”
“They will constitute the AgForce Cane Board – with Ricky as President as well as becoming a Director on the AgForce Board – until the 2022 AgForce general elections.”
Mr Mio said he and members of the former ICGO had been “humbled” at the overwhelmingly positive and enthusiastic welcome extended by existing AgForce Boards and members.
“We are overjoyed that Queensland’s cattle, grain, sheep, and wool producers have overwhelmingly accepted us because they also believe that we are stronger, better together,” he said.
“We are also delighted that our first cane farmer members are putting their money where their mouth is, and already signing up to join an organisation that they know will stand up for them and their interests.
“AgForce Cane will be rolled out in stages over three crushing seasons, starting from the imminent 2020 crush, due to start at the Inkerman Mill in the Burdekin on June 2.
“From the 2021 season, membership will be extended to the remaining Wilmar mills including Plane Creek and Proserpine, and from 2022 to any cane farmer who wants to try a different way of doing things.”
Burdekin and Herbert cane farmers who would like to join AgForce should contact AgForce Regional Manager North Queensland Nikki Hoffman on 0408 786 057 or AgForce Cane Policy Officer Michael Kern on 0499 960 006.