GRDC seeks applications for Regional Panel positions

image of national panel
Applications are open for positions on the Grains Research and Development Corporation’s three regional panels, providing an invaluable opportunity to contribute to Australian grains research and, in turn, on-farm profitability. Photo by GRDC.

An invaluable opportunity to contribute to Australian grains research and, in turn, on-farm profitability is being offered to primary producers, industry stakeholders, scientists and others involved in the agricultural sector.

Applications are open for positions on the Grains Research and Development Corporation’s three regional panels.

The regional panels provide a critical link between growers, the research community and the GRDC and play an important advisory and strategic role helping to guide GRDC investments across the research, development and extension (RD&E) spectrum.

Applications for the GRDC Regional Panel positions close on Wednesday, April 15, 2020. Successful applicants will take up the part-time positions from September 1 and appointments will be for two years.

GRDC Managing Director Dr Steve Jefferies said the regional panel system helped ensure that GRDC’s RD&E investments delivered gains in profitability to Australian grain growers by assisting to draw out and prioritise local, regional and national grains industry issues.

“The GRDC’s primary focus is improving grower profitability and we all know there are many factors, both on and off farm, that influence growers’ returns,” Dr Jefferies said.

“The regional panels play an important role in sourcing feedback from growers and industry about regional production constraints, as well as opportunities, and bringing that information back to GRDC to help guide investment direction.

“Diversity within these panels is an integral part of the system’s success so each is comprised of primary producers, agribusiness practitioners, scientists and the GRDC’s executive managers with provision for other industry experts.”

GRDC Northern Region Panel Chair John Minogue, who is also a grain grower and farm consultant in southern New South Wales, said the panel roles required a time commitment and knowledge of the grains industry, but the experience gained was invaluable.

“I was a panel member, before taking on the role of Chair, and both experiences have been very rewarding from both a personal and professional perspective. But most importantly, it has been a chance to give back to the grains industry,” Mr Minogue said.

“Being on the panel has given me the opportunity to go beyond my farm gate and engage with some of Australia’s most respected researchers, along with some of the industry’s most progressive growers and agronomists.

“From an industry perspective it has given me a chance to play a role in working with my fellow panel members and GRDC staff to help ensure grower levies are directed into RD&E that has a meaningful and profitable impact on-farm.”

GRDC Southern Region Panel Chair John Bennett, a mixed farmer at Lawloit in Victoria’s West Wimmera region, said Panel membership was a unique and richly rewarding experience, from multiple perspectives.

“Being a member of the GRDC Southern Panel is a position of privilege – you are a representative of your industry and your peers, and have influence in directing investment in research, development and extension to generate solutions on their behalf,” said Mr Bennett, who was a Panel member before being appointed Chair.

“The GRDC Regional Panel model delivers industry good. Through a transparent process, it ensures that the interests of growers are well served and that their levies are invested in targeted research that addresses their most important challenges and needs.

“Knowing that you are playing an important role in providing growers with opportunities to grow their profitability is incredibly satisfying.”

GRDC Western Region Panel Chair Darrin Lee, who is also a Mingenew grain grower, said his roles as a Panel member and then Chair had provided him with the opportunity to add value to and give back to the agricultural industry.

“Agriculture has given me a lot over my working career, so it’s great to be able to reciprocate,” Mr Lee said.

“This commitment required is from my perspective very rewarding and well worth it – I have had the opportunity to have a direct impact on the grains industry and to meet some amazing people.

“Being a regional panel member is also very valuable for personal development and makes you a stronger and better leader within your own local community.”

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