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New Southern Panel to serve interests of grain growers

GRDC Southern Regional Panel chair Keith Pengilley says Panel members work closely with growers to identify cropping constraints and opportunities and play an important function in helping to ensure that the GRDC’s investments are directed towards the best interests of growers. Image supplied by GRDC

Grain growers in the southern cropping region are set to benefit from the diversity in expertise, knowledge and experience which has been achieved with the appointment of members of the Grains Research and Development Corporation’s Southern Regional Panel for the next two years.

The Panel comprises three new members whose fresh insights and differing backgrounds will complement the perspectives and skills set of those members who have been re-appointed for another term.

In announcing the appointments, GRDC chairman John Woods said the new Panel was well equipped to serve the interests of grain growers in Victoria, Tasmania and South Australia.

“A key strength of the GRDC, the Regional Panels play a critical advisory and strategic role in informing GRDC investments in research, development and extension (RD&E) to create enduring profitability for Australian grain growers,” Mr Woods said.

“I congratulate members of the Southern Regional Panel on their appointment for the coming two-year term and look forward to working alongside them as they contribute to shaping our grains RD&E investments.”

Appointed to the Panel for the first time are Fiona Marshall from Mulwala in the Southern Riverina; Richard Murdoch from Warooka on SA’s Yorke Peninsula; and Randall Wilksch who is based at Yeelanna on SA’s Lower Eyre Peninsula.

The new Panel commences duties on September 1 2017 and one of its first undertakings will be the annual spring tour of growers’ farm enterprises, GRDC trial sites and research facilities, starting on September 18 2017.

GRDC Southern Regional Panel chair Keith Pengilley, of Evandale (Tasmania), said Panel members worked closely with growers to identify cropping constraints and opportunities and played an important function in helping to ensure that the GRDC’s investments are directed towards the best interests of growers.

“Grain growers across the southern cropping region have a direct voice through the Panel members, as well as the GRDC’s Regional Cropping Solutions Network (RCSN) which supports the Panel and whose members are spread across the three States to ensure all important regional issues and ideas are captured.

“The GRDC is therefore extremely well placed to identify cropping issues in local areas and to act swiftly in response through targeted RD&E investments.”

While announcing the composition of the Southern Regional Panel for the coming term, Mr Pengilley and the GRDC have also recognised the contribution of outgoing Panel members.

“We say farewell to South Australians Bill Long from Auburn, and Mark Stanley from Port Lincoln, as well as Rob Sonogan from Swan Hill in Victoria, who have all served multiple terms on the Panel,” Mr Pengilley said.

“They are to be congratulated for their dedication, input and efforts and we wish them all the best in their future endeavours.”

Mr Pengilley said the Panel selection process undertaken by the GRDC Board was thorough, ensuring the interests of growers and other grains industry stakeholders in the southern cropping region would be best served by the members appointed.

“The new Panel comprises members from diverse backgrounds – they include growers, researchers, consultants and advisers. They are all highly respected by their peers and I encourage all growers and other industry personnel to make themselves known to their local Panel members.”

On a state-by-state basis, the new Panel comprises:
Tasmania – Keith Pengilley (chair), Evandale.
Victoria – John Bennett, Lawloit; Jon Midwood, Inverleigh; Rohan Mott, Turriff; Kate Wilson, Hopetoun; Fiona Marshall, Mulwala.
SA – Mike McLaughlin (deputy chair), Adelaide; Peter Kuhlmann, Mudamuckla; Richard Murdoch, Warooka; Randall Wilksch, Yeelanna.

GRDC deputy chief executive Dr Steve Thomas, based in Canberra, is the GRDC staff representative on the Panel.

Source: GRDC

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