A grain grower from Western Australia’s northern grainbelt has been appointed the new Chair of the Grains Research and Development Corporation’s (GRDC) Western Region Panel.
Darrin Lee, of Mingenew, will be the Western Region Panel Chair from September 1 2018, assuming the position that has been occupied by Dunn Rock grower Peter Roberts since 2011.
GRDC Board Chair John Woods congratulated Mr Lee on his appointment and at the same time paid tribute to Mr Roberts who is stepping down from Panel duties after 10 years of diligent service.
“Darrin has been a member of the Western Region Panel since 2014 and during that time has clearly demonstrated he has the attributes and leadership qualities needed for the role of Panel Chair,” Mr Woods said.
“He is passionate about driving increased profitability for our grain growers, he engages well with growers, advisers, researchers and other grains industry personnel, and his keen personal interest and involvement in agricultural technology and food production will no doubt add to the wealth of experience and expertise he brings to the role.”
Mr Lee is Managing Director and partner in Bligh Lee Farms, a mixed cropping and livestock operation located north-east of Mingenew.
He has a background in banking and finance, and is a past member of the CBH Group Growers Advisory Council and a previous Board member of Mingenew Irwin Group.
While announcing Mr Lee’s appointment for an initial two-year term, Mr Woods commended Mr Roberts on his outstanding contribution to the Western Panel, the GRDC and the broader grains industry.
“Over many years, Peter has been incredibly influential in ensuring the issues most affecting grower profitability in the Western Region are recognised and addressed through impactful investments in research, development and extension,” Mr Woods said.
“Peter has led the Western Panel with distinction, and recent advances in grains production in WA can in many instances be attributed to his commitment to the industry and his untiring efforts to serve growers’ interests.”
Each of the GRDC’s three Regional Panel Chairs assists the GRDC in meeting its purpose of investing in RD&E to create enduring profitability for Australian grain growers, according to Mr Woods.
“The Panel Chairs play a crucial leadership role in ensuring that the Panel operates effectively. Their roles involve reporting to the GRDC National Panel and GRDC staff on regional issues and activities, they facilitate communication between the National and respective Region Panels and advise the GRDC on strategic investment priorities and proposals.
“Peter has been an outstanding advocate for growers and we look forward to working more closely with Darrin as the new Chair of the Western Panel.”
The GRDC’s Regional Panels play a critical role in grower engagement, ground-truthing GRDC initiatives, and communicating outcomes of RD&E investments.