Grower Group Alliance Newswire
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Dear <<First Name>> <<Last Name>>

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It's with great sadness (and excitement) that this will be my last Newswire for the GGA, as I am leaving the Alliance at the end of January to purse new opportunities in the industry. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time with the GGA, it has provided me with so many great opportunities to work across a diverse, valued and inspiring network. I would like to thank everyone that has supported the project during my time and look forward to watching how the GGA grows and evolves to continue to support grower groups, as an important contributor to RD&E across WA.

The GGA is looking forward to delivering some exciting projects, activities and events in 2017, including capacity building workshops, Industry Linkages forum, study tour, Annual Forum and a study to investigate the social and economic value of grower groups. We encourage all our key stakeholders to stay connected to the GGA project, letting us know what you are up so that we can continue to provide valuable services and connections to our broad industry network. 

The GGA team would like to wish you all a safe end to harvest, and a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! 

- Rebecca 

2016 has been a big year for the GGA project, with some changes taking place and a number of key activities delivering real benefit to grower groups in WA. In January the project welcomed new Project Officer, Sarah Houston, and in August we said farewell to long-standing Chair Clancy Michael. Kelly Pearce was nominated as incoming Chair, and brings with her a wealth of experience and passion for the industry and grower groups.

Governance training was delivered at a packed out workshop in Geraldton, made possible through our partnership with CBH and facilitated by AICD. The next training workshop focused on time management and team leadership to enhance grower groups through effective leadership and management of self, others and time.

The GGA project provides services and support to many groups through its various activities, and this year it has been fantastic to see so many groups interested in taking up our Strategic Planning support. The support can either be delivered through financial assistance to go towards paying a facilitator, or alternatively GGA staff can develop and deliver a strategic planning workshop for groups. This year has seen four groups provided with support, and others in the pipeline to support in the new year.

In August, the GGA Annual Forum was a huge success, particularly with the new format of being open to all stakeholders in the grower group network. The Forum focused on collaboration enabling successful grower groups and creating value for their members, partners and funders. Over 100 people were in attendance, and the inaugural Grower Group Excellence Award was presented to Yuna Farm Improvement Group. 

The GGA has spent a lot of time in 2016 consulting with groups and industry as to the future of the GGA project and how this will look. This process continues and we look forward to working with all our stakeholders over the coming 2 years to develop a sustainable and valuable plan for the future GGA.

There have been a number of opportunities for the GGA to promote and showcase the role of grower groups in the RD&E landscape here in WA and on a national level. This has included meeting with key people from government and funding organisations, as well as presenting at state and national conferences, and being at the table to discuss national initiatives to increase the profile of grower groups nationally.

Finally, we say goodbye to Project Leader, Rebecca Wallis, who has been with the project now for five years. We wish Rebecca all the best with her future endeavours and thank her for all your hard work within the GGA during her time here. We look forward to a new team member joining us in 2017 and to working with all our stakeholders in the new year to continue helping support the WA grower group network.


DAFWA is pleased to advise two grant schemes which aim to grow WA’s agrifood sector are now open for applications. The grants form part of the Agriculture Sciences R&D Fund, managed by the Department of Agriculture and Food, Western Australia, with Royalties for Regions investment. The two grant schemes are listed below:

Grower Groups R&D Grants Program Round 2 

The Grower Groups R&D Grants Program Round 2 is now open! The program seeks to generate profitability and growth in the agrifood sector through targeted, industry-driven R&D on key drivers of productivity and competitiveness, strategic development of industry’s capability through supply chains, and access to new markets, particularly high value Asian markets.

Applications for the Grower Group R&D Grants close Friday 10 February 2017.

Industry Grants for International Competitiveness (IGIC)

The IGIC program will invest up to $1.3 million in grants to support organisations working together along supply/value chains, who see their future as part of an internationally competitive export-oriented agrifood sector. Industry Consortia can apply for grants between $20 000 and $100 000 to develop strategies to drive international competitiveness at the enterprise and value chain level.

Applications for IGIC grants close Tuesday 24 January 2017.


GGA grower group member SPAA are looking for opportunities to collaborate with WA grower groups in running PA events in WA during 2017. Over the last 3 years SPAA have staged PA expos in Moora (2014) and Three Springs (2015 & 2016), and are now keen to explore the opportunity of hosting more expos to showcase the benefits and opportunities with PA in new regions across WA.
The following survey will assist SPAA in getting the information required to hold more events in WA next year and beyond. Click here to go to the survey. 

For more information contact Nicole Dimos, T: 0437 422 000, E:
The ‘Western Australian Wild Dog Action Plan 2016-2021’ provides a new plan for leadership and coordination for industry, landholders, biosecurity groups, government and others to tackle the increasing livestock industry threat posed by wild dogs in WA.

The purpose of the Action Plan is to coordinate the control of wild dogs by developing partnership arrangements between industry, biosecurity groups, government and the community to deliver a sustained, whole-of-industry benefit. This comprehensive, industry-led plan aims to reduce the economic and social impact of wild dogs. It will significantly contribute to revitalising and fostering growth of pastoral, agricultural and tourism industries.

Click here to find out more, or contact Malcolm Kennedy, T: 08 9368 3717, E:

The development of Western Australia’s Biosecurity Strategy is led by government and informed by industry and community, and sets the strategic direction for partnership arrangements to manage biosecurity issues affecting agriculture, fisheries, forests and biodiversity in our terrestrial and aquatic environments.

The Strategy discusses the importance of biosecurity to Western Australia, the increasing challenges in managing biosecurity, the biosecurity continuum, and federal and state partnerships and frameworks.

Click here for more information or contact Debra Cousins, T: 08 9363 4036, E:

GRDC have recently released a number of resources to assist with various farm business decision making processes.

The "Business structures explained" fact sheet looks at the many considerations involved in deciding what business structure is most appropriate to your farming business.
 Click here to view.

The second fact sheet discusses how to carefully consider the advice received from advisers such as accountants, consultants and lawyers, and use the information they give to make decisions. Click here to view "Business Structure: things you should know and ask your adviser".


The GRDC "Stored Grain" app has been designed to assist growers manage on-farm grain storage. A key feature is the ability to record grain storage details and monitoring records at the storage site regardless of mobile reception or data speed. The app can be used offline and then records can be synchronised between multiple mobile devices and/or exported to excel next time you have mobile reception.

Click here for more information about available GRDC phone apps.

Ever wonder about the relevance of discussion groups in the scheme of extension and communication of agricultural research and development? The Australasia-Pacific Extension Network (APEN) recently held a webinar looking at how peer-to-peer discussion and learning works, and how the process can potentially be improved. Click here to view the webinar.

DAFWA is currently looking to identify potential alternative markets for waste products and is seeking information on volumes produced and any current use and value. The project is looking for biomass information on products like broadacre cropping residues (e.g. cereal straw), horticultural waste, vineyard waste and animal waste from piggeries, feedlots and other intensive animal industries.

An analysis of the information gathered will help guide future bioenergy project investment decisions, so it’s important to have local data to ensure the region does not miss out on new opportunities. Click here to find out more or contact David Rogers, T: 08 9892 8444,



Techspo will be a one stop conference and Trade Show exhibiting the latest in agricultural technology available, providing an event for farmers and their advisors to learn about, share and experience technologies currently available to improve productivity and profitability. 

Southern DIRT invite you to join them in Katanning from Tuesday 12 - Thursday 14 September 2017, for the opportunity to touch, feel and talk about the many choices available and hear from other farmers and highly regarded industry representatives on real life implementation of technology in agriculture.

Click here for more information or contact Tracey Hodgkins, T: 0428 579 947, E:

Mon 27 - Tues 28 February 2017

In 2017, the GRDC Grains Research Update in Perth will consist of a two day program, with over 50 presenters showcasing the latest research, technology, market development and management innovations to improve the productivity and profitability of the WA grains industry.

Registrations open this Thursday, 8 December. Click here to view the draft program, registration and more information about the event, or contact Ian Longson, T: 08 6262 2128, E:


The Western Australian Young Achiever Awards aim to acknowledge, encourage and promote the positive achievements of young people, including the Agriculture Award sponsored by WAFarmers and Rural Bank.

Click here to read more about the Agriculture Award. Nominations close Friday 13 January 2017. Click here to nominate and find out more. 


The Office of Science is now accepting applications for the Premier's Early to Mid Career Fellowship in Agriculture and Food. This is an exciting opportunity for an outstanding applied researcher who has completed their PhD within the past 10 years to work with the Premier’s Fellow to undertake cutting edge research and participate in research teams within Western Australia. 

Click here for more information or contact Johanna Dowsett, T: 08 6552 6462, E:


Stirlings to Coast Farmers are seeking an R&D Coordinator to provide leadership to the research team and coordinate the group's research activities.

Click here for more information or contact Christine Kershaw, T: 0429 236 729, E:
The GRDC Farm Business Update provides a unique forum for growers and advisers to learn from and network with leading industry professionals. Dates and locations for the 2017 Updates have now been announced: Click here for more information about GRDC events in 2017. 


The following regional GRDC Grains Research Updates have been confirmed for 2017: 
  • Mingenew (Geraldton Zone) - Fri 24 Feb
  • Kendenup (Albany Zone) - Tues 7 March
  • Merredin (Kwinana East Zone) - Thurs 9 March
Click here for more information or contact Ian Longson, T: 08 6262 2128, E:

Entries are now open for the 2017-2019 Cropping Challenge and Southern DIRT are challenging other Grower Groups to get involved! 

The DIRT to $ Cropping Challenge 2.0 will be conducted at the Techso Site in Katanning, and managed according to grower instructions by Kalyx. Entry cost is $2000 per team per year, which includes all growing and marketing costs, and a Gala Dinner to announce the year’s winners.

The Southern DIRT team will manage the competition and collate all results. The site will be located in a highly visible location and individual plot signage will be allowed. This is a great opportunity to work with farmers from across various regions. Limited plots are available with 12 entries already made out of a possible 20. 

Click here for more information or contact Tracey Hodgkins, T: 0428 579 947, E:


The Rural R&D for Profit program aims to improve farm-gate productivity and profitability, and deliver real outcomes for Australian farmers.

To be eligible for grant funding, Research Development Corporation's (RDC) must partner with one or more researchers, research agencies, RDCs, funding bodies, businesses, producer groups or not-for-profit organisations, and the partnership must provide funding (cash or cash plus an in-kind contribution) at least equal to the requested Australian Government grant funding. The program guidelines provide further details of the eligibility and funding criteria. 

Click here for more information. Applications close Tuesday 6 December. 


MLA invites preliminary proposals from individuals, organisations or project teams to address the 2017/18 MLA annual call research, development and adoption priorities for sheepmeat and grassfed beef. 

To be considered for funding, preliminary proposals must respond to a single Terms of Reference published on the MLA tenders page (click here) and be prepared using the MLA Preliminary Proposal template.

Click here for more information. Applications close Friday 23 December.


The IGIC program will invest up to $1.3 million in grants to support organisations working together along supply/value chains, who see their future as part of an internationally competitive export-oriented agrifood sector. Industry Consortia can apply for grants between $20 000 and $100 000 to develop strategies to drive international competitiveness at the enterprise and value chain level.

Click here for more information. Applications close Tuesday 24 January 2017.

Round 6 of NACC’s Innovative Farming Demonstration grants is now open to farming individuals, groups and industry in the region, who are interested in launching demonstration site projects.

Click here fore more information. Applications close Monday 30 January.


The Grower Groups R&D Grants Program seeks to generate profitability and growth in the agrifood sector through targeted, industry-driven R&D on key drivers of productivity and competitiveness, strategic development of industry’s capability through supply chains, and access to new markets, particularly high value Asian markets.

The program aims to stimulate research and innovation along supply and value chains so our agricultural exports remain competitive, and grow their share and value in international markets.

Click here for more information. Applications close Friday 10 February 2017.



The BBRF is an Australian Government initiative that will refocus the remaining funding under the National Stronger Regions Fund to better meet the needs of regional and remote communities.

The Infrastructure Projects Stream will support projects which involve the construction of new infrastructure, or the upgrade or extension of existing infrastructure that provide economic and social benefits to regional and remote areas. Minimum grant amount of $20,000 and a maximum grant amount of $10 million for projects that must be completed by 31 Dec 2019.

Click here for more information. Applications close Tuesday 28 February.

The Community Investments Stream will fund community building activities including, but not limited to, new or expanded local events, strategic regional plans, and leadership and capability building activities. These projects will deliver economic and social benefits to regional and remote communities.

Click here fore more information. Applications close Friday 31 March.



The GRDC will soon be releasing a new investment management system to manage the application process for its investment portfolio online. The new system will feature an ongoing call for investment partners, replacing the traditional annual External Investment Plan and is targeted at simplifying the application and reporting process for research partners. Calls for investment partners will now be advertised on the GRDC website on an ongoing basis.

Click here to go to the GRDC website and find out more.

The $14.9m Farming Together initiative is now open for applications to boost farmer-based collaborations. The national, two-year campaign will help primary producers and processors forms groups and claim marketplace power. 

Click here to visit the website and complete the simple self-assessment to apply for the program and receive a free one-on-one consultation. The most-promising applicants will be offered assistance for product research and development. There will also be the potential for funding available for those applicants who progress through the program.

For more information, contact the Farming Together project team, T: 1800 00 55 55, E:



The Australian Plague Locust (APL) 2016 Assistance Scheme is now available to support landholders to control populations of locusts and protect their assets. 

A State Government contribution of $5 per hectare is open to landholders seeking to control locusts in pasture, crop, fallow, greenbelts or where locusts are on public amenities, within  Ravensthorpe, Jerramungup, Gnowangerup, Lake Grace, Kulin, Yilgarn, Westonia, Mukinbudin and Nungarin shires. 

Click here for further information including the guidelines and application details, or contact 1800 198 231.


With the opening of Round 2 this week, the GGA would like to take the opportunity to again put a spotlight on the grower groups who were successful in getting projects up and running through Round 1 of the Grower Group D&D Grants Program. We have listed the groups and their projects below, along with links to the project descriptions. Click here to view the full list, or click on the headings below to read more about individual projects.

Enhancing WA’s beef-cattle supply chain to increase production

The Mingenew Irwin Group (MIG) has established the "North South Beef Alliance" to build a consistent and collaborative beef production supply chain by promoting the backgrounding system where pastoral cattle are finished on agricultural land. 

Branding ethical and grass-fed red meat for export
Recognising rising consumer interest in ethically-produced food, this project led by the the Fitzgerald Biosphere Group will quantitatively identify consumer attitudes and demand in WA and China and define a new brand to identify grass fed red meat, produced using best practise animal husbandry. 

Developing a premium WA malt barley brand in Asian markets
Through this project, SEPWA will work to generate a brand identity for Western Australian malting barley in the rapidly-growing Asian brewing sector. 

Specialist Feed Wheat Hub
Stirlings to Coast Farmers Inc. have proposed to develop a non-milling wheat / high quality (HQ) feed wheat value chain for the Southern part of the WA High Rainfall Zone (HRZ). This will incorporate pursuing new market opportunities in non-milling wheat/feed wheat and targeting new production systems. 

Linking pastoral beef to higher-value markets through new backgrounding systems
The West Midlands Group aims to build a robust backgrounding system for beef cattle in WA, by developing awareness and interest amongst producers of the commercial opportunities of cattle backgrounding in mixed farming enterprises. 

Improvement of the Udon noodle wheat value chain
Stirlings to Coast Farmers will look at maintaining the continuity of supply and quality of udon noodle wheat from the southern part of Western Australia through joint relationships with overseas flour millers and noodle manufacturers. They will also investigate and provide greater diversity and options for crop rotations and investigate alternative uses for Australian noodle wheat. 

Investment opportunities in the sheep meat supply chain
Merredin and District Farm Improvement Group (MADFIG), in collaboration with growers from the Far Eastern Agriculture Research (FEAR) group, will work with organisations in the sheep meat supply chain to build more resilient businesses that have the capacity to adapt to change.

Capacity Building in the Northern Valleys Region
The West Midlands Group is in the heart of the large and diverse Northern Valleys agribusiness sector and will be working with growers to explore opportunities to increase production, capacity and the value of the produce coming from the region. The project aims to better understand what is being produced in the region and when it is being delivered to market. 

Dryland natural rubber
Fitzgerald Biosphere Group will initiate the development and commercialisation of Parthenium argentatum (guayle) as a sustainable, multi-functional industrial crop in Western Australia. The project will trial Parthenium argentatum as a perennial crop on the South Coast, raise awareness of the species as an alternate commercial crop in the region and develop relationships with potential investors. 

Funded by the Department of Agriculture and Food WA through Royalties for Regions


To view the full Grower Group Alliance Calendar of Events, please go to the GGA Website

If you found this newsletter helpful, please feel free to send it on to your friends and fellow community groups in your area.

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PO Box 1081
Bentley DC, WA, 6983
© 2016 Grower Group Alliance.

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