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FEBRUARY 2017

Dear <<First Name>> <<Last Name>>

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ACROSS THE GGA DESK


Welcome to the first Newswire for 2017!

The new year brings a number of exciting changes and opportunities for the Grower Group Alliance. Last year was the first 12 months of the successful new GGA project which delivered some fantastic events such as governance training workshops and the Annual Forum, while we also made progress in exploring the options for a sustainable GGA structure for the future.

After five years with the GGA, we said a very sad farewell to Rebecca Wallis who has left for some exciting life adventures. We wish her all the very best in her future endeavours and know we will see Rebecca play a role in the industry for many years to come.

We are excited to announce the appointment of Annabelle Bushell to the newly formed position of GGA Executive Officer. Annabelle brings a wealth of experience and knowledge on agricultural and NRM systems from around Australia and the globe, and we look forward to what she will bring to the Alliance in 2017 and beyond. At the same time, the GGA also welcomes new Administration Assistant, Madison George, to the team. Read more about the new team in the GGA News section below.

In the coming months, the GGA team will be out and about attending various events and look forward to seeing as many of you as possible in our travels. Look out for the upcoming GGA Regional Meetings in your area, as well as various training opportunities for groups in the near future. 

2017 is set to be a big year for the GGA, with activities such as an Industry Linkages Forum to be held in May, an interstate study tour in June, the Annual Forum in August and the release of a number of case studies showcasing the wonderful things grower groups are doing around WA.

As always, feel free to contact us here at the GGA office if you have any questions, and we look forward to working with you all in the coming year!


- Sarah, Madi & Annabelle

GGA NEWS
WELCOME TO NEW GGA TEAM MEMBERS
 
The Grower Group Alliance (GGA) begins 2017 with the appointment of Annabelle Bushell into the newly created role of Executive Officer.
 
Working alongside Sarah Houston who has stepped into the GGA Project Leader role, Annabelle will be a key driver in securing a sustainable future for the GGA by 2019 while continuing the effective and valued work the Alliance continues to provide to its members.

Bringing more than 15 years of experience from the agricultural and natural resource management sectors from across Australia, Annabelle’s career has been underpinned by strong collaboration and partnerships from a diverse range of stakeholders, industry, and government as well as a Masters in local food production systems in Europe.

Click here to view the full media release on the announcement of Annabelle's position.


The GGA also appointed Madison George in the position of Administration Assistant in December 2016. Madi is currently studying her Master of Science in Dryland Agricultural Systems and is a great asset to our team, providing operational support and all round assistance to the GGA.

Annabelle and Madi are looking forward to connecting with the grower group network across the state over the coming months. Please make them feel welcome and feel free to contact Annabelle on T: 0427 992 945 , E: abushell@gga.org.au, and Madi on T: (08) 6180 5759, E: admin@gga.org.au.
 

 
GGA REGIONAL MEETINGS

The GGA will be hosting their 2017 Regional Meetings series during February/March in Merredin, Katanning, Lake King and Geraldton. These meetings are a great way to connect grower groups and other industry stakeholders in each region to discuss regionally specific as well as general issues affecting grower groups.

This year our focus will be on exploring and sharing the different tools, tips and ideas that help your organisations operate effectively and efficiently, as well as the usual sharing of successes and future outlooks for groups in your region.

Group staff and committee are all welcome to attend, along with selected industry partners. Mark the date in your calendar and please feel free to forward this invitation on to any grower group contacts you think might be interested in attending. 
  • Merredin - Wednesday 15 February
  • Katanning - Wednesday 15 March
  • Lake King - Monday 20 March
  • Geraldton - Thursday 30 March
For more information or to RSVP, contact Sarah Houston, T: 6180 5759, E: shouston@gga.org.au.
 


GROWER GROUP GOVERNANCE TRAINING

Tuesday 14 March, Katanning

In collaboration with CBH, the GGA will again deliver governance training to grower groups in 2017. Facilitated by the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD), the training covers governance essentials aimed at not-for-profit directors.

With a maximum of 25 participants from grower groups in the Great Southern region, groups will be able to nominate a up to 3 grower/committee members with placed offered on a first in first served basis.

More information will be available shortly. To express interest in advance please contact Sarah Houston, T: 6180 5759, E:
shouston@gga.org.au.
 


GRDC GRAINS RESEARCH UPDATES



The 2017 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.

Regional Updates will be held in Mingenew (Geraldton Zone), Kendenup (Albany Zone) and Merredin (Kwinana East Zone) in collaboration with local grower groups.


Click here to view programs, registration details and more information about the event, or contact Ian Longson, T: 08 6262 2128, E: researchupdates@giwa.org.au
 

UPCOMING GROWER GROUP EVENTS

GENERAL NEWS
RCSN SEEKING GROWER AND INDUSTRY INPUT

GRDCs Regional Cropping Solutions Network (RCSNs) are currently looking for feedback from growers and industry into the big issues impacting on farm productivity and profitability ahead of their upcoming meetings.

Click here to have your say via an online survey or click here to visit the RCSN website
 

COALITION DELIVERS ADDITIONAL $100 MILLION FOR LANDCARE

The Coalition Government has delivered an additional $100 million in funding for the National Landcare Programme as part of the Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook (MYEFO). This new funding is in addition to the $1 billion that the Australian Government already provides to the National Landcare Programme to improve the condition of Australia's natural resources and environment

Click here for more information. ​​​

 

THE SEASON'S RIGHT FOR AGRICULTURE

The Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCI) WA recently released its Future of Agriculture vision paper. CCI's Chief Economist Rick Newnham points to the very bright future for agriculture in WA, commenting on the opportunities that come from the growth of the middle class in China and other parts leaves WA very well positioned to expand.

Click here to read the full article and link to the Future of Agriculture vision paper.
 

OPPORTUNITIES THROUGH FARMING TOGETHER PROGRAM

Farming Together is an Australian Government program encouraging collaborative groups among Australia's farmers. The program encourages the formation of farmer groups, either formal co-operatives, looser collaborations or collective bargaining groups.

All primary producers, or groups of producers are eligible to apply for the project pathway, starting with a 20-minute online application allowing applicants to fully explain their proposal.

Once through the application stage, there will be opportunities for projects to be funded based on factors such as on-farm impact, development of legacy projects and development of transferable knowledge outputs.

Click here to find out more about the program and to submit your application.

For the latest information from Farming Together, click here for the December newsletter or contact the team, T: 1800 00 55 55, E: info@farmingtogether.com.au.

 
 
SMART FROM THE START

The Australian Seed Federation has developed a "Smart from the Start" checklist to help grpwers identify essential considerations when making seed purchases. The checklist provides a step by step guide to identify the appropriate species and variety for a grower's specific purpose or conditions. 

The Start checklist can be used to ensure growers have all the product information needed and provides growers with confidence that they are purchasing exactly what is required for the season ahead. 

Click here for more information from the Australian Seed Federation, or click here to view the "Smart from the Start" checklist.
 
OPPORTUNITIES & EVENTS
2017 GRDC FARM BUSINESS UPDATES 
 


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. 

RDA WHEATBELT TRAINING SCHOLARSHIPS

RDA Wheatbelt are offering a small number of scholarships to Not for Profit organisations within the Wheatbelt that operate community enterprises, to help build business skills to expand and grow the business. Applications are open to all Not for Profits looking to expand and provide local employment. 

Click here for more information or contact RDA Wheatbelt, E: 
admin@rdawheatbelt.com.au

HORTICULTURAL SCHOLARSHIPS AVAILABLE FOR WOMEN

A unique opportunity is currently available for women employed in the Australian horticulture sector.

The collaborative partnership is funded by Horticulture Innovation Aistralia (HIA) and Women and Leadership Australia (WLA) with the aim of bringing about progression and equality for women in Australia’s horticulture industry.

Click here for more information or contact Alistair Young, T: 03 9270 9032, E: young@wla.edu.au.


ROB ASHMAN MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP

Hassad Australia and the South East Premium Wheat Growers’ Association (SEPWA) have combined to support the next generation of agricultural leaders who will take up the challenge of farming in the future.

The Rob Ashman Memorial Scholarship is targeted at young people who are passionate about agriculture, with a keen interest in the future of agriculture and who are ready to expand their networks and learn new skills.

Click here for more information or contact Niki Curtis, T: (08) 90831152, E: eo@sepwa.org.au.


GRADUATE CERTIFICATE IN AGRIBUSINESS AT UNE

The Graduate Certificate in Agribusiness at the University of New England provides students with the opportunity to enhance or develop their competencies in key multi-disciplinary agribusiness content areas.

The course enables students flexible, online learning methods to develop advanced knowledge in the area of agribusiness through lectures, tutorials, readings, online activities and interaction with unit coordinators.


Click here for more information.
WA FARMERS ANNUAL CONFERENCE

Wednesday 1 - Friday 3 March
Pan Pacific, Perth




GROW17 will showcase leaders in the industry focusing on new technologies, emerging trends, social trends and updates on what the next generation are doing within the industry.

Click here to visit the website or for more information or contact Megan MacNeill, T: (08) 9486 2100, E: MeganMacNeill@wafarmers.org.au.

MIG POSITIONS VACANT

Mingenew Irwin Group (MIG) are currently seeking applications for the following exciting opportunities to join their team:
Applications for both positions close Friday 10 February

For more information contact Lance Perry,T: 0427 281 007, E: lance@mig.org.au.


ABARES OUTLOOK 2017: INNOVATION IN AG - CAPTURING THE OPPORTUNITIES

Tues 7 - Wed 8 March, Canberra ACT

The 2017 Outlook recognises that while the Australian agriculture sector is highly innovative, the drivers of change are accelerating. Global markets are expanding, consumer preferences are diversifying and the internet’s increasing connectivity is generating data about everything. Businesses will need to adapt and utilise new operating models, markets, technologies and information to grow and prosper.

Click here for more information or contact 
conferences@agriculture.gov.au

GRAIN GROWERS INTERNATIONAL TOUR

GrainGrowers international tours provide insight into international markets, technology and systems. Each tour reaches a different market therefore targeting different members of the community and offering a variety of knowledge to each tour.

In 2017, the GrainGrowers tour will travel to the USA and focus on giving growers insight into how the US supply chain operates with a focus on technology, and research and development.

Click here for more information or contact GrainGrowers, T:  (02) 9286 2000, E: events@graingrowers.com.au
FUNDING 
GROWER GROUPS R&D GRANTS PROGRAM - ROUND 2

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.

If you would like to discuss project concepts before submitting your application, feel free to contact Andrew Duff, T: 08 9368 3677, E: andrew.duff@agric.wa.gov.au.

 

AWI CALL FOR PROPOSALS

Australian Wool Innovation Limited (AWI) has announced its annual ‘Call for Proposals’ for organisations interested in On-farm and Off-farm R&D projects with AWI. Individuals, companies and organisations are invited to submit project applications that address AWI strategic priorities and programs. 

Click here for more information or contact the AWI Office, T: 02 8295 3100, E: projects@wool.com.  Applications close Monday 13th February 2017.

 

THE GLOBAL CONNECTION FUND PRIMING GRANTS

The Global Connection Fund (GCF) aims to provide initial funding support specifically to promote Australian Researchers and Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs) collaboration. 

Priming Grants are intended to stimulate the intensification of joint Australian-Partner research and innovation by reducing the financial risk on both sides to enter into a collaboration proposal.

Priming Grants First Round 2017 is now open for Expressions of interest. Click here for more information. Expressions of Interest close on Thursday 23 February.

 

BUILDING BETTER REGIONS FUND (BBRF)

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. 

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. 

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

 

COMMUNITY CAPABILITY GRANT

The purpose of the Community Capability Grants is to support volunteers to improve their capability to undertake on-ground work and to improve the governance and management performance of their community-based organisations. 

Eligible organisations are encouraged to apply for the Community Capability Grant Small 2016 round for grants up to $10,000 with a time frame of up to 12 months.

Click here for more information. Applications close Monday 29 May.

 

GRANTS FOR WOMEN

Grants of up to $10,000 are available for local governments and community service organisations to implement projects that focus on addressing the unique issues faced by women.

Funding of up to $5,000 is available for one-off activities or initiatives, with a duration of up to six months that contribute to the program's priority areas. Funding of up to $10,000 is available for longer term, strategic initiatives involving a range of partners that will contribute to creating sustainable or systemic change in the program's priority areas.

Click here fore more information. Applications close Sunday 31 December.

 

GRDC NEW APPROACH TO INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT

The GRDC will soon be releasing its new investment management system to manage the application process for its investment portfolio online. The details of these new processes will be publicised shortly.

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 our research partners. As such, there will no longer be an annual call for applications. Calls for investment partners will now be advertised on the GRDC website on an ongoing basis and updates can be monitored through alert subscriptions for investment areas of interest.

All current investment decisions will continue to centre on the GRDC research, development and extension (RD&E) priorities in the areas of; agronomy, farming systems, weeds, pests, diseases, soil, nutrition and information & research support as articulated in the Strategic Research and Development Plan 2012-17.
GROWER GROUP SPOTLIGHT
SEPWA GROWERS HARNESS PRECISION AG IN ON-FARM TRIALS

Article by Natalie Lee, GRDC

Using yield data from the harvester’s monitor to analyse on-farm trials puts a value to proposed practice changes and allows growers to understand how profitable it could be.
PHOTO: Bill Sharp, SEPWA.

A new publication contains working examples of how Western Australian growers have used precision agriculture (PA) tools to implement and measure on-farm trials. Calculating return on investment for on farm trials has been compiled by the South East Premium Wheat Growers Association (SEPWA) as part of the ‘Do it yourself (DIY) Precision Agriculture’ project funded by the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC).

SEPWA project officer Alice Butler said PA tools, incorporated into normal farming operations, offered a simple and effective means of implementing and measuring on-farm trials to test the yield or economic effect of a treatment.

“Using yield data from the harvester’s monitor to analyse these trials puts a value to the practice change and allows growers to understand how profitable the change is to their businesses,” she said.

The booklet includes case studies of how growers in different parts of WA’s grainbelt had measured the economic returns of treatments to help them make whole-farm decisions.

Other information included in the booklet includes a simple calculator to help growers determine return on investment; trial design; site selection; the use of global positioning systems (GPS); marking out and harvesting trials; and analysing results using yield data.


Click here to see the full article on the GRDC website and access the Calculating return on investment for on farm trials publication. For for more information contact Niki Curtis, T: (08) 9083 1165, E: eo@sepwa.org.au.

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.

People can subscribe to Newswire or contribute by contacting the editor Rebecca Wallis, E: rwallis@gga.org.au

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Please visit www.gga.org.au for previous editions of Newswire

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






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