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GGA Newswire - April 2016


Dear <<First Name>> <<Last Name>>

Across the GGA Desk

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March has been a busy month for the GGA, and we have enjoyed seeing everyone out in the regions at grower groups update events and meetings. 

The next six months is a critical time for the GGA, as we invest time into investigating a sustainable business model for the future of the organisation. The GGA Strategic Advisory Group undertook strategic planning in late February and we have developed a strategic plan that we will consult with grower groups about during July & August. 

We also have new training workshops and resources being rolled out this month so make sure you keep an eye on your inbox!

With good early rains over Easter, seeding looks imminent. We wish all the best for a successful 2016 season and hope that you enjoy interacting with your local grower group throughout the year to improve your farming practices!

- Rebecca

GGA News

Grower groups grow governance skills in not-for-profit directors course

Grower groups from around the Northern Agricultural Region gathered at the Ocean Centre Hotel, Geraldton, on Thursday 31 March to participate in a one-day governance training course conducted by the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD), a leading provider of governance training and leadership for company directors.

Supported by CBH Group and the GGA, the course was open to grower group committee, members and staff, providing them with essential information about the roles and responsibilities of directors, specifically in the areas of governance, risk and strategic direction.

To access the full media release click here. For more information contact Rebecca Wallis, T: 6180 5759, E:


Time Management for Effective Team Leadership Workshop

The GGA are excited to be delivering, in partnership with Rural Directions, a one-day Time Management and Leadership workshop for grower group staff on Thursday 12 May. Stay tuned for more information to be released next week! 

GGA Regional Meetings reach 25+ grower groups in two months

The 2016 GGA Regional Meetings have wrapped up around the regions, with meetings in Lake King and Geraldton held in late March. Together with the Merredin and Katanning meetings, GGA was able to bring together groups from across WA to discuss issues and opportunities impacting grower groups as well as share success stories and the outlook for 2016. Across all meetings, representatives from almost 30 grower and NRM groups attended and contributed to the group conversation.

As part of the meetings, GGA staff facilitated stakeholder mapping workshops in each location. The purpose of the activity was to show the importance of understanding stakeholders, allowing groups to identify and analyse the wide range of stakeholders who have influence on the success of their organisations.

Information from the workshop will also allow the GGA to identify key industry stakeholders to develop a robust stakeholder engagement plan which have maximum benefit for grower groups. Resources on how to run a stakeholder mapping session and how to develop an effective engagement plan will be developed and available to groups in the coming months.


Online Farm Trials (OFT) update - West Midlands Group trials now online 

42 trials projects from 2009 to 2011 were recently made live by the West Midlands Group on the Online Farm Trials website. The trials cover a range of topics with soil amelioration trials a clear priority area. To access the OFT website click here, or for more information contact GGA Project Officer, Sarah Houston, T: 08 6180 5759, E:


General News

What's the return on investment into education & training in the NFP Sector?

UWA Centre for Social Impact recently undertook a research study to understand and estimate the extent to which Not for Profit (NFP) organisational performance improves when people (staff and committees) are skilled. The report has some critical learnings for NFPs in the agricultural sectors, for example:
  • 48% of all NFP employees and volunteers receive at least one formal professional training experience 
  • NFP organisations that systematically develop their people do better
  • Training facilitates better leadership, superior performance and enhances organisational viability
  • For each dollar spent of capacity building, the is an average positive return of six dollars
  • 33% of NFP executives have no access to a designated training budget 
To access the full report click here

This research has some strong links to work the GGA is commencing about investigating the economic and social value of grower groups back to their members, funders and community. The GGA will be working with UWA School of Agricultural Resource Economics and are currently seeking co-funders of the research. If you are interested to support the project or find out more contact Rebecca Wallis, T: 6180 5759, E:  

Call for Industry Submissions on Pulse Standards 2016/17 Season

The Pulse Standards Committee seeks comment from industry on pulse standards to be adopted in 2016/17. Lodge your submissions by emailing and title your email  "Pulse Standards Review 2016/17". Click here for further information. Submissions are due by COB Wednesday 14 April. 

Workshop probes new tools and technologies

Growers in Merredin recently took part in a free tools and technology workshop presented by GRDC Regional Cropping Solutions Network (RCSN), Royalties for Regions and DAFWA. The workshop titled "Soil Moisture Probes, Yield and Soil Water Apps – can these deliver value to your business?" focussed on the use of on-farm technologies, particularly those relating to soil water measurement and analysis. Technologies discussed included the iPaddockYield app, SoilwaterApp, soil moisture probes and the eConnected Grainbelt Project.

A condensed version of the workshop's program was also presented at a research update event hosted by the Far East Agricultural Research (FEAR) Group. For more information on these workshops click here or contact Caroline Peek, T: 9081 3111; E:

New Research Themes for UWA Institute of Agriculture

The University of Western Australia (UWA) Institute of Agriculture (IOA) have officially released their 2015-2019 Strategic Plan with a vision to provide research-based solutions to food and nutritional security, environmental sustainability, and agribusiness.

Click here to watch the video and find out more about the IOA's new research themes.

GRDC Video Links

The GRDC has recently produced a variety of videos, two of which centre around weed management strategies and frost management. Both videos include grower input, research and results from the research conducted - Weeding out a Costly Foe and Three-pronged Initiative Tackles Frost. All videos produced by the GRDC are available on the GRDC's YouTube channel.     

Managing root lesion nematodes pre-sowing

Root lesion nematode (RLN) numbers were unprecedented in parts of WA last season, causing significant cereal yield losses in some paddocks. The GRDC's western region Wheat GrowNotes online resource contains useful information about testing for and managing nematodes. GrowNotes Alerts can be found here. The GRDC also has a 'Tips & Tactics' publication for managing RLN. 

For more information contact Dr Sarah Collins, T: 9368 3612, E:

ANZ Grain Muster

A new report from ANZ, The Grains Muster, argues Australia could increase wheat production by 20 per cent, from 25 to 30 million tonnes by 2030, which would see the sector generate an additional $1.3 billion in value to a total of $7 billion. To read the full report click here.

GRDC Knowledge Library

The Knowledge Library is an online tool developed by GRDC allowing growers to search for information on grains industry topics. The tool searches both GRDC and non-GRDC resources selected by GRDC. To access click here


No group events this month
The date has been set for the 2016 GGA Annual Forum. Mark this not to be missed event in your calendars now and stay tuned for more information!

2017 Nuffield Scholarship now open

Nuffield is Australia's premier scholarship for primary producers. People between the age of 28-40 (there is some flexibility around age) involved in farming as an owner, manager or active member of the business are invited to apply. 

To find out more click here or contact Jim Geltch, T: 03 5480 0755, E:
Applications close Tuesday 30 June.

Funding Opportunities

COGGO Piper Grains Innovation Award

COGGO has announced a commitment of $150,000 every two years to the Piper Award which aims to identify and assist the commercialisation of innovative ideas benefiting WA grain growers. Applicants are invited to submit ideas for consideration for a $25,000 Piper Award to spend on developing their innovation. After the first year, those who have secured a Piper Award are invited to apply for the biennial Piper Prize, offering $75,000 to help commercialise the idea.

For more information click here or contact Hugh Lennarts, E: Applications close Friday 20 May

GRDC Grower & Adviser Development Program

The GRDC Grower and Adviser Development Program is open to individuals and groups of grain growers and advisers seeking to arrange and undertake study and professional development. Support will be provided on a competitive basis for arranging visits to GRDC-supported research and development projects, or other relevant research projects, centres of excellence, farming systems groups and similar; or to support the travel of an expert in a specific scientific field to a community to share their knowledge and experience.

For more information click here or contact Carolyn Pearson, T: 02 6166 4526, E: Applications close Wednesday 6 April, for travel between July 1 and December 31 2016.

Premier's Agriculture and Food Fellowship Program

The Office of Science is now accepting applications for the Lead Fellow for the Premier’s Agriculture and Food Fellowship Program (Fellowship Program). The Fellowship Program will provide a total of $1.5 million of funding to two exceptional researchers, a Lead and an Early to Mid-Career Fellow, to conduct world leading research and development in Western Australia over a period of four years. 

For more information click here, or contact Johanna Dowsett, T: 6552 6462, E: Applications close Friday 29 April.

Industry Skills Fund - opportunities to grow your business

The Industry Skills Fund, supported by Australia Government Dept Education and Training, aims to assist businesses to invest in training and support services, and to develop innovative training solutions. There are funds available for co-contribution to training. Although not available to not-for-profit organisations, this opportunity would be highly relevant for farming business and agribusiness.
For more information click here, or contact Lee Jackson, T: 0498 064 189, E:

Grower Group Spotlight 

Opening of the new Mingenew Irwin Group Bankwest Centre

The new Mingenew Irwin Group Bankwest Centre was officially opened on Thursday 17 March.

The former Masonic Lodge building was first opened in the 1920’s by the Freemasons and many of the historical aspects have been retained during extensive renovations which now provide a new office and community space for the group.

MIG will use the building to hold workshops and seminars and it is also available for community groups to use. For more information, contact the MIG office, T: 9928 1645, E:

Calendar of Events

To view the full GGA Calendar of Events click here, or subscribe to the fortnightly email click here.

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:

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© 2014 Grower Group Alliance.

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