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Grower Group Alliance Newswire
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NOVEMBER 2016

Dear Sarah Houston

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ACROSS THE GGA DESK


October has provided some great opportunities for the GGA to showcase WA grower groups, and the broader network, to the wider regional and national audience with discussions focused around the formation and value of a national network of grower groups; the critical and ever increasing role of grower groups delivering extension services across agricultural industries; and the importance that groups play in regional development and maintaining social fabric.

The GGA is also continuing to work on its business strategy going forward to ensure we can continue to deliver valued services and support to grower groups and ultimately their farming members. 

With 2016 nearly over, it’s also time to start thinking about planning for 2017. February and March are busy times for the Calendar, so make sure you send in your dates quickly to avoid clashes with other events. If needing inspiration for ideas or speakers for your events, remember the GGA is only a phone call away.  

- Rebecca 

 

GGA NEWS
GGA STRATEGIC ADVISORY GROUP WELCOMES NEW CHAIR

The GGA welcomes Dr Kelly Pearce as the new GGA Strategic Advisory Group chair. The decision was made by the GGA Strategic Advisory Group at their biannual meeting in early October. Kelly, a farmer from Yealering and Research Fellow with Murdoch University, moves into the chair role following two years as a GGA Strategic Advisory Group member.

We look forward to working with Kelly as we determine what the future of the GGA will look like and develop a new vision and strategy going forward.

The GGA also welcomes Rhys Turton, who was appointed as a member of the Strategic Advisory Group at the meeting. A farmer from York, Rhys brings a broad array of skills, knowledge and experience to the group and we look forward to his contribution to the GGA strategy.


Click here to view the full media release, or for more information contact Sarah Houston, T: 6180 5759, E: shouston@gga.org.au.
 


GROUPS PROVIDING SUPPORT FOR FARMERS PRE-HARVEST 
 
PHOTO: Corrigin Farm Improvement Group (CFIG) hold a pre-harvest BBQ at Bullaring for members. Credit: Veronika Crouch, CFIG Executive Officer

The role of grower groups as a community support network and social hub is sometimes taken for granted. However in difficult times, such as those seen with recent frost events across much of the state, it becomes more important than ever for groups to bring farmers together to ensure networks and community spirit is maintained.

Many groups put on social events pre-harvest, and this social network for farmers is crucial for sharing of information and stories to guide and support their businesses through what may be tough times. The social interactions are also a great opportunity for members to unwind during potentially stressful times.

Groups across WA are teaming up with Shire councils, fire brigades and other community groups to make these events possible, with the aim of removing any feelings of isolation and keeping communications channels between growers open. The events are also an opportunity to extend important information such as key management practices to keep on top of during harvest and planning for the following year.

Groups are farmer driven organisations, set up to ensure the success of their farmer members, and by providing support through the difficult times in particular, groups have established themselves as a key part of maintaining regional communities in WA.

If you or anyone you know requires further support, click here for a list of links to emergency services and help line information.

 
 
CONCEPT EXPLORATION: NATIONAL ALLIANCE OF GROWER GROUPS

A meeting was held last month in Melbourne to explore the concept of developing a national alliance of grower groups. 

The meeting achieved a broad ranging, democratic and structured discussion that provided a framework for deciding the way forward, immediate actions and continued strategic planning in relation to a national alliance. There was interest and motivation from all participants to improve collaboration at a National level, and strong agreement that any national alliance should support and empower grower groups, not enforce control or create another layer of business.The meeting attendees agreed to proceed with forming a simple, staged, and voluntary national alliance.

The GGA will continue to keep engaged at this level and communicate the potential opportunities for WA grower groups to be part of a national alliance. For more information contact Rebecca Wallis, T: 6180 5759, E: rwallis@gga.org.au. 
 


SEGRA CONFERENCE

The Sustainable Economic Growth for Regional Australia (SEGRA) Conference is Australia's premier conference on regional issues. In October 2016, SEGRA was held in the Albany and Great Southern Region and attended by over 200 delegates from across all sections of the Australian community to explore the key issues affecting regional, rural and remote Australia and be part of providing positive sustainable outcomes to ensure future prosperity. Click here to find out more about SEGRA.

During the Food Industry Innovation spotlight session, the GGA was glad to be selected to present a 20 minute segment on the role that grower groups play in food innovation and regional development. The presentation was well received, with people from WA and other states interested in the benefits of grower groups, not only as leaders in RD&E delivery, but also as contributors to their regional communities through their roles as social hubs with a focus on peer-to-peer learning and development.

Click here to see a PDF version of the presentation which will also be available on the SEGRA website soon. For more information about the conference contact Sarah Houston, T: 08 6180 5759, E: shouston@gga.org.au.
 


WELCOME TO NEW GROWER GROUP STAFF

The GGA would like to welcome a number of new staff members who have recently joined the teams of various grower groups around the state. All the best to those settling into new roles, and we look forward to working with you in the future.
  • Chris O'Callaghan - West Midlands Group, Acting Executive Officer
  • Allan McKay - West Midlands Group, Horticultural Development Officer
  • Anthony Seymour - West Midlands Group, Development Officer
  • Cassandra Eva - Mingenew Irwin Group, Administration & Promotions Office
  • Anna Maxted - Mingenew Irwin Group, Project Officer
GENERAL NEWS
RCSN TRIALS IN PROGRESS

All current GRDC Regional Cropping Solutions Network (RCSN) trials are now listed on the RCSN website under each port zone. To see trials in progress in your area, click on the relevant port zone below: Click here to view completed RCSN trials via the Online Farm Trials (OFT) database. For more information contact Julianne Hill, T: 0447 261 607, E: regionalcroppingsolutions@gmail.com.
 
 
DAFWA RESEARCH TARGETING SLUGS AND SNAILS

Controlling damaging slugs and snails in grain crops is set to improve as a result of a new high-tech research project by the Department of Agriculture and Food. 

Slugs and snails cost Western Australian grain growers an estimated $3 million per year in yield losses and control expenses. DAFWA is investigating the use of digital technology to assist growers to map the presence of snails and slugs in paddocks and improve baiting measures. 


Click here to read the full media release or more information contact Svetlana Micic, T: 9892 8444, E: svetlana.micic@agric.wa.gov.au.
 

TIPS FOR RETAINING SEED THIS HARVEST: GRDC PADDOCK PRACTICES
 

The latest GRDC Paddock Practices newsletter focuses on tips for retaining seed this harvest. Read about how to manage seed retention following weather damaged crops and delayed harvest, retaining seed from frosted crops, late season herbicide use, preparing on-farm storage for retained seed and more.

Click here for all the information and contact details to find out more.
 

FARMERS FOR CLIMATE ACTION

Farmers For Climate Action (FCA) is an alliance of farmers and leaders in agriculture who are working with the industry to make sure Australia takes the actions necessary to address damage to our climate.

This year, FCA have formalised the group and are running a nationwide survey of farmer attitudes towards climate change and renewable energy. Producers and others involved in the agricultural or horticultural supply chains are encouraged to get involved by completing the survey.

Click here to find out more about FCA, or click here to go directly to the survey. 
 

2015 UWA ANNUAL RESEARCH REPORT RELEASED

The UWA Institute of Agriculture (IOA) recently released its 2015/16 Annual Research Report.

IOA aims to further develop research themes in the following areas as identified in its strategic plan 2015-2019: Crops, Roots and Rhizosphere; Sustainable Grazing Systems; Water for Food Production; Food Quality and Human Health; and Agribusiness Ecosystems.

Click here to read the report or for more information contact the UWA Institute of Agriculture Team, T: 6488 4717, E: ioa@uwa.edu.au.

 
 
PUTTING REGIONAL AUSTRALIA IN CONTEXT

Key information profiling Australia’s agriculture sector on a region-by-region basis is now available in ABARES’ latest About My Region profiles.

The profiles contain information such as geographic size and population of each region; the number of people employed in the agriculture, fisheries and forestry sectors (compared with other sectors) in the region; the value of agricultural production in the region; indicators of recent farm financial performance, at state level, and much more. 


Click here to view the latest collection of About My Region profiles.
 

HELPING BEAT RURAL SUICIDE

The Ripple Effect is an initiative working towards reducing suicide rates in rural communities. They are currently seeking participants (especially males) to anonymously take part in an online research survey. The results will enable planners, researchers and government to develop more effective ways to address rural suicide and better support all those affected.

Click here for more information or contact Alison Kennedy, T: 03 5551 8587, E: alison.kennedy@wdhs.net.

 
OPPORTUNITIES & EVENTS
South East Premium Wheat Growers Association

POSITION VACANT:
SEPWA PROJECT OFFICER

SEPWA are currently seeking a highly motivated and enthusiastic project officer to coordinate, communicate and extend research and development (R&D) projects in the Esperenace Port Zone region.

Click here for more information, or contact Niki Curtis, T: 9083 1152, E: eo@sepwa.org.au.

Applications close Friday 18 November.

 
POSITION VACANT:
GRAIN GROWERS REGIONAL COORDINATOR WA

GrainGrowers are currently recruiting for a Regional Coordinator - Western Region. Position can be based in Perth or a Wheatbelt location if required.

Click here for more information or contact Laureta Wallace, T: 0457 589 703, E: laureta.wallace@graingrowers.com.au.

Applications close Thursday 24 November. 

 
GIWA SEEDING SUCCESS

GIWA is hosting its annual half day Seeding Success event on Thursday 24 November.

Seeding Success reviews the 2016 grain growing season in WA and looks forward to potential issues for the 2017 season. There will be updates from a range of Australian seed companies and this year will include a keynote presentation and discussions on frost management.

Click here to register and to see the full program. For more information contact Rachel Nash, T: 6262 2128, E: rnash@giwa.org.au.

 
AAAC OUTLOOK 2016

Friday 25 November

AAAC Outlook Conference aims to provide insights into the outlook for the grains, wool, meat and livestock industries in Australia. Keynote speaker Emily French will present on the emerging economies and shifting market demands for the grain industry. 
 
Click here for more information, or contact Sara Hector,T: 0429 043 493 , E: sarahector@bigpond.com.
 
RDA WHEATBELT BUILD YOUR BUSINESS PROGRAM

This program is aimed at building skills and capacity to enable existing businesses to take advantage of new growth opportunities. It is designed to address some of the constraints being experienced by businesses which were identified during RDA Wheatbelt consultations for the Innovative Entrepreneur’s study.

Click here to find out more, or contact RDA Wheatbelt, T: 08 9575 1888, E: admin@rdawheatbelt.com.au.

 
POSITION VACANT:         
LIEBE GROUP RESEARCH AGRONOMIST AND COORDINATOR


The Liebe Group are seeking a highly motivated and enthusiastic person to co-ordinate research and development in the Dalwallinu, Coorow, Perenjori and Wongan Ballidu Shires.

Click here for more information, or contact Clare Johnston, T: 9661 0570, E
: clare@liebegroup.org.au.

Applications close Monday 5 December.

POSITION VACANT: 
BCG CHIEF OPERATIONS OFFICER

Birchip Cropping Group is seeking a workplace leader who is passionate about agriculture and making a difference on-farm, and has an ability to encourage staff to strive for excellence, both personally and as an organisation. 

Click here for more information, or contact Chris Sounness, T: (03) 5492 2787, E:
 chris@bcg.org.au.

Applications close Monday 28 November.
 
SHEEP MEAT VALUE CHAIN TRAINING

The Sheep Meat Value Chain Program to be held in January 2016 is a five-day residential program in regional WA focusing on the sheep meat value chain industry. The course is an opportunity to network and share ideas with industry peers and experts, while further developing supply chain thinking and knowledge of challenges and opportunities that are unique to the sheep meat industry.  

Click here for more information. Applications close Friday 11 November.

 
2017 AUSTRALIAN GRAIN FARM LEADERS PROGRAM

The Australian Grain Farm Leaders Program (AGFLP) is a national leadership program designed specifically for young Australian grain producers. The program develops young farmers' leadership skills, knowledge and potential.

Click here for more information. Applications close Monday 19 December. 


MLA POSTGRADUATE STUDY AWARDS 2017

MLA is making available a number of awards, tenable at both Australian and possibly overseas universities or institutions, for postgraduate study commencing in 2017.  The awards facilitate research and training in areas of practical value to the Australian beef, sheepmeat and goatmeat industries.

Click here for more information.  Applications close Thursday 10 November.


AUSTRALIAN RURAL LEADERSHIP PROGRAM

Applications are now open for the 2017 intake of the Australian Rural Leadership Program. The program is designed for leaders from – or working for – rural Australia, who are committed to extending their knowledge, understanding and leadership skills, in order to be more effective and influential.

Click here for more information. Applications close Friday 11 November.
FUNDING 
GRANTS FOR ASIAN MARKET EXPORT - ROUND TWO

The grants for Asian Market Export are a major component of DAFWA's Asian Market Success project, made possible by the Royalties for Regions investment.

The purpose of the grants is to better equip WA agrifood exporting businesses to develop and implement strategies to capture export market opportunities and attract investment. 

Click here for more information, or contact the Asian Market Success team, T: 08 9368 3365, E: asianmarketsuccess@agric.wa.gov.au.

Applications close Friday 25 November.
 

MLA SPONSORSHIP - SECOND ROUND APPLICATIONS OPEN

MLA is committed to supporting the red meat industry through the strategic investment of financial and in-kind contributions in a range of third party events and activities. MLA has recently reviewed its sponsorship program to ensure its sponsorship investments are relevant, timely and aligned with MLA’s key focus areas.

Applications are now open for $10,000 and less and in-kind sponsorship for the period January 2017 – June 2017. Click here for more information and to download a request form, or contact Erin Gorter, T: 0429 833 752, E: eringorter@agvivo.com.au.


Applications close Thursday 1 December.
 

RURAL R&D FOR PROFIT PROGRAM

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. 
 

GRDC NEW APPROACH TO INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT

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.
 
 
FARMING TOGETHER - FARM COOPERATIVES & COLLABORATION

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. 

For more information, contact Nick or Andrew, T: 1800 00 55 55, E: info@farmingtogether.com.au.

 

AUSTRALIAN PLAGUE LOCUST ASSISTANCE SCHEME

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.
 
GROWER GROUP SPOTLIGHT

KIMBERLY PILBARA CATTLEMAN'S ASSOCIATION

In July 2016, the GGA welcomed the Kimberly Pilbara Cattleman's Association (KPCA) to the network. Recognising the Alliance as an opportunity to expand their networks throughout WA, the newly incorporated KPCA also saw membership of the GGA as a way to create collaborative relationships with other grower groups and be part of a collective in sharing ideas and working together to achieve outcomes for the beef industry.

KPCA has been formally operating 12 months, after becoming an incorporated association following almost four years as a working group. The organisation now has a nine member Executive Committee and CEO, Catherine Marriott, to oversee operations. 
 
PHOTO: The newly elected Kimberly Pilbara Cattleman's Association (KPCA) Executive Committee.
Back:Emma Salerno, Shane Dunn, Kurt Elezovich, Cob De Pledge and Ben Wratten
Front: Bryce Mooring, David Stoate and Wendy Brockhurst
PHOTO CREDIT: Catherine Marriott, KPCA

The concept of KPCA was developed in response to producers in the Kimberly and Pilbara regions wanting to have a voice on the issues that matter to them, as there was nothing that sufficiently represented their particular needs in the industry. A group of producers came together with a vision to create change, lead innovation and drive outcomes in the region.

Some initial funding through the Northern Beef Futures (NBF) program and Rangelands NRM enabled the group to develop their mission of "maximising the production of the Northern Beef Industry through partnerships, effective communication and connecting those along the value chain". With this statement to guide them, the KPCA was established in November 2015.

Since its inception, KPCA has tripled their membership base, now having over 50 members including pastoralists and stakeholders. These members represent a large number of the landholders in the Kimberly region and an increasing proportion in the Pilbara region.

 
PHOTO CREDIT: Kimberly Pilbara Cattleman's Association

The organisation undertook strategic planning in August 2016, a process which highlighted relevance, promotion, supply chain development, leadership and collaboration as their key strategy areas for the future. Some of the actions to achieve these strategies areas include:
  • Starting conversations about industry issues and working with stakeholders to address these in the best way possible;
  • Collaborating with stakeholders for RD&E delivery;
  • Promotion through developing industry best practice for the region and creating a social licence framework;
  • Developing and maintaining supply chain partnerships and working with producers to ensure quality and supply of produce;
  • Implementing a leadership program for producers in the region.
For more information on the Kimberly Pilbara Cattleman's Association click here to visit their website, or contact Catherine Marriott, T: 0400 129 279, E: catherine@kpca.online.

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






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