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Grower Group Alliance Newswire
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SEPTEMBER 2016

Dear <<First Name>> <<Last Name>>

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ACROSS THE GGA DESK


What a huge success the GGA Annual Forum was! Thank you to all attendees, sponsors and our fantastic staff that made the day one to remember. The word of the day really was collaboration, and all speakers highlighted and recognised the value of a connected, state-wide grower group network that is the GGA.

As an industry we are really seeing a focus on improving extension and innovation systems to lift the productivity and growth of the sector. Grower groups are at the forefront of this and have great opportunities to showcase their relevance and value to the wider industry in delivering outcomes at a local and regional scale. 

Grower groups met the day prior to the Forum to discuss and define their value proposition, the challenges and opportunities they face, what the future of their alliance is and what they wanted to be delivered through this network in the future. There was a clear remit for the GGA to continue and we will be working
on the future business model over the coming months. 

Looking forward and into September, it is a busy month with field days and extension events, and with this exciting season unfolding there aren't too many excuses not to get out and see whats happening. The GGA is also currently seeking a new chair for its Strategic Advisory Group, as well as planning training workshops and network events for the remainder of the year.


- Rebecca

GGA NEWS

GGA CHAIR POSITION: CALLING FOR EXPRESSIONS OF INTEREST!

The GGA are currently seeking expressions of interest for the vacant role of Chair for the GGA Strategic Advisory Group. The Strategic Advisory Group provides direction, advice and feedback on the activities of the GGA project. 

To apply for this position, please submit an expression of interest that includes a short CV, and a statement (maximum half-page) addressing the selection criteria, including a history of working/involvement with grower groups.

To view the position description click here. For more information contact Rebecca Wallis, T: 6180 5759, E: rwallis@gga.org.au.

Applications close Wednesday 14 September. 

The GGA would again like to thank outgoing Chair, Clancy Michael, who announced his resignation from the role after 14 years of involvement with the Grower Group Alliance. Clancy’s contribution over the years has been outstanding, providing leadership and guidance to the project since its inception in 2002.

 



ANNUAL FORUM WRAP: COLLABORATION THE KEY TO SUCCESS

Thank you to everyone who attended the 2016 Grower Group Alliance Annual Forum on 19 August. The day was a great success with participation from 105 people from across a range of grower groups, research institutions, government, agribusiness and other agricultural and not-for-profit sectors.

Held at the Rendezvous Hotel in Scarborough, the 2016 event saw both a change of location as well as a change of format, with attendance open to all those interested in participating in the network, rather than the invitation only arrangement from previous years.

The theme of "Collaboration - Value - Success" was chosen to showcase the importance of collaboration within the agri-food sector, and this was a strong message carried throughout the Forum. Key messages included the importance of communication and networks, encouraging working with partners for long term success/impact, and an emphasis on local and relevant research and outcomes for farmers.

The Inaugural Grower Group Award for Excellence was presented at the Forum to Yuna Farm Improvement Group and accepted by president Brady Green. The award was proudly supported by the Grain Industry Association of WA (GIWA). Click here for more information about the award.

All information relating to the 2016 GGA Annual Forum can be found on our website, including presentations, videos, program,
 photos, media releases and more. Click here to read more.

The GGA would like to thank our event sponsors CBH Group (Gold Sponsor), GIWA (Silver Sponsor) and GRDC Online Farm Trials (Bronze Sponsor). The GGA is funded by DAFWA through Royalties for Regions, making activities such as the Annual Forum possible.
 

NEW GROWER GROUP CASE STUDIES SHOWCASE SUPPLY CHAIN LINKAGES

The GGA has recently developed two grower group case studies which give examples of how groups can look beyond on-farm productivity to create new partnerships throughout the supply chain. The studies aim to give an overview of the projects and initiatives as well as some of the challenges, opportunities and key learnings from their experiences. 

Click here to view the West Midlands Group case study "Regional collaboration and diversification the hallmark of West Midlands Group". 

Click here to view the SEPWA case study "Long term partnership develops linkage between farmer and end-user".

   
 
 
POSITION VACANT: SHORT-TERM EXECUTIVE OFFICER ROLE

West Midlands Group (WMG) are currently seeking a replacement Executive Officer for a period of six months.

The appointee will be responsible for managing the group's governance, finances, employees and contractors, corporate and industry partnerships and delivering value to WMG membership. The EO will oversee the organisation's administration, current projects, liaise with corporate sponsors and strengthen the group's governance and organisational structure. The EO reports directly to the Board of Directors and is required to work autonomously on a day-to-day basis. 

For more information about the role and how to apply click here, or contact John Scotney, M: 0428 822 600. 
GENERAL NEWS
PATHWAYS TO COMPETITIVENESS PAPER

The Pathways to Competitiveness Report has recently been released by DAFWA, and identifies opportunities, constraints and drivers for growth and investment in WA agrifood businesses.

The report looks at key drivers, practices and mechanisms that characterise international competitiveness. It draws lessons from peer regions that have transformed industry sectors over a short time period. Examples include pork industry growth in Chile, agrifood growth in Peru and dairy activity in New Mexico to highlight what is possible.

The Pathways to Competitiveness Report is a key part of the Agricultural Sciences Research and Development Fund, a four year, $22.1 million project aimed to generate growth and productivity improvements for the Western Australian economy.

To view the report click here. This report will inform the next round of industry and grower group grants. 
 

RCSN OPEN MEETINGS SUMMARY

Over the past three months, the RCSN Open Meetings have been held across the five port zones in WA, allowing growers to express their views and ideas on the production issues affecting their profitability. This year, the online program "GroupMap" was used during the meetings to encourage all attendees to interact with guest speakers and capture ideas throughout the meetings.

Summaries of all open meetings will soon be available on the RCSN Western Region. Click here to find out more or contact Julianne Hill, T: 0447 261 607, E: regionalcroppingsolutions@gmail.com
 


WORKING TOGETHER: WHOLE SYSTEMS APPROACH TO SOIL MANAGEMENT 

As a response to severe droughts and extreme climate volatility over the last 15 years, farmers in the Northern Agricultural Region are looking to improve their farming systems through increasing water and nutrient use efficiency and developing flexible farming systems. A key component of this is managing soil acidity, and a number of groups have come together to produce a case study publication to address the topic.

The case study book, compiled by Liebe Group, West Midlands Group, Mingenew-Irwin Group, Southern DIRT and Aglime of Australia and funded through GRDC, is titled ‘Soil acidity management strategies throughout Western Australia’ and contains valuable information for farming systems across all regions.

Click here to view the case study book, or for more information contact Lilly Martin, T: 0447 443 317, Elilly@liebegroup.org.au.
 

SPRING LOCUST ALERT FOR LANDHOLDERS

Regional landholders in the grainbelt are advised to inspect properties for locust activity and be prepared to implement control activities during spring. DAFWA is predicting significant numbers of Australian plague locusts will build up during spring in eastern and southern parts of the grainbelt.

DAFWA Invasive Species acting director Malcolm Kennedy said hatchings were expected to occur from September, emphasising it is vital that landholders control locusts by spraying paddocks at the right time to minimise damage to valuable pastures and crops where locusts emerge and feed.

Click here for more information, or contact Malcolm Kennedy, T: 9368 3717, E: Malcolm.Kennedy@agric.wa.gov.au.

 

WANTFA DEEP RIPPER DEMO DAY A HUGE SUCCESS

Over 300 farmers attended the WANTFA Deep Ripper Demo Day on Tuesday 30 August in Goomalling. The day included demonstrations of deep rippers from several manufacturers, followed by discussions with experts on the value of each different machine including deep placement of lime to alleviate subsoil acidity, compaction and the benefits of ripping and tramline farming. 

For more information about the event click here

 

 
NEW SUBTERRANEAN CLOVER VARIETIES

Six new subterranean clover varieties have been developed from a national five-year joint venture between DAFWA and pasture seed company, Seed Force.

For more information click here or contact Phil Nichols, T: 9368 3547, E: phil.nichols@agric.wa.gov.au.

 
 
FARMING TOGETHER - FARM COOPERATIVES & COLLABORATION 
 
The Farm Co-operatives and Collaboration Pilot Program Farming Together, is an Australian Government investment of $14.9 million and is a key initiative of the government’s $4 billion Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper. The aim of the program is to provide farmers with knowledge and materials on co-operatives, collective bargaining and other forms of collaboration in the agriculture sector.

The program was launched at a national forum over two days on 29-30 August in Qld, with over 200 industry members attending from across the agricultural sector. Click here to view the webcast from the forum.

For more information about Farming Together and to keep up with the latest news from the program click here.

 
 
2015-2016 PLANFARM BANKWEST BENCHMARKS
 
Compiled from the records of Planfarm, Bankwest, Bedbrook Johnston Williams, Business Ag and Ag Asset, the Planfarm Bankwest Benchmarks includes data from 532 farm businesses throughout the broadacre farming regions of WA.

The report is a broad summary of the information collected and a reliable indication of the make-up and performance of broadacre farm businesses. It allows farmers to compare their financial and production performance to others in their district and region.

Click here for more information and to request your copy of the 2015-2016 benchmarks.

 


SHAPING THE SHEEP INDUSTRY
 
Sharpening the sheep business was the focus of the Agribusiness Sheep Updates, a leading sheep event held on Tuesday 30 August and delivered by DAFWA.

The Updates highlighted the low levels of productivity growth in the sheep industry in the last decade and the significant need for re-investment back into the sector. Looking forward, technology, robotics and automation are expected to play an increasing role in lift productivity.

Click here to read the full media release. For more information contact Bruce Mullan, T: 0428 279 551, E: bruce.mullan@agric.wa.gov.au.
 
 
ROAD TO RICHES BUSINESS SUPPORT DIRECTORY 2016

RDA Wheatbelt have developed a directory of Federal programs and services to assist agribusiness enterprises in the Wheatbelt to access and navigate business development support. The RDA Wheatbelt Road to Riches Support Directory includes six documents that are a comprehensive guide to the programs and details on how to make contact with the various programs. The Directory was launched at the 2016 GGA Annual Forum. 

For more information about the Directory click here.
 

PREMIERS FELLOW TACKLES 'BIG DATA' IN AGRICULTURE AND FOOD

In a partnership between Curtin and Murdoch universities, jointly funded with the Science and Agribusiness Connect initiative, made possible by the State Government's Royalties for Regions program, Dr Simon Cook, an expert in agricultural systems and natural resource management, will build and lead a research team in WA to develop the State's capabilities in big data and agriculture. 

For more information about the fellowship click here

 

GROWER GROUP SPRING FIELD DAYS - DON'T MISS OUT!
OPPORTUNITIES & EVENTS
GGA TRAINING WORKSHOP - COMING SOON!

The date for the next GGA training workshop has been flagged for late October and will be held in Perth. Financial management and project budgeting for not-for-profits will be the theme, so stay tuned for more information coming soon! Contact the GGA office, T: 6180 5759, E: admin@gga.org.au

INTERNATIONAL YEAR OF THE PULSE COCKTAIL EVENING

Thursday 8 September

On this week! GIWA is hosting the 2016 International Year of the Pulse at the WACA, East Perth, this Thursday 8 September. Click here to find out more, or contact Merrill Dalgleish, T: 6262 2128, E: info@giwa.org.au
 
2017 SCIENCE AND INNOVATION AWARDS

Grant applications are now open for the 2017 Science and Innovation Awards for Young People in Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry. Open to 18-35 year olds, grants of up to $22,000 are available to fund projects on an innovative or emerging scientific issue that will benefit Australia's primary industries. 

Applications close Friday 14 October. 

For more information on the awards click here

AUSTRALIAN GRAIN FARM LEADERS PROGRAM

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

For more information about the 2017 program click here

 
 
LAST CHANCE TO JUMP ON THE BUS!
GRDC SOIL ACIDITY BUS TOUR

 
12 - 14 September

Join a three day, two night action packed bus tour to the northern grainbelt for growers to investigate options for soil acidity and herbicide resistance management. 

Click here for more information or contact Merrill Dalgleish, T: 6262 2128, E: mdalgleish@giwa.org.au
 

OURCOMMUNITY: HOW TO WIN GRANTS WEBINAR

Thursday 8 September

This webinar, presented by OurCommunity, will provide essential information and answers to a range of grantseeking questions. It will cover tips on how to win more grants for your organisation and go through the grant writing process, focusing on time saving tricks and other helpful tools which will enable groups to be proactive with grant funding.

Click here for more information and to register.

SHEEPMEAT INDUSTRY LEADERSHIP PROGRAM

The Sheepmeat Council of Australia (SCA) is offering sheepmeat producers and people working in the industry an exclusive opportunity to be part of the inaugural Sheepmeat Industry Leadership Program. The SCA will select 15 participants per year for the program. Each position is valued at more than $10,000 each and covers all the training, course materials and travel to the two face-to-face sessions.

For more information click here or contact Kathleen Allan, T: 0437 846 605, E: kallan@sheepmeatcouncil.com.au

 
 
FUNDING 
WHEATBELT NRM TRIALS & DEMONSTRATION FUNDING - ROUND 4

Grants of up to $15,000 are available for trial and demonstration projects which aim to encourage the adoption of innovative practices associated with the themes of improved soil management, innovative crop management, sustainable grazing systems and tree crops. For more information click here

Applications close Monday 12 September.
 

REGIONAL GRANTS SCHEME AND COMMUNITY CHEST FUND

The Royalties for Regions Regional Grants Scheme (RGS) and Community Chest Fund (CCF) are now open with the aim of supporting local projects that help to provide improved facilities and services in regional communities. Both funds are administered by each of the nine Regional Development Commissions (RDCs).

The CCF comprises one-off grants of up to $50 ​000 to support small, local demand driven community projects throughout the year. For more information on the CCF
 click here.

The RGS seeks to improve economic and community infrastructure and services in regional Western Australia by helping to help attract investment, increase job opportunities and assist in improving the quality of life in the regions. The RGS is a contestable funding round with grants available from $50 001 to $300 000. For more information on the RGS click here.

To view the media statement click here.

Applications open close Tuesday 20 September.
 

IMPACT INVESTMENT READINESS FUND

The Impact Investment Readiness Fund is a partnership between Impact Investing Australia and NAB providing mission-driven organisations with targeted advice and support to help them secure investment for scaling up their social or environmental impact.

The Fund offers grants of up to $100,000 for enterprises to purchase specialised capacity building support from providers such as advisory, financial, intermediary or legal services. Click here for more information.


Applications close Friday 30 September.
 

FOOD INDUSTRY AUSTRALIA PROJECT FUND

Do you have an innovation challenge in your business? The FIAL’s Project Fund supports innovation projects that encourage collaboration between small and large businesses in the food and agribusiness sector, to lift productivity and competitiveness, by offering matched funding of over $100,000 to help you solve an innovation challenge. Click here for more information.

Applications close Friday 30 September.

 

CBH GRASS ROOTS FUND

The CBH Group's Grass Roots Fund provides financial assistance to grain growing communities towards events and projects which contribute to the health and vitality of their community. Up to $5,000 in funding can be made available for your event or project.

The September round is now open. Click here for more information and to download and complete an application.
 

GRDC GROWER AND ADVISER DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM

The GRDC Grower and Adviser Development Program is specifically targeted at individuals and groups of Australian grain growers and advisers seeking to arrange and undertake study and professional development. The aim is to enable grain producing businesses to be productive, profitable and sustainable by assisting grain growers to gain new knowledge, develop new skills, build relationships, and acquire new information.

For more information click here or contact panels@grdc.com.au

Applications close Wednesday 26 October.

 
GROWER GROUP SPOTLIGHT
COLLABORATION IN ACTION: GROWER GROUPS ADDRESS SOUTHERN AG SNAIL AND SLUG ISSUE

In June this year, seven grower groups across the Great Southern Agricultural region decided to collaborate to address snail and slug problems on farm. Led by Stirlings to Coast Farmers group, the Snails and Slugs Taskforce have hit the ground running with new funding from GRDC, COGGO and Royalties for Regions R&D Fund to develop new strategies to tackle the growing problem of small pointed conical snails and slugs. 

Small conical snails (Prietocella barbara) are a relatively new and emerging problem on the South Coast. The Taskforce has been formed to coordinate research efforts across the regions to delay and minimise their impact through the development of new control and mitigation strategies. Black keeled slugs (Milax gagates) also cause significant crop losses in some areas, especially in canola, which result in lower yields and significant income loss. 

  
Specific activities of the taskforce are to: 
  1. Establish collaboration and coordinate research efforts across grower regions. 
  2. Design, research and conduct on-farm trials related to snail mitigation across the Albany and Esperance Port Zones. 
  3. Produce a best practice manual about snail and slug control that contains scientific research findings and also reflects farmer's experience in controlling snails and slugs across the Albany and Esperance port zones.
  4. Provide resources to grower groups to provide information, workshops, field walks and other extension activities to educate growers about snail and slug mitigation strategies on farm. 
The taskforce members include the Executive Officers of Stirlings to Coast Farmers, Fitzgerald Biosphere Group, Gillamii Centre, RAIN, SEPWA, Southern DIRT, and North Stirlings Pallinup Natural Resources.  Additional members include DAFWA entomologist Svetlana Micic and representatives from CBH.

Working as a team, the Taskforce will distribute resources for growers across the Great Southern Ag region about how to reduce the numbers of snails and slugs during the 2016 harvest, and how to undertake more effective snail mitigation work before and after seeding in 2017. The taskforce is currently circulating a survey on snail and slug baiting practices in the Albany port zone to help inform research design. Stirlings to Coast Farmers have also purchased a snail roller from South Australia that will be demonstrated at their Spring Field Day on 22 September at South Stirlings. The snail roller has not been trialed in WA before and will be made available to grower groups for demonstrations through the Taskforce. 

The close collaboration between the groups, DAFWA and CBH in forming the Taskforce means that growers will be able to influence research design through the taskforce and able to more quickly adopt research outcomes and knowledge. 

For more information contact Stirlings to Coast Farmers Project Officer, Kathi McDonald, T: 0408 418 531, E: kathi.mcdonald@scfarmers.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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