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GRDC seeks applications for regional panel positions

Applications are now open for positions on the GRDC's three regional panels in the south, north and west - providing an invaluable opportunity to contribute to Australian grains research and, in turn, on-farm profitability.
Photo: GRDC

GRDC is looking for applications for western, southern and northern regional panel positions

An invaluable opportunity to contribute to Australian grains research and, in turn, on-farm profitability is being offered to primary producers, industry stakeholders, scientists and others involved in the agricultural sector.

Applications are open for positions on the GRDC's three regional panels - estblished in the west, north and south.

The regional panels provide a critical link between growers, the research community and the GRDC - and play an important advisory and strategic role helping to guide GRDC investments across the research, development and extension (RD&E) spectrum.

Applications for the GRDC Regional Panel positions close on Wednesday, April 15, 2020.

Successful applicants will take up the part-time positions from September 1, 2020 and appointments will be for two years.

Contributing to industry

GRDC Managing Director Dr Steve Jefferies says the regional panel system helps ensure that GRDC's RD&E investments deliver gains in profitability to Australian grain growers by assisting to draw out and prioritise local, regional and national grains industry issues.

"The GRDC's primary focus is improving grower profitability, and we all know there are many factors - both on and off-farm - that influence growers' returns," Dr Jefferies says.

"The regional panels play an important role in sourcing feedback from growers and industry about regional production constraints, as well as opportunities, and bringing that information back to GRDC to help guide investment direction.

"Diversity within these panels is an integral part of the system's success, so each is comprised of primary producers, agribusiness practitioners, scientists and the GRDC's executive managers with provision for other industry experts."

Sharing knowledge

GRDC Northern Region Panel Chair John Minogue, who is also a grain grower and farm consultant in southern New South Wales, says the panel roles require a time commitment and knowledge of the grains industry, but the experience gained was invaluable.

"I was a panel member, before taking on the role of Chair, and both experiences have been very rewarding from both a personal and professional perspective," he says.

"But most importantly, it has been a chance to give back to the grains industry.

"Being on the panel has given me the opportunity to go beyond my farm gate and engage with some of Australia's most respected researchers, along with some of the industry's most progressive growers and agronomists.

"From an industry perspective, it has given me a chance to play a role in working with my fellow panel members and GRDC staff to help ensure grower levies are directed into RD&E that has a meaningful and profitable impact on-farm."

Representing industry

GRDC Southern Region Panel Chair John Bennett, a mixed farmer at Lawloit in Victoria's West Wimmera region, says panel membership is a unique and richly rewarding experience - from multiple perspectives.

"Being a member of the GRDC Southern Panel is a position of privilege - you are a representative of your industry and your peers and have influence in directing investment in RD&E to generate solutions on their behalf," says Mr Bennett - who was a panel member before being appointed Chair.

"The GRDC Regional Panel model delivers industry good.

"Through a transparent process, it ensures that the interests of growers are well served and that their levies are invested in targeted research that addresses their most important challenges and needs.

"Knowing that you are playing an important role in providing growers with opportunities to grow their profitability is incredibly satisfying."

Direct impact back

GRDC Western Region Panel Chair Darrin Lee, who is also a Mingenew grain grower, says his roles as a panel member - and then Chair - have provided him with the opportunity to add value to, and give back to, the agricultural industry.

"Agriculture has given me a lot over my working career, so it's great to be able to reciprocate," Mr Lee says.

"This commitment required is from my perspective very rewarding and well worth it - I have had the opportunity to have a direct impact on the grains industry and to meet some amazing people.

"Being a regional panel member is also very valuable for personal development and makes you a stronger and better leader within your own local community."

To apply to be part of the panel system, go to: GRDC's careers.

For information about Regional Panel recruitment, please refer to: the Regional Panel Member Information and Application Form, or email

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