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You are here: Home Media Media Releases 27 Sep 2016 - Grain representative bodies welcome new GRDC chair appointment

27 Sep 2016 - Grain representative bodies welcome new GRDC chair appointment



Grain representative bodies welcome 
new GRDC chair appointment

27 September 2016


Grain Growers Limited (GrainGrowers) and Grain Producers Australia (GPA) have welcomed the appointment of Mr John Woods as the new Chair of the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC).

In their capacity as joint representative organisations to GRDC, GrainGrowers and GPA were today informed of the appointment by the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, the Hon Barnaby Joyce MP.

Grain Producers Australia Chair, Mr Andrew Weidemann, congratulated Mr Woods, a farmer from Boggabilla, Queensland on his appointment.

“On behalf of GPA I welcome Mr Woods to the role and look forward to working with him to progress grains innovation across Australia.”

Mr Weidemann said the GRDC Chairmanship was a role of significant responsibility.

“Each year the GRDC invests more than $200 million from a combination of grain farmer levies and Federal Government contribution in research, development and extension.

“The GRDC Chair is responsible for ensuring this investment has the highest possible potential to enhance productivity, profitability and sustainability of Australian grain farmers.”

GrainGrowers Chair, Mr John Eastburn, also welcomed Mr Woods’ appointment. He said grain farmers, rightly so, held high expectations for the performance of their levy dollar.

“Over its 25 years of operation, research commissioned by the GRDC has resulted in enormous productivity gains for growers, including through the extension of new farm technologies, techniques to improve water use efficiency and the support of breeding initiatives.”

“Grain farmers expect that the GRDC will continue to direct levy investment into innovation that will ensure grain remains Australia’s most valuable broadacre agricultural industry.”

Mr Eastburn said the GRDC Chair carries much of the onus of meeting these expectations.

Mr Woods succeeds Mr Richard Clark from Tulloona, New South Wales. Mr Clark was appointed to the Chairmanship in October 2013.

During his three years in the role, Mr Clark oversaw the restructure and relocation of the agency to more closely align with farmer needs, the appointment of a new Managing Director and a milestone agreement with Bayer to develop technical capability in the development of new herbicides for Australian crops.

GrainGrowers and GPA thanked Mr Clark for this contribution and wished him well into the future.

“Industry leadership by bodies such as the GRDC requires significant commitment, which invariability takes individuals away from their personal pursuits.”

“We sincerely thank Mr Clark for his contribution and hope he continues to use his leadership skills for the good of our great industry.”

Mr Eastburn said, in its 25th year, GRDC had a number of challenges and opportunities on the horizon.

“The Federal Government recently passed legislation to see, for the time, transparency over levy-payer details.

“This will mean GRDC will be able to communicate directly with the growers that fund the agency. Such communication has huge potential to better direct research initiatives.”

Mr Weidemann said the governance structure of GRDC was also under consideration.

“In the next two to three years, grain farmers will be asked to consider the structure of GRDC; whether it should remain a Government statutory body or transform to an industry-owned corporation.”

GrainGrowers and GPA will meet with Mr Woods when the three entities come together for a representative organisation consultation in Adelaide this week.

Andrew Weidemann
Grain Producers Australia

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