Partners in Grain WA now Rural Edge

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Rural Edge staff and board members Brittany Crawford, Jessica Horstman, Natalie Hogg, Bronwyn Fox, Nicola Battam, Helen Woodhams, Tamara Alexander, Brent Searle and Debra Mullan.
Camera IconRural Edge staff and board members Brittany Crawford, Jessica Horstman, Natalie Hogg, Bronwyn Fox, Nicola Battam, Helen Woodhams, Tamara Alexander, Brent Searle and Debra Mullan. Credit: Cally Dupe

The group behind what is arguably WA’s most popular farm business workshop has rebranded, with a plan to focus on broader professional development for primary producers.

Partners in Grain WA has run more than 150 farm business workshops with more than 2000 participation since 2014, including its hugely popular Paperless Farm Office workshop, which was rolled out last year.

At a breakfast at Perth Royal Show on Tuesday morning, the group’s chairwoman Bronwyn Fox revealed the organisation had rebranded itself and would now be called Rural Edge.

She said the organisation had “outgrown” its grain-focused name in recent years, and demand for workshops across a range of primary industries was rapidly growing.

“The uptake of our training has been overwhelming ... attendees at our workshops are not solely grain growers,” Ms Fox said.

“Mixed farming is more common than it used to be. We have realised that having grain in our name was a legacy our organisation has outgrown.

“So to reflect the extensive demand for our workshops across all primary production sectors, PinG WA is now Rural Edge.

“The new name reflects our broader market focus and passion for providing training and professional development for all primary producers ... not just grain growers but still including them.”

Rural Edge (formerly Partners in Grain WA) chairwoman Bronwyn Fox, Royal Agricultural Society of WA president Paul Carter, and RASWA councillor and Kukerin farmer Mary Nenke.
Camera IconRural Edge (formerly Partners in Grain WA) chairwoman Bronwyn Fox, Royal Agricultural Society of WA president Paul Carter, and RASWA councillor and Kukerin farmer Mary Nenke. Credit: Countryman, Cally Dupe

Ms Fox said Rural Edge would continue to run its seven flagship workshops, which focued on three key areas — people, technology and finance. This included its two most popular workshops, the Paperless Farm Office and Being a Better Boss: Legal Obligations for Farmers.

It will also continue to co-ordinate the biennial women’s farm business skills conference, the Inspire Summit, which is pegged to be held April 7 and 8 at Crown Perth next year.

However, Ms Fox said the organisation was broadening its scope and had already signed a partnership with Meat and Livestock Australia to deliver training for livestock producers.

The supported learning program, called Managing People for Success, includes three days of face-to-face workshops and a series of teleconference coaching sessions.

Rural Edge is now seeking expressions of interest for the MLA-subsidised workshop in 2020.

She said the group was also in discussions with other sectors about creating new workshops, including WA’s rock lobster, dairy and horticulture industries. Other plans for Rural Edge include the unveiling of two new workshops next year, with details to be revealed later this year. The group also plans to launch an online training platform to allow participants to access digital training content, webinars and podcasts.

Originally a national project, PinG was first funded and launched by Grains Research Development in 2001, with support from the then-Department of Agriculture and Food.

In 2017, the national groups separated and PinG WA became an independent organisation.

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