Trio of WA grain growers in leadership program’s top 10


A trio of WA grain growers have been selected to take part in one of the industry’s most prestigious leadership programs next year.

Rebecca Kelly, of Mingenew, John Sanderson, of Grass Patch, and Dani Whyte, of York, were this week selected to complete the 2021 Australian Grain Leaders Program.

They form part of a group of 10 growers set to take part in the program, which has been upskilling future leaders of the industry for more than a decade.

A key component of the program involves participants completing a project focusing on how a farm business challenge or industry issue could be addressed.

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Ms Kelly recently returned to farming after spending five years as a tour guide in Europe, and now helps with the production and business side of her family farm.

She hopes to look at ways to increase productivity beyond increasing scale.

With a love of ag-tech and data, Mr Sanderson hopes to become an innovator in the grains industry by creating a centralised hub for reporting on historical and real-time data.

Ms Whyte hopes to better understand and celebrate the benefits of mentorship in agriculture as part of her project.

GrainGrowers leadership and events general manager Kaitlin Commins said she always found it exciting to learn about the emerging leaders in the grains industry.

Farmers are chosen for the program after impressing with their applications and subsequent interviews.

“To see the unique leadership and management skills develop in each of the participants makes us really proud to offer the program and excited about the future leadership of our Australian grains industry,” she said.

“The program is a great opportunity for people that can sometimes work in quite remote and isolated areas to develop a support network and come together to consider how the grains industry can approach different challenges.”

GrainGrowers covers the cost of the program as well as travel and accommodation expenses, which are often a barrier for those living regionally.

More than 20 WA grain growers have completed the program, with this year’s WA participants Walebing’s Alana Alexander and Geraldton’s Murray McCartney.

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