Candidates ready for board vote

Jo FulwoodThe West Australian
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GrainGrowers Limited, the New South Wales-based grower representative body, has two board positions up for grabs at its 55th annual general meeting, to be held next Wednesday in Melbourne.

The two positions are only available for southern region representatives, but all growers, including those in WA, have the opportunity to vote.

The Southern Region encompasses Victoria and southern NSW.

GrainGrowers chairman John Eastburn said members from every region voted for the directors every year.

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"We rotate the regions that come up for election to ensure there is balanced representation of both southern, east and west coast growers on our board," he said.

Vying for the two board positions are current directors Gerry Lane (Lockhart, NSW), Spencer Millear (Melbourne, Victoria) and Bruce Smith (Wallendbeen, NSW).

Two new candidates are also making a challenge: Chris Kelly (Woomelang, Vic) and Mark Hoskinson (Kikoira, NSW).

Chris Kelly, from Woomelang in Victoria's southern mallee, is currently the national spokesperson for GrainGrowers National Policy Group, and has served on GrainGrowers' advisory committees for more than 10 years.

He is actively involved with the Victorian Farmers' Federation, and is a member of the GRDC low rainfall cropping solutions panel and the Birchip Cropping Group Research Advisory committee.

Former chairman of the GGA Reform Group Mark Hoskinson, from Kikoira, NSW, has served on the NSW Farmers executive council, holding the position of chairman for the Grains Committee for four years. He has also been involved with the rebuilding of the National Farmers' Federation's Grains Policy Council.

Wallendbeen farmer Bruce Smith has a cropping and livestock property in NSW and has been a director of GrainGrowers since 2008.

He is treasurer of Australian Livestock Markets Association, a director of Cootamundra Oilseeds and was previously chairman of the Technical Working Group for the Pathway to Market for GM crops, a single vision initiative.

Melbourne-based Spencer Millear is a wheat, barley and canola producer at Willaura, and has been a director of GrainCorp and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Mr Miller believes the stance of GrainGrowers on the issue of wheat test weight demonstrates the strong and meaningful contribution of the organisation to Australian growers.

Current director Gerry Lane, from Lockhart in NSW, previously held the position of deputy chairman of GrainGrowers and has been the chairman of its finance committee.

He has been a member and participant in the Southern Hard and Soft Wheat Growers Association and a past member of the AWB grower consultative committee. Mr Lane is a former director of GrainCorp Operations Limited.

All GrainGrowers members should have now received their voting form. The group claims to have more than 8000 grower members, managing a capital base of around $100 million.

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