New-look GRDC panel

The West Australian

The western panel of the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) starts a new two-year term next month with the recent appointment of the 11-person panel for 2015-17.

Dunn Rock farmer Peter Roberts will continue in his role as the Western Panel chairman for the new 2015-17 term and Department of Agriculture and Food WA scientist Mike Ewing remains the panel's deputy chairman.

In announcing the appointments, GRDC chairman Richard Clark said Mr Roberts would continue the strong level of GRDC engagement with the grains industry in WA.

"The role of the GRDC's regional panels is critical in linking GRDC to growers, researchers, scientists, agribusiness and grower groups," Mr Clark said.

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"The GRDC board considers the appointment of members to the regional panels as crucial to the GRDC's success."

Mr Roberts agreed the GRDC panel process was very important in ensuring grower concerns, ideas and priorities were fed into GRDC and that any issues or research, development and expansion (RD&E) gaps were addressed.

"The geographical coverage that comes with the panel members appointed for the coming two years is the best we have had for some time," he said.

"And when you add the more than 60 grain growers, consultants and researchers who make up the five Regional Cropping Solutions Networks (RCSNs) which provide support and advice to the GRDC Western Panel, we really do have all bases covered."

The panel comprises three new members along with six panellists who have been re-appointed for another term.

Appointed for the first time are Merredin grain grower Julie Alvaro, Ravensthorpe grain grower Andrew Duncan and CSIRO wheat geneticist Greg Rebetzke.

GRDC executive manager Stuart Kearns replaces Brondwen MacLean on the Western Panel in an executive role.

Mr Roberts said the panel selection process undertaken by the GRDC board was thorough, ensuring the interests of growers and other grains industry stakeholders in WA would be best served by the members appointed.

"The new panel is well rounded in terms of industry experience and expertise," he said.

Members come from diverse backgrounds - they include growers, researchers, consultants and advisers - and all are highly respected by their peers."

Mr Roberts also recognised the contribution of outgoing panellists Calingiri farmer and former accountant John Even, Quairading farmer Shauna Stone and grains industry extension and capacity building specialist Susan Hall.

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