Marshall on grains board

Jo FulwoodThe West Australian

Pingelly farmer Ray Marshall has been elected to the board of national grains representative body Grain Producers Australia.

Mr Marshall, who runs a mixed sheep and cropping enterprise and has been involved in grains advocacy for 18 years, was first elected to the Grains Councils of WAFarmers in 1997.

He was the inaugural president of the Western Oats Alliance, now the GIWA Oats Council, and was involved in the development of the national guide to grain contracts with Grain Trade Australia.

Mr Marshall spent four years as part of the national strategic review of grains research and development and was the inaugural vice-president of the WA Grains Group.

He joins Miling grower Barry Large as the second Western Australia representative on the board, as the organisation moves to increase its membership base across the country.

Grain Producers Australia was recently appointed as the joint representative organisation, together with NSW-based Grain Growers Limited, overseeing the Grains Research and Development Corporation.

A series of constitutional changes were made at GPA's recent annual general meeting, including a new structure for membership of the organisation.

According to GPA chairman Andrew Weidemann, the changes now allow for both individual growers and grain businesses to be members of the organisation.

Mr Weidemann said the meeting had also moved to redefine the group's policy development mechanism.

"For more than a year now GPA has been working with a coalition of up to nine grain representative organisations around Australia, known collectively as the NFF Grains Policy Council, but we haven't had a formally constituted structure to support that - well now we do," he said.

"Our intention is to enable grain producer representation to work effectively through the National Farmers Federation 'Streamline and Strengthen' project, so we are confident positioning our new structure will be much better suited to achieve that."

GPA also announced at its AGM the appointment of former Grains Council of Australia chief executive officer Mitch Hooke as an independent director.

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