As part of its 60th Anniversary celebrations, national grain farmer representative body, GrainGrowers, this month will remember the farmers from the North Star and Croppa Creek regions of north west New South Wales who came together to work to gain recognition for the high quality grain they grew.
In 1958, the growers established the Premium Wheatgrowers Association (PWA) to campaign to have segregation of wheat introduced by the Australian Wheat Board so that their high quality grain would be rewarded with a premium price.
“GrainGrowers proudly recognises these founding farmers as setting the foundation for the successful organisation we have today,” said GrainGrowers Chairman John Eastburn.
“It was the first time that growers started to campaign to overturn the Australian Wheat Board’s practice of co-mingling of all grains in bulk handling, and it represented a significant turning point in Australia’s grains history,” he said.
“Everything was regulated in those days – from the transport, handling, marketing to even the varieties that could be grown for harvest. Growers were paid for their grain according to a Fair Average Quality scheme which stifled innovation and ingenuity. Growers who could produce higher quality grain in the north western region of NSW came together to change the situation.
“From humble beginnings with few resources beyond the enthusiasm and dedication of its members, GrainGrowers has grown today to be a national grain farmer representative body with independent resources which has continued to work to realise value and opportunities for grain farmers nationally.
“Today, we have more than 17,000 grain farmer members across Australia. We are firmly established on a stable financial and governance footing, and operate collaboratively with the supply chain and government to act on behalf of grain farmers nationally. We are in a good position to help guide the future of the industry with the input of, and for the benefit of, growers.
“GrainGrowers continues to champion for grain farmers and delivering improved outcomes on modern policy challenges, such as international trade agreements; investment in freight routes to lower costs; and reduced red tape on farm businesses.”
The Fields of Gold formal dinner will be held on Friday 15 June at North Star for descendants of the original growers who formed PWA, and growers of the region.
Susan McDonnell, Regional Coordinator for the Northern Region, said that memorabilia from the early days would be displayed on the night.
The Fields of Gold dinner is one of a range of activities planned by GrainGrowers to celebrate its 60th
Anniversary this year.
Other activities include:
Now open – the Spirit of Grains children’s competition – great prizes to be won! Visit: https://www.graingrowers.com.au/media-centre/spirit-of-grains-competition
• 17 October 2018: 60th Anniversary formal dinner in Dubbo – reflecting on our history and the way ahead
• Wheat variety launch – a variety of Prime Hard Wheat will be named in recognition of GrainGrowers’ history.
• Revamped GrainGrowers’ website – celebrating the faces and facets of Australia’s modern grain farming industry.
• Photo competition – celebrating Australian grain farmers across the nation.
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