GrainGrowers’ members in Northern New South Wales, Queensland and the Northern Territory are urged to vote for candidates standing for election to represent the Northern Region on GrainGrowers’ National Policy Group (NPG).
Voting is now open and closes on Friday 14 December at 5 pm Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEDST). The Northern Region candidates are:
- Timothy Mooney, Croppa Creek NSW
- Chris Joseph, Dalby Qld
- Keith Harris, Liverpool Plains NSW
- Kate Gunn, Liverpool Plains NSW
- Ian Gourley, Narrabri NSW
- Terry Fishpool, Tottenham NSW
- Luke Bradley, Central Queensland
GrainGrowers CEO David McKeon said that grower representatives making up the NPG are a vital part of policy development at GrainGrowers.
“The NPG is responsible for determining GrainGrowers’ policy agenda. Grower representatives bring forward the major issues affecting grain farming businesses in their regions and meet multiple times per year in person and via teleconference to help develop constructive national policy solutions,” said Mr McKeon.
“The NPG provides the views of grassroots farmers and helps drive forward national industry and government policy. Their discussions ground-truth and inform the work of GrainGrowers’ policy staff in taking issues to government and industry.
“The nominations this year are growers with impressive grain industry knowledge and backgrounds and show themselves to be highly motivated to play their part in developing a more efficient, profitable and sustainable grains industry.”
The NPG is made up of 15 farmers – five from each of GrainGrowers’ regions – Northern Region (northern NSW, Qld and NT), Western Region (SA and WA), and the Southern Region (Southern NSW, Vic and Tas).
Each year one region is able to nominate for the five positions on the NPG, and in 2018 it is the northern region. With seven candidates, an election is required and the five candidates with the most votes will join the National Policy Group for a three year term. The election is conducted by LINK Market Services on behalf of GrainGrowers. Only Northern Region members (farmers in Northern NSW, Queensland and the Northern Territory) are eligible to vote.
Northern Region representatives’ biographies
Tim runs a farming operation in partnership with his mother Judi at Croppa Creek NSW, producing wheat, barley, chickpeas and sorghum over four properties. With several generations of farmers on both sides of his family, Tim is passionate about driving production and fine tuning the system (agronomically and logistically) to address variation in seasonal conditions and labour availability.
Tim has a diverse background with previous experience in logistics and sales and marketing in the earthmoving, real estate and transport industries.
Tim believes access to key markets and the development of opportunities in ever-evolving of international trade and politic environments is essential. He considers innovation in agricultural inputs, maintaining access to products and ensuring a ‘do no harm’ approach to farming is essential. Coupled with this, he sees access to agricultural technologies as a key priority.
Tim believes there are opportunities to address the disconnect between producers and consumers and wants the progressive, resilient nature of agriculture promoted.
Chris is a fourth-generation grain farmer from Dalby Qld, where his family farm specialises in irrigated and dryland grain, fibre and hay crops as well as cattle production.
Chris is a graduate of the Australian Rural Leadership Program and the Australian Institute of Company Directors, and is a director of Southern Queensland NRM. He has also served on the GRDC Northern Panel, MDBA Basin Consultative Committee and the RIRDC New and Emerging Plant Industries Panel.
Chris considers improvements to risk management, access to chemicals, product quality, and improved trade and market access as important areas to address. He is also focused on opportunities in the value chain and niche markets, addressing communication blackspots, and encouraging the uptake and affordability of precision agricultural technologies.
Keith has extensive experience as General Manager of Romani Pastoral Company’s Northern properties; including managing Windy Station, a 20,000 ha property on the Liverpool Plains with 10,000ha of winter, summer and forage crops. Currently he operates a private consulting business.
Keith is passionate about agriculture and has a long history of representing growers on various committees and the GRDC Northern Panel. Keith is a strong supporter of R&D and believes that GrainGrowers should ensure the R&D levy delivers sustainable growth and profitability for growers. Keith considers water use and drought policy are significant areas to address.
Keith is an incumbent member of NPG.
Kate, together with her parents and brother, runs a progressive family farming business on the Liverpool Plains which comprises of broadacre dryland winter and summer crops, grain handling, storage and logistic operations, as well as a beef cattle operation.
Kate has over 12 years’ experience in both front and back-end operations of the grain growing business in roles spanning across production, storage and logistics, marketing, accounting and finance, as well as involvement with R&D. She holds Bachelors of Science and Commerce and a Master of Economics, and has recently been admitted as a fellow of the Australian Rural Leadership Foundation.
Kate believes policy priorities for GrainGrowers should always be premised on maximising returns to growers and enhancing the business of grain production in Australia. Her focus is ensuring productivity growth while maintaining high quality and ethically produced food; enhancing the capacity of Australian growers to value-add and capture more of the value chain; and developing closer connections between consumers and producers. She believes drought and climate policy, management and use of agricultural chemicals, and maintaining and expanding international markets are crucial issues.
Ian has operated a dryland cropping enterprise near Narrabri in northwest New South Wales for the past 18 years. He farms with his wife Georgina and three children. Prior to farming, Ian worked as grain commodity trader for six years. He currently sits on the Pulse Australia Standards Committee and holds positions on various other boards.
Ian is specifically interested in the future of grains industry-good functions; the promotion and marketing of Australian grain; infrastructure requirements and trade and market access. He is focused on the development of the multi-peril insurance market in Australia, supports the need for strong local extension and adoption of R&D which delivers real changes to farming practices, and sees access to chemicals, practical label instructions and ensuring user responsibility as key priorities for the sector.
Ian is an incumbent NPG member.
Terry and his family run mixed sheep and grain farming enterprise at Tottenham, NSW. During his 40 years of farming Terry has driven changes that have improved the profitability and sustainability of farming in this area, including retaining the Tottenham-Bogan Gate rail line during the ‘option 3’ closures and the abolishment of the NSW Central Zone for grain receivals, leading to further zoning changes to benefit growers.
Terry is the current Chair of Tottenham Tourism and has previous experience representing growers in Prime Wheat Association & GrainGrowers committees, and in executive roles with a number of community bodies.
Terry believes infrastructure investment, grain classification, receival standards, the management of industry good services, especially the branding and promotion of Australian grain, as priorities. He is focused on maintaining access to agricultural chemical, fostering the education of the grains industry’s social benefit, government drought and disaster policy, and development of production income protection insurance
Terry is an incumbent NPG member.
Luke is a director of his family business and has over 10 years’ experience in farming in the Northern Region. Following a career in the resources industry, Luke returned to agriculture to undertake contract farming services between Richmond, Nth Qld, through to Lockhart in the Riverina. The business is now based in Central Queensland and farms dryland cereals and pulses and beef cattle.
Luke is a graduate of GrainGrowers’ Grains Future Leaders’ Program (2016) and completed a Nuffield Scholarship in 2017, studying technology. Luke is committed to sharing his findings with a vision to improve transparency in the industry. Previously Luke has been involved with GRDC advisory and benchmarking groups.
Luke believes ensuring trade and market access for grain growers in both short and medium term is the key to sustained profits. As part of this, he is keen to see the development of new modern, more accurate standards for the grains industry.
For more information about the election and the NPG, visit GrainGrowers or contact GrainGrowers directly on 1800 620 519 (Freecall).