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Growing farm costs on agenda

CHANGE-UP: Parilla farmer Wade Dabinett will be the new chairman of Grain Producers SA from August 10, taking the helm from inaugural chairman Garry Hansen.CHANGES are afoot atGrainProducers SA, with young Parilla farmer Wade Dabinett to soon take the helm from chairman Garry Hansen.
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Despite not having previous chairman experience, Mr Dabinett has been vice-chairman for two years and saidMr Hansen had given him great guidance.

“Garry is staying on as a director, so he willstill be there as a support, along with the rest of the extensive experience on the board and across the organisation,” he said.

“This is a great opportunity to have the next generation help steer the group.”

Mr Dabinett aimed to build on themany achievements of Mr Hansen and the board.

“Thereareso many ongoing issues that theboard has to address, such as growing red and green tape,” he said.

“Weneed to better promote theindustry as a number one choice for employment, aheadof mining and construction, and get media to stop portraying farmers as an old bloke in overalls driving a Massey Ferguson towing a combine.

“Our image needs tobe a reflection of themodern andprofessional industry that we are.”

Mr Dabinett saidincreasing supply chain and production costs were also on the agenda.

“GPSA is all about post-farmgate advocacy andthings need to change withthe cost of production and supply chain costs, but there isno silver bullet,” he said.

“As an industry, we need to keep chipping away and hope that one day we can bust through the burdens of red tape, regulationsand rising supply chaincosts.”

Mr Dabinett also hopes to address the“missing generation” in advocacy–30-40 year-old farmers–and the lack of female representation in industry organisations.

“Women are a major part ofmost farm businesses, yet are not as prominentas they should be in advocacy,”he said.“Are we as an industry not making it attractiveenough? That’s something weneed to reflect on.”

Out-going GPSA chairman Garry Hansen believes he is leaving the organisation in capable hands with Mr Dabinett.

Mr Hansen, aCoomandook grain and livestock producer,was the inaugural chairman of the organisation, which was established inDecember 2011 to takeontheworkoftheformerSAFarmersFederationGrainsCouncil.

In his time at the helm, MrHansensaidthe organisation had a numberof successes,including upgrading wheat classifications, identifying transport hotspots, representinggrowersinnegotiationsonlong‐termportaccessagreements, creatingsub-committeesto allow growerinvolvement in policy creation and modernising theSAGrainIndustryTrust.

“One of my priorities was to re-establish the relationship between SAGIT and GPSA, which had broken down,” he said.

“It wasimportant the two organisations were fully-functioning and workedtogether to kick industry goals.”

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