Ground Cover Supplement : GC Supplement - Partners in grain
GROUND COVER PARTNERS IN GRAIN 2 DEVELOPING THE FULL FARMING TEAM BY JEANETTE LONG NATION CHAIR, PARTNERS IN GRAIN Partners in Grain, more widely known as PinG, is a national project funded by the GRDC. The project was initiated in 2001 to address and overcome the barriers that inhibit or discourage women and young people participating in professional development. "The GRDC recognised that women and young people can be highly influential over business decisions, but were often excluded from professional development opportunities due to lack of invitation, childcare facilities or inappropriate scheduling," explains Maureen Cribb, the GRDC's program manager for PinG. PinG is active in each state, guided by a state reference group whose coordinator and chair make up the National PinG Reference Group together with the national chair and a representative from the GRDC. A flexible management approach enables each reference group to deliver training in a form and on topics required by people in their region. Each year, PinG delivers up to 10,000 hours of training activities. This Ground Cover supplement illustrates the range of training activities, from sponsoring individuals to attend conferences, through to embracing technologies that deliver workshops over the internet. Activities can be fun and educational such as beer appreciation, or workshops to understand the relationships between wheat characteristics and the products they produce. Cover photo: Members of the Hilltown Ag Girls (HAGs) with coordinator Judy Wilkinson, learning about the opportunities to use saltbush for supplementary fodder and salinity management. PHOTO BY EMMA LEONARD Although there are numerous training activities in agronomy, PinG recognises that many women and young people do not attend technical training for a range of reasons. To overcome this problem PinG has run, or been involved in, field days specifically for young people and women to lift their skills, knowledge and confidence levels and subsequently to feel encouraged to attend other technical-training events. Agronomy and hands-on expertise are only half the equation; the other required skill set is business management. PinG is filling this knowledge gap with training that relates to managing the business of farming. Grain marketing, succession planning, managing risk and alternative uses for grain crops are all topics that have been, and will continue to be, addressed by PinG. In the past seven years many participants in PinG activities have reported that their involvement has made a profound and positive difference to their lives and to their family farming business. We know that through PinG working with AWB Ltd, the company has a greater awareness of ensuring that all partners in a business are invited to grower meetings, resulting in many more women now attending. This is just one example of the changes PinG is initiating. PinG is helping to give women and young people a voice in the Australian grains industry. At the same time, it brings together like-minded people who provide each other with a listening ear, support and encouragement. This can be vital in an industry where people are dispersed, where family and business are closely intertwined, where the operating environment can be, at best, challenging and where many women marry into to a farming family bringing new skills, but little knowledge of agriculture. PinG wants to build on the success of the first seven years and develop programs that engage all members in the faming business. All partners in the business are welcome to attend PinG activities. I encourage you to come and see for yourselves; it is a very rewarding and uplifting experience. GRDC Research Code PIG00005 More information: Jeanette Long, 08 8837 3993, email@example.com Jeanette Long INTRODUCTION ARTICLES AND PHOTOGRAPHS BY EMMA LEONARD, UNLESS OTHERWISE STATED Ground Cover is brought to you by growers and the Australian Government through the publisher, the Grains Research and Development Corporation, www.grdc.com.au. Executive Editor: Ms Maureen Cribb, Publications Manager, GRDC, 02 6166 4500 PO Box 5367, Kingston ACT 2604 Managing Editor : Brad Collis, Coretext, 03 9670 1168, fax 03 9670 1127 Editor : Emma Leonard, 08 8834 1233 © All material published in Ground Cover supplements is copyright protected and may not be reproduced in any form without written permission from the GRDC. Design and production: Tim Claeys, Creative Director, Coretext, www.coretext.com.au Advertising sales: Hyde Media, 03 9870 4161, fax 03 9870 4163 Registered by Australia Post Publication No. NAD 3994 Disclaimer : Any recommendations, suggestions or opinions contained in this publication do not necessarily represent the policy or views of the Grains Research and Development Corporation. No person should act on the basis of the contents of this publication without first obtaining specific, independent professional advice. The Grains Research and Development Corporation will not be liable for any loss, damage, cost or expense incurred or arising by reason of any person using or relying on the information in this publication.
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