THE Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) will establish an office in Adelaide to boost its presence in the southern cropping region.
The office will service the three states that comprise the GRDC’s southern region – SA, Victoria and Tasmania.
In a statement, GRDC said the new office was expected to be operational by early next year, and would initially house five staff, with more positions likely to be added over time.
As general manager of systems and agronomy south, Dr Stephen Loss will lead GRDC’s operations in the southern region and be supported by a manager of systems and agronomy and a team assistant.
A manager of grower services and a contracts administrator will also be located in the Adelaide office.
GRDC Southern Regional Panel chair Keith Pengilley said the establishment of a dedicated office in the south would enable the organisation to enhance its existing relationships with growers and other grains industry personnel.
“This move is really about getting closer to growers,” Mr Pengilley said.
“Having a permanent staff presence in the southern region will improve the GRDC’s accessibility to growers.
“And it will complement the network of 11 Southern Regional Panel members we have spread across the region and the 40 members of the Regional Cropping Solutions Networks that support the Panel in identifying GRDC-funded research priorities.”
In 2014-15 the GRDC invested more than $196 million in grains related research.
Mr Pengilley said the transfer of some of the GRDC’s functions and roles out of the central office in Canberra and into the three cropping regions – southern, western and northern – was in recognition of the increasing diversity in environmental factors, farming systems and grower profiles across the nation.
“We believe this ‘hub and spoke’ model is most appropriate for an organisation like the GRDC which has a mandate to work closely with growers and industry at a regional level but to also maintain and foster strategic relationships with research partners from across Australia and the globe, which we can do most effectively from a national head office.”