WANTFA considers name change

25 Aug, 2013 02:00 AM
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WANTFA executive director Dr David Minkey.
WANTFA executive director Dr David Minkey.

A CHANGE of name may be on the cards for prominent grower group, the West Australian No-Tillage Farming Association (WANTFA).

In a letter to members last week, WANTFA executive director Dr David Minkey said a strategic review conducted by the organisation had prompted the decision to change the name.

It is hoped rebranding WANTFA would allow the organisation to evolve, set a new direction for the future and broaden its membership base.

But some members have questioned the necessity of the name change.

Dr Minkey said the organisation had considered changing the name for a number of years, but the 20th anniversary of the organisation last year sparked a need for a new direction.

He said WANTFA was an established brand and a successful grower group, but the name reflected only one aspect of sustainable farming systems.

Dr Minkey said the name affected non-member's perceptions of the work done by the organisation, with many believing WANTFA held a narrow focus.

"A lot of people think we are just a knife point research association, and that we were just focused on the reduced tillage component of conservation farming systems," Dr Minkey said.

Dr Minkey said WANTFA would still focus on developing conservation agriculture in WA, but a potential name change would help reflect the broader nature of current and future research and development programs undertaken by the group.

"The brand is really strong but the perceptions are that a lot of non-members see us as an association that has been there done that," he said.

"We brought no-tillage into WA and some question why are we still around.

"The perception among farmers and funding bodies is that we are still just a no-till association."

Dr Minkey said a new name could help the organisation to attract more research funding if it reflected all of the organisation's aims.

"It will also help us rebrand as a State-wide association, that now extends beyond the central Wheatbelt," he said.

The WANTFA board had considered about 50 new names, which centred on farming and applied research.

Dr Minkey said the costs associated with rebranding would not be passed on to members and membership fees would not increase.

He also admitted that members had expressed a reluctance to change the name.

"A lot of the young guys we speak to are all for it, where as some of the older guys weren't," he said.

"We will put it to the vote, most of the board are in favour and they are both farmers and members, but a few members have questioned why we would change it when we are doing really well at the moment.

"If it gets voted down, then it gets voted down and we won't be too stressed about it.

"If they say no then we will accept that and move on.

"We just think it would be nice to transition from the old WANTFA that has been around for 20 years, to something new and exciting and get younger farmers involved."

Members have the opportunity to vote on the name change at the WANTFA Spring Field Day on Wednesday, September 4.

If successful, the board will outline potential name options which would be presented to members for feedback.

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READER COMMENTS

boris
26/08/2013 8:37:18 AM, on Farm Weekly

WANTFA failed growers through the GM debate. It was given every opportunity to lead in the advocacy of this widely adopted technology but withdrew and now has become irrelevant and listless. Such a shame it didn't pick that winner, it would have given the organisation a huge leg up. Name change won't help. Wind it up is my suggestion so we can remember it for the good work it did for no-tillage.

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