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The South Australian Grain Industry Trust is welcoming a new Chairman and trustee to its board, bolstering its wealth of expertise leading the South Australian grains research sector.

Ardrossan farmer and existing Group A Trustee Max Young has been appointed to the role of Chairman, replacing Michael Treloar who is standing down after four years in the position but will continue as a Group A Trustee. Mr Young is joined by newly appointed Group B Trustee and former plant breeder and researcher and now grower Professor Andy Barr.

Mr Young is a strong advocate for creating new opportunities for South Australian farmers to increase profitability through innovative research.

“I would like to thank outgoing Chair Michael Treloar for his contribution to grains research in South Australia during his term,” he said.

Mr Young said he anticipated reviewing a strong round of applications for SAGIT funding in the coming months as one of his first acts as new Chairman.

“This year has been particularly tough for farmers and researchers alike,” he said.

“For many, it is a matter of getting through this season and looking forward to a fresh start next year.

“As Chairman I look forward to continuing the excellent work and support SAGIT has provided the grains industry over the past 27 years.”

In reflection on his time as Chairman, Mr Treloar thanked his fellow trustees and SAGIT management for their support.

“I have thoroughly enjoyed my time as Chairman of such a wonderful organisation which supports grower-funded research in SA,” Mr Treloar said.

“As trustees of SAGIT, our role is to administer the grower levy and invest in research which provides real outcomes for growers in this state. The trustees, with support from the excellent management team, are able to manage this in a very efficient and cost-effective manner.”

Mr Treloar said he was thrilled to welcome Mr Young as the incoming Chairman.

“Max’s experience and knowledge of the grain industry along with his understanding of the research community makes him ideally suited for the role,” he said.

“As a trustee it has become very clear that supporting investment in grains research ultimately leads to an increase in profitability for growers. Therefore it is important this investment continues to allow SA growers to be champions of innovation and remain at the cutting edge of this amazing industry.”

Professor Barr was appointed to the position of Group B Trustee by Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development Tim Whetstone. Mr Whetstone said it is important SAGIT has a wide mix of skills to help advise on the best investment of grain growers’ funds into research activities to underpin improved farm gate returns for farmers.

“I am confident Professor Barr will make a strong contribution as a respected member of the grain research community, as well as his hands-on grain growing experience and as a director and trustee of both public companies and research organisations including CIMMYT and the Grains Research and Development Corporation,” he said.

Professor Barr said he was pleased to be appointed as a trustee to SAGIT following years of working with the Trust as a researcher. He said he looked forward to working with the research community and continuing to capitalise on opportunities for SA grain growers.

“In my previous life as a plant breeder, I always enjoyed working with SAGIT as there was quick feedback and clear guidance on the priorities for growers,” he said.

“As SA growers we are in the very privileged position of having both the GRDC and SAGIT investing in our future.”

Professor Barr hails from a farm at Pinery and has spent 30 years of his career working in plant breeding.

He has been instrumental in developing over 20 varieties of oats and barley and has held positions as a grower director of ABB Grain Ltd and on the GRDC Board and Southern Panel. In 2003, he returned to the Pinery property to manage the family farm.

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