February 22, 2013
It’s time to talk globalisation, fertilizers, chemicals and the up-and-coming generation of grain growers. The 2013 VFF Grains conference is fast approaching, and registrations are now open to join the discussions in Mildura on March 17-19. VFF Grains president Andrew Weidemann said the conference would focus on bringing growers up to speed with a more extensive global market for the Australian grains industry. “The theme for the conference is “The impact of Globalisation on the Australian Grain Industry” as we need to address competition at the ports, as well as stewardship in the industry,” Mr Weidemann said. “Recent amendments to the Wheat Export Marketing Amendment Bill address key issues in the grain supply chain so it’s an ideal time to address the future of our industry. “We have spent the last couple of weeks talking to growers and it’s clear we all have our eyes on the rest of the world as well as our own backyard.” The conference will begin with a welcome dinner night on Sunday March 17 at the Mildura Brewery, followed by two days of panel sessions at the Grand Hotel on March 18 and 19. “We’ll take a look at whether competition in ports, storage and handling is decreasing, as well as grower representation in a global market,” Mr Weidemann said. A panel of younger agricultural professionals will also demonstrate what the ‘new’ generation is bringing to the industry, from technology in the header to networking via social media. “We’re constantly looking to attract younger farmers to the VFF Grains group, but to also encourage older farmers to be open to new technology and methods in the industry,” Mr Weidemann said. “This is an opportunity to hear from our up-and-coming generation who are connecting with grain growers around the world and constantly taking on new information. “It’s also a chance for young growers to have their say about where they think the industry is heading, and what technological advances we can expect to see in the future.” Marking his final VFF Grains conference as president, Mr Weidemann is calling for passionate members to represent their regions in the future. “If you want to represent your region on the VFF Grains council, positions have fallen vacant for Murray Goulburn and Eastern Mallee regional councillors,” Mr Weidemann said. “You can nominate at conference and be the voice of your area.” A gala dinner on the March 18 will feature guest speaker Todd Russell, one of two miners who survived a harrowing 14-day entrapment in the Beaconsfield Mine almost one kilometre underground. Registrations are now open for the VFF Grains Conference, which costs $50 for members and $200 for non-members.