Grain industry's bright young future in the spotlight
The Australian Grain Leaders Program (AGLP), run by peak grains representative body GrainGrowers, will feature locals from Booleroo Centre, Wagga Wagga and Birchip as three of the nine successful applicants for the 2022 future leadership program.
Joseph Koch, James Murray and Katherine Munn (pictured above) will be some of the direct beneficiaries of high-level professional development training geared towards being fast-tracked into prominent leadership positions.
The program, in its 14th year of existence, provides participants with practical opportunities to enhance their farming acumen.
One of the program’s main modules focuses on the undertaking of a project centred on how a farming business challenge or industry issue can be dealt with.
GrainGrowers invests heavily in the applicants over the year-long course, covering costs for accommodation and travel expenses.
Joseph Koch is a 6th generation farmer from Booleroo Centre in South Australia's Mid-North. 'Joe' is currently working in a family-owned mixed farming and reefinator business. Joe and his wife Jess also run a Precision Ag consulting partnership. Joe’s AGLP project will be community focussed and based around ‘maintaining and encouraging rural community involvement whilst swimming against the tide of rural decline and contraction’.
Birchip's James Murray (pictured above) currently holds the position of Senior Research Manager within the Birchip Cropping Group. James highlighted a desire to see young professionals within the agricultural industry develop into highly skilled people, with the skills to support grain growers and the grains industry more broadly. His AGLP project will be about regulations around climate change and greenhouse gas emissions.
Currently working at InterGrain, Katherine Munn from Wagga Wagga (pictured at the start of this article) is passionate about the profitable, long-term sustainability of the grains industry. Katherine's AGLP project is to develop a program where she can present to university and high school students about the opportunities in agriculture. To better understand all the career paths others have taken so that she can give confidence to the next generation of agri-professionals that there is something in agriculture for everyone.
GrainGrowers General Manager Kaitlin Commins endorsed the successful candidates and said the future is bright for all parties involved:
“I always find it exciting to meet the emerging leaders who have decided to step forward and participate in the AGLP.
“To see the unique leadership and management skills develop in people taking part makes us proud and excited about the future leadership of our Australian grains industry.”