Day two of the 2017 WAFarmers Annual Conference: GROW2017 featured a series of presentations from industry leaders, as well as the AGMs for various WAFarmers commodity sections.
Hosted by MC Vin Dawes from Rural Focus, proceedings were opened by Australian Paralympian and HBF Ambassador Brant Garvey at the business breakfast, who spoke about mental resilience, persistence and maintaining a positive outlook and how those characteristics can translate seamlessly across any workplace.
Following the breakfast, Agriculture Commissioner for the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission Mick Keogh gave delegates an insight into the state of play for Australian agriculture, and both the challenges and opportunities facing the sector.
The rest of the day comprised of Commodity Section AGMs and guest presentations. During the Livestock Section Conference, David Slade from Mount Barker assumed the position of section President, with John Wallace from Esperance taking up the Senior Vice President Role and Steve McGuire retaining the position of Vice President.
The AGM presented an opportunity for Mr Slade to update members on how the Council is running, following the amalgamation of the Meat and Wool Councils during the 2016 Livestock Section AGM to form the Livestock Section.
The AGM was followed by presentations from the Department of Agriculture and Food WA’s Research Officer Kate Pritchett and WA Chief Veterinary Officer Dr Mia Carbon, who detailed current and future opportunities in the WA sheep industry, and biosecurity for market access and origin certification information.
At the WAFarmers Annual Grains Section Conference, incumbents Duncan Young and Mic Fels retained the positions of President and Senior Vice President, respectively, as there were no other nominations for those positions. The Vice President position will be appointed by the WAFarmers Grains Section at the next meeting.
Grains presentations were heard from Tony May, Managing Director of Monsanto, Dr Steve Jefferies, Managing Director of GRDC, and Andrew Hawthorne, who spoke about multi peril crop insurance.
General Section, the final AGM of the day, featured presentations from Peter Metcalfe, Executive Director for the Department of Agriculture and Food WA, Lavina Muscat, Industry Development Executive for Telstra, and Tim O’Leary, Executive Director Rural Affairs and Chief Sustainability Officer for Telstra.
Their presentations focused on recent projects undertaken by DAFWA and how they are making WA agriculture competitive on an international platform, how the existing telecommunications network can be optimized for greatest on-farm effect, opportunities for sustainable infrastructure and future investment.
Delegates, sponsors and speakers then had the opportunity to mingle and discuss the day’s events at a sundowner at Perth Mint, sponsored by Bailiwick Legal and CropLife Australia.