In The Loop e-News from Partners in Grain WA   MAY 2013
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Welcome to Partners in Grain WA's first e-edition of In The Loop.

It's been a while since we've been in touch but as you'll see there's been plenty happening behind the scenes and we're ready for some great opportunities in 2013.

With new workshops being rolled out this year, a new coordinator, new reference group member and a whole lot of new potential it’s a fairly hectic but exciting time for Partners in Grain WA.


As this
is our first e-news we'd love to know what you think. Good or bad, please feel free to give us feedback or suggestions on how we may improve In the Loop.

Introducing Erin Green as the new WA Coordinator

As of March this year I have taken over the role of Partners in Grain's WA Coordinator from Natalie Hogg.

As with many of you I juggle my way through a few roles including wife, mum, farm office manager, farm cook (definitely not chef), contract copywriter and community positions. You may ask why I chose to take on more…

I first had contact with PinG about 7 years ago when my husband and I moved out from Geraldton to our farm at Yuna. Just as I was taking over the management of our farm office, the Office Meltdown course was held at Yuna. It allowed me to set up our office efficiently from the start and I am using the same system today. I also attended the Computer Shake-Up course about 4 years ago and still have the course notes handy for referencing every now and again.

As much as I enjoy living in a (very) small community I realise that it’s not always easy to access training and professional development opportunities. Limited numbers of participants and large distances usually work against us and make courses unaffordable, but hopefully the programs that PinG has can bring some opportunities your way, like it did for me.

Having grown up on a farm at Ballidu in the central wheatbelt, boarded in Perth for high school, studied at Muresk, worked with the Mingenew-Irwin Group and now living and farming in the northern wheatbelt I’ve got friends and acquaintances throughout rural WA that have, or can, benefit from an organisation such as PinG.

I joined the PinG team as I believe in the opportunities that it provides and am interested in what it can offer WA grain growers, and their associated regional communities, in the future.

If you would like to take part in any of PinG’s new courses that we’ll be rolling out this year please contact me. PinG is now run from my home office, but I am readily available by email or phone.

Natalie Hogg was the WA Coordinator as part of her role with DAFWA. As of 2013 Partners in Grain has become independent from DAFWA and as such a new coordinator was needed. Luckily for us, Nat has stayed on as a State Reference Group member of PinG.
Erin Green of Yuna, WA Coordinator, Partners in Grain

Welcome Bronwyn Fox to the State Reference Group

The WA State Reference Group welcomes Bronwyn Fox as its latest member. Based in Dandaragan Bronwyn joined the group in December. This is what Bronwyn has to say about why she joined PinG….

“I am a mum to 2 young boys and am involved with a mixed farming property in Dandaragan, which is owned and run by my parents-in-law.

I wanted to get involved with PinG because I am keen to see skills development for the agricultural sector, particularly farmers. I think it is really important that farm managers continue to upgrade their skills to ensure their farm businesses are operating efficiently and sustainably.

I’m really keen to be involved in the grains industry and its future, so if I can contribute now hopefully the industry will be healthy in years to come. As a State Reference Group member I’ll be able to promote what PinG does to my networks and encourage cooperation between industries.

I am also passionate about healthy communities and I think with the training that PinG offers it is a way for people to come together and share information, make new friends and even share their issues. I think PinG offers interesting and relevant training for farm businesses that can be attended by all involved. I believe this is particularly important for all the DIL’s (Daughter in Law’s) out there to make them feel involved and appreciated.”

Partners in Grain's newest WA State Reference Group member, Bronwyn Fox, with baby George.

REGISTER your interest...4 NEW Workshops for 2013

In 2012 Partners in Grain spent considerable time consulting with growers and industry to identify key training priorities to target over the next 3-5 years.

As a direct outcome of the planning phase GRDC has committed funding to Partners in Grain for a new 18 month national project.
For WA growers this means there is funding available for 11 workshops to be run, though Partners in Grain WA will be sourcing sponsorship to enable us to offer as many workshops as possible.

Based on WA’s training priorities the workshops being developed are:
  • Employment Obligations for Farm Businesses

    Understanding the rules, regulations & requirements for on-farm employment

  • HR - Bring a Good Employer

    Seeking & retaining staff. Do’s, don’ts, communication, templates & everything you need to know.

  • Farm Office Management

    Physical & practical ways for managing your farm office efficiently

  • New Technologies for the Farm Office

    Tablets, on-the-go tools & tips for the programs you use everyday


Are you a qualified trainer or can you recommend a great workshop presenter?

Partners in Grain WA are in the process of finding presenters for the new employment and computer courses.

Our presenters need to be willing to travel, relevant to agriculture, engaging and knowledgeable. We’d prefer to employ presenters from regional WA, perhaps someone with their own small business who has the understanding of rural life, as well as the expertise.

If you can help us with a lead please contact Erin Green or phone 0429 108 936


State Reference Group meets face-to-face

WA’s State Reference Group of 7 members met for their annual Face to Face meeting in Subiaco in March.

Having members from Lake Grace to Kellerberrin to Yuna and numerous places in between meetings are usually held via teleconference so it’s a bit of a luxury to actually meet in person. Case in point, it was hard to believe that WA Chair Nicole Batten has been a member of the Reference Group for 18 months but this was the first time she had met some of the others face-to-face.

As it’s very much a transition period for PinG WA there was plenty of business to be discussed including:
  • An overview of PinG’s activities in 2012,
  • Establishing PinG as an independent organisation without financial administration and management from DAFWA
  • Ensuring the new GRDC funded workshops are aligned with the training priorities identified in 2012
  • Other training programs that need to be developed specifically for WA
  • Increasing PinG WA’s profile
  • Sponsorship and funding needs and opportunities
  • Governance and the role of Reference Group members

It was great to receive input from Susan Hall from the Grower Group Alliance (GGA) who joined us for part of the day. Together we discussed the implications of the GGA being wound up and possible synergies between the two organisations.

Due to the new GRDC project beginning shortly the State Reference Group plans to meet again in August.

WA State Reference Group

Back Row L-R: Erin Green (Coordinator), Julie Ramm, Judy Forsyth, Bronwyn Fox
Front Row L-R: Nicole Batten (Chair), Debrah Clarke, Alison Cooke, Natalie Hogg (holding George Fox)

CWA of WA sponsor PinG

Partners in Grain WA are very pleased to announce that CWA of WA have just signed on as a new sponsor.

With the roll out of our 4 new workshops this year, CWA will be sponsoring the cost of the workshop materials that participants take home as an ongoing resource.

Other Snippets From Outside of PinG

Farm Labour Factsheets

GRDC have three new factsheets on different aspects of farm labour. The factsheets are all available from the GRDC website or click on the links below.

• Farm Labour: Recruiting and inducting new employees

• Are you a Good Labour Manager?

• Filling the Farm Labour Gap

As a part of a GRDC funded project Partners in Grain WA will run two different employment workshops in 2013:

  • Employment Obligations
  • HR - Being an employer of choice

Register your interest for a workshop today.
Erin Green or phone 0429 108 936.

4 Diploma of Agriculture units online through CYOC Institute

CY O’Connor Institute are taking Expressions of Interest to enroll in the online delivery of the following units from the Diploma of Agriculture:
  • Develop and review a business plan (AHCBUS506A)
  • Prepare and monitor budgets and financial reports (AHCBUS508A)
  • Operate within a budget framework (AHCBUS404A)
  • Cost a project (AHCBUS402A)
For more information see the flyer on the CY O’Connor Institute or contact the Merredin campus directly on 9081 3555

Over 50 & Needing Qualifications?

If you are aged over 50 and looking to have your current skills recognised or seek a formal qualification this may be helpful.

The Australian government’s Investing in Experience program offers funding to reduce the costs of Skills Recognition and Training.

Under the program, employers can apply for grants of up to $4,400 (including GST) to assist their mature age workers (aged 50 years and over) to undertake a skills assessment and obtain gap training if the skills assessment identifies a need.

More information can be found in the Fact Sheet.

SEPWA's Apps Review

Have you checked out SEPWA’s Apps Reviews?
From their project ‘Mobile Devices – The Next Step in PA Adoption’ SEPWA’s Nigel Metz and Tywen Dawe reviewed and rated 62 farm related maps currently on the market.

The reviews are brief and honest and you may want to check it out before you splash some cash working out the right app for you.
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Partners in Grain (PinG) is an Australia-wide not for profit organisation that aims to build the capacity of the West Australian grains industry by facilitating professional development opportunities for everyone within the on-farm business unit.
PinG was launched in 2001 and operates via reference groups. PinG has a project that is funded by the Grains Research and Development Corporation. PinG is also sponsored by industry organisations.

Supported by           Sponsored by  

Not for paid publication unless prior contact made with coordinator.

PinG WA Coordinator:

Erin Green
Phone: 0429 108 936 or (08) 9920 5454
Post: PO Box 27, Nabawa WA, 6532

State Reference Group:
Partners in Grain WA could not do what it does without the direction and support of the State Reference Group.

CHAIR - Nicole Batten, Yuna

Debrah Clarke, Lake Grace            Alison Cooke, Badgingarra              Judi Forsyth, Merredin                    

Julie Ramm, Dumbleyung              Bronwyn Fox, Dandaragan               Natalie Hogg, Northam   

Copyright © 2013 Partners in Grain WA Inc., All rights reserved.
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