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


Message from the WA Chair

It’s an exciting time for PinG at the moment after many months of planning, we have now launched a new series of workshops across WA. 

Beginning in the northern with fantastic feedback from the Farm Office Efficiencies workshops, there will be more topics to explore over the next 12 months so watch this space. 

Our brand new website is also up and running which will showcase each state across Australia and give regular updates on workshops coming near you as well as useful tools, resources and links.

PinG WA have a great team who are working toward gaining more funding and partners to be able to offer more to our grain growing businesses and communities,  so feel free to contact us to find out more.

PinG WA Chair - Nicole Batten of Yuna

Check out PinG's new website

I'm a little reluctant to admit that in my first four months as the WA Coordinator I desperately avoided giving people our web address. Now, I'm now extremely happy to SHOUT it out...

Launched at the beginning of this month the new PinG website is now not only great looking, it's a great source of information on upcoming events, a great way to request a workshop in your area and a great place to find the forms and submit your registration for an existing event.

For those that like to see what's happening on the other side of the fence you can check out what happens in PinG in the other states, or if you've just discovered PinG you can find out a little more about who we are and what we do.

Check it out. If our site doesn't stack up to your expectations, or is missing the information you're expecting or functions you need then please send me an email and let me know.
A snapshot of the homepage of our new website:

Welcoming Hayley Wandel to the WA State Reference Group

PinG WA tries to represent grain growers across WA as best it can, but when our State Reference Group met in March this year we felt the Esperance region was not being included as best as it could be... Enter Hayley Wandel.

Hayley, and her husband Mark, farm 7000 hectares at Scaddan (60km north of Esperance) and Beaumont (100km east of Esperance) continuously cropping wheat,  barley, canola, faba beans and field peas.

With her involvement as a partner in the farm business, Mum to 3 young children at Scaddan Primary School and Hayley's other local commitments we are very lucky to have Hayley join us at PinG.

As with many other farm businesses, Hayley is always looking at ways to increase efficiency and utilise new technologies, in the office, the paddock and between the two. In 2011 Hayley converted their farm office to a paperless system managing all areas of the farm business from financial records, to HR to paddock records and QA.

Already Hayley has become a great contributor to Partners in Grain as her knowledge and experience was integral in including a paperless component into our Farm Office Efficiencies Workshop.

"I'm looking forward to sharing my ideas but also networking with others to learn things which may help to strengthen and improve our own business. My goal in the grains industry is to build a strong business that can be passed onto our children." Hayley Wandel, Esperance

Hayley Wandel of Esperance, WA State Reference Group Member.

Farm Office Workshops begin with great reviews

WA growers were the first from across the country to participate in Partners in Grain's newest workshop - Farm Office Efficiencies.

14 growers from the Binnu area and 11 growers from the Moora area took part in the one day workshop at the beginning of July. 

As a revised edition of the highly regarded Farm Office Meltdown workshop, The Farm Office Efficiencies Workshop concentrates on demonstrating more organisation for less office time.

As well as updating previous content, new topics including paperless filing systems and managing emails have been added to ensure relevance with today’s farm businesses.

Skilled presenter Jean Buegge combined the day’s content with a wealth of experience in an interactive and enjoyable way for all involved in the farm business. 

For Jasmyn Allen who attended the Binnu workshop with her mother-in-law Heather the day left her feeling confident and motivated.

“Overall I got a lot more out of the workshop than I thought I would. For me the information regarding efficient ways to set up folders and filing systems was really useful. It also confirmed that some of the processes we’ve already incorporated into our office are in line with the modern way of doing things.” said Jasmyn.

“I particularly enjoyed the group dynamic and learning from others. From what I learnt today I’m sure that we’ll be making some changes to our office system. I’m feeling really inspired to improve our system.”

Other feedback shows that the ideas on where and how to store different types of records was really well received, as was the discussion on paperless offices.

Of the 25 growers who attended the workshops all said that they would recommend it to others.

The Farm Office Efficiencies Workshop is brought to you through funding from GRDC. The resource booklets supplied are sponsored by CWA of WA.

See the full media release about the new workshops on our website.
Register your interest for a workshop to be held in your local area.



Here's what some participants said they'd do differently as a result of the workshop:

"Refine office management and record keeping"

"Regulate time in the office"

"A great deal. Alter processes & look at all my tasks very differently, with enthusiasm instead of dread."

"Redesign my office layout to be a more efficient work space"

"Empty the filing cabinets"

"Encourage my kids into the office by setting up an area for them & their activities"

"Look into making it a paperless office"

"Start an office book for all of the 'incidental' info"

"Change my filing system and the monthly accounts process"

"Trial the paperless system"

"Communicate better with business partners"

"Handle employment records better"

Participants at the Farm Office Efficiencies Workshop in Binnu. L-R: Glenda Stanich, Kyra Simkin, Aimee Carson, Jasmyn Allen, Dale Diepeveen, Gemma Suckling, Kelly Williamson, Jean Buegge (Presenter), Heather Allen, Farrah Gould, Peta Simkin, Ros Cripps, Sam Thompson, Fiona Reynolds.

3 Farm Office Workshops to be held in September

Registrations are now open for the following
Farm Office Efficiencies Workshops:

Williams - Wednesday 4 September

Katanning - Thursday 5 September

Kellerberrin - Friday 6 September

For full details, see the flyer.

To register, download the registration form from our website.

A minimum of 8 participants is needed at each workshop.


National PinG to meet in Horsham

PinG Victoria will be hosting PinG's annual National face-to-face meeting in Horsham next week.

WA Chair Nicole Batten, WA Reference Group Member Julie Ramm from Dumbleyung, and myself are heading to the meeting and looking forward to the opportunity of catching up with representatives from the other states.

Over three days we will be discussing the development of the employment and technologies workshop, learning how PinG operates in each state, visiting a few Horsham sites and working through future opportunities for PinG.

Ultimately, I hope we come back with a lot of great ideas that we can put into practice in WA and some set dates of when the remainder of the new workshops will be available.

4 New Workshops...what are they all about?

- Employment Obligations for Farm Businesses
Understanding the rules, regulations & requirements for on-farm employment
Scheduled to be available in September


- HR - Bring a Good Employer
Seeking & retaining staff. Do’s, don’ts, communication, templates & everything you need to know.
Scheduled to be available in September


- Farm Office Efficiencies
Physical & practical ways for managing your farm office efficiently
Now available


- New Technologies for the Farm Office
Tablets, on-the-go tools & tips for the programs you use everyday
Scheduled to be available in October

Workshops must have a minimum of 8 participants.
If you think we can get this many people together in your area...

Register your interest now

Workshops will be limited, so early registrations will be prioritised.


Do you know of anyone that would be suited to delivering a technology workshop?

Partners in Grain WA are in the process of finding presenters for the New Technologies workshop.

The expressions of interest for this workshop are continually growing so we would like to have a number of presenters who we can call upon to deliver the workshops throughout the WA farming regions. 

As well as being tablet and smart phone savvy, our presenters need to be willing to travel, up-to-date with today's farm business operations and engaging communicators. We’d prefer to employ presenters from regional WA or people who understand the rural, farming lifestyle.

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


Other Snippets From Outside of PinG

Beyond Farming

Have you heard about WACOSS's Beyond Farming Program?

Beyond Farming is a free and confidential service for farmers and pastoralists who are planning for life after farming.

The Program has 25 volunteer mentors who are all ex-farmers and are available to talk with farmers and farming family members about opportunities outside of farming.  

To find out more about the Beyond Farming Program download the brochure, phone the hotline on 1800 616 076 or email


Handy FREE Apps...

There are sooo many apps out there that when you go to download one that you hope will improve your productivity or keep you organised you sometimes end up lost, confused and wasting hours just trying to choose which one to try. Sound familiar?

Well, here's two free apps that I am using and really liking at the moment. Maybe they'll be useful for you too.

If you are using an app that you'd like to recommend to others please email me the details and I can pass it on in the next enews.
CloudOn: Has been ranked the top productivity app in 40 countries. 

CloudOn essentially gives you Microsoft Office on your iPad or android tablet. It allows you to view, edit and create new documents in Word, Excel and Powerpoint. Upload your existing document from your cloud service such as Dropbox, or create a new document, and away you go. 
Paperless Lite: Is a list app that I use on my Iphone.

It is really simple, quick to set up and easy to use. Basically you just set up your lists under different headings (with handy icons) and then add to them as you need, or check things off once they are done.

Once I had trialed Paperless Lite I opted to spend the cost of a notebook ($3.00) and bought the full version - Paperless - which allows more lists and syncing via dropbox.

I have all sorts of lists on here such as: town, phone calls to make, farm office, PinG, someday (for those quiet weekends at home when you knew there was something to do but can’t remember what it was), camping (what to take or fix before next time), etc.

Now I always know where to find the lists I start, and used to lose!
As we are still getting used to the world of e-news we'd like to know your thoughts on how we're doing. 
Good or bad, please feel free to give us feedback or suggestions on how we may improve In the Loop.

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)
Forward to Friend

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     

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         Natalie Hogg, Northam        

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

Julie Ramm, Dumbleyung              Bronwyn Fox, Dandaragan               Hayley Wandel, Esperance    

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