Katanning voice joins grains group

Cally Dupe & Sjanna SandalovaGreat Southern Herald

A Katanning farmer is among three WA growers who have landed positions on the GrainGrowers Limited national policy group, comprising three of five positions on the western panel.

Cunderdin’s Frank O’Hare, Mingenew’s Paul Kelly and Katanning’s Kallum Blake were elected to the panel two weeks ago.

Also elected were South Australia’s Bordertown grower Michael Hunt and Buckleboo grower Tristan Baldock.

Mr Blake, who has been in the group for five years, was the only former national policy group member from WA to be re-elected, after Colin Nichol, of Hyden, and Steven Tilbrook, of Mt Madden, opted not to stand again.

“We were the first WA boys to get onto the board, so it’s really good to be re-elected,” Mr Blake said.

GrainGrowers chairman John Eastburn said the elected five brought strong experience and interests, and a passion for grains policy to the group.

“Just as the grains harvest this year has been very different in each of these locations, the issues faced by growers also impact regions differently,” he said.

“So it is vitally important for our organisation to have a listening ear to hear growers’ concerns from across all regions.”

Mr Blake said the group focused more on larger national issues.

“I think last year in WA in general, the crop was not bad despite the low rainfall in some parts,” he said.

“But around Katanning, we’re always facing issues with freight — everything we grow is exported, and if we can’t get our produce to export efficiently, we can lose so much money in that.”

The group determines GrainGrowers’ national policy agenda and meets several times a year.

Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails