The West Midlands Group was recognised as a leading grower group after winning the 2017 Grower Group of the Year award at the Growing Expectations National Summit last week.
The Grower Group Alliance of WA (GGA) award acknowledges the economic and social contribution that grower groups make towards the competitiveness of WA’s agrifood sector.
WMG executive officer Anne Wilkins accepted the $2000 award, which will fund improving group capacity, operations and systems, from award sponsors Grain Industry Association of WA (GIWA) treasurer Neil Hooper and chief executive officer Larissa Taylor.
Mr Hooper said WMG had played an integral role in the development of new opportunities in the Central Midlands region through its collaborative partnerships with industry, seeking opportunities in new markets and in the supply chain as well as continuing to conduct relevant, on-the-ground R&D for its members.
Ms Wilkins said WMG was fortunate to have an experienced and motivated team of staff and board members who were innovative and wanted to push the boundaries in research, development and extension.
“We are also seeing a lot of changes and opportunities as the intensive agriculture and horticulture industry expands in our region, and as a group we are ensuring that our strategic direction reflects that,” Ms Wilkins said.
GGA executive officer Annabelle Bushell said grower groups across WA and Australia played a pivotal role in regional communities and were a valuable collaborative partner for government, levy funded entities and private companies in the extension and adoption of new technologies.
“West Midlands Group plays a leading role in their community – as well as continuing to deliver targeted research, development and extension in their local area, they are also exploring opportunities to increase the sustainability and productivity of the group and their region,” she said.