Koongawa grain grower Peta Willmott has been appointed to the Board of Grain Producers SA.
Mrs Willmott’s appointment, announced at the GPSA Annual General Meeting at Hahndorf, fills a casual vacancy that arose following the retirement of producer-elected director Jared Sampson who was a Board member for four years.
GPSA Chair Adrian McCabe said Mrs Willmott was an ideal candidate to fill the vacancy on the Board.
“Peta is a well-respected member of the grains industry and her community on Eyre Peninsula, and she brings to the Board of GPSA an enormous wealth of experience and expertise, particularly in the area of governance,” Mr McCabe said.
Mrs Willmott, who farms with her husband Dean, said her priorities for the grains industry in SA were well aligned with those of GPSA.
“A profitable and sustainable grains industry is what I am passionate about – so I am really looking forward to being able to contribute further to this cause through my new role with GPSA,” she said.
Mrs Willmott also advocates for regional development, in terms of employment, services, infrastructure and education.
“The grains industry, like other rural industries, is experiencing a massive shortage in labour. We need to work co-operatively with all levels of government to improve infrastructure and services in the regions, particularly housing, to encourage people to move to the regions to fill the ever-increasing employment vacancies.”
Mrs Willmott, who is treasurer of Buckleboo Farm Improvement Group and a councillor with the District Council of Kimba – among numerous other community roles – said she was eager to collaborate with and learn from her fellow GPSA Board members.
“There is such a vast amount of experience in that room – I am looking forward to expanding my governance skills by working alongside the other Directors,” she said.
Meanwhile, Mr McCabe has paid tribute to outgoing Director Jared Sampson.
“Jared is a tireless advocate for his local community and the Eyre Peninsula region more broadly, and he made a strong contribution as Chair of the GPSA mining taskforce,” he said.
“As taskforce Chair, Jared helped secure the new Landholder Information Service and he guided GPSA’s submissions to the Mining Act review. He appeared at the SA Select Committee Land Access Inquiry, providing strong representation on behalf of his community at Warramboo.
“Together with his family, Jared helped lead GPSA’s campaign to promote ifarmwell, a rural mental health initiative developed by Dr Kate Gunn.”
Mr Sampson will remain involved in GPSA’s policy forums to improve outcomes in rural health and wellbeing for farmers.
For interviews with GPSA, contact Sharon Watt, AgCommunicators, 0409 675100