McCabe steps up as GPSA Chair

Hamley Bridge grower Adrian McCabe has been appointed Chair of Grain Producers SA following the organisation’s Annual General Meeting on Monday 24 August.

Adrian, who grows cereals, pulses and canola with wife Kate, brother Luke, his parents and in-laws, was appointed to the GPSA Board in December 2016 and has been Vice Chair for the last two years.

He said he was keen to continue the work GPSA had started with the South Australian Grain Industry Blueprint and build on the successful advocacy regarding SA’s moratorium on genetically modified crops.

“GPSA has had some significant policy wins over the past few years with the outgoing board and I want to see us continue that trajectory with the incoming board as the voice for South Australian growers,” he said.

“We will continue to work hard on the GM issue on a council by council basis to ensure growers across the state have the freedom of choice in the crops they grow.”

The GPSA Board farewells outgoing Chair Wade Dabinett, Parilla, as well as Directors Peter Cousins, Crystal Brook, and Tanja Morgan, Jabuk.

Wade retired after six years on the Board, four of which were as Chair.

Joining the Board are James Heaslip, Appila, John Gladigau, Alawoona, and Nick Hillier, Bordertown. David Malpas, Lucindale, was re-elected to the Board.

James, a sixth-generation farmer, was part of GPSA’s inaugural Emerging Leaders Program intake and has a Diploma in Chartered Accounting.

John is a partner in Bulla Burra, a collaborative farm which crops 8,500ha annually to cereals and legumes in the northern Mallee region of SA. He is also a 2007 Nuffield Scholar, a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and has been a member of the SA Grain Industry Blueprint Steering Committee.

Nick has operated a mixed family farm for nearly 30 years and has his own consulting business. He has previously served in an agricultural policy advisory role to government.

Adrian thanked Wade, Peter and Tanja for their service to South Australian growers.

“Wade has been an extraordinary advocate for South Australian grain producers over the last four years as GPSA Chair,” he said.

“His knowledge of the entire grain value chain and his passion for promoting the best interests of growers has been outstanding. He was a leader for his time when GPSA needed to progress important issues in GM crops and mining on agricultural land.

“He has left GPSA with very strong corporate governance along with a great working relationship with all levels of government and other industry stakeholders.

“Peter has been a tireless worker for South Australian grain growers in regard to chemical use, advocating at both a state and federal level. He made a significant contribution to Grain Producers Australia’s pesticide sub-committee, based on his vast experience in agronomy.  

“Tanja was a fantastic addition to the Board with her strong knowledge of the research, development and extension area. She has been a strong advocate for advancing technology and innovation in agriculture and GPSA has benefited from her expertise.” 

Adrian said he was extremely pleased with the calibre of the new Board, which also includes former Grains Research and Development Corporation Managing Director Dr Steve Jefferies AM, who was appointed as an Independent Director by the Board last month.

“Steve brings invaluable experience to GPSA, particularly as the Blueprint project turns to implementation,” he said.

Wade said he was proud to see the continuing development and professionalism of GPSA in advocating on behalf of the industry.

“Achieving reform in the area of GM crops has been a high priority for me as Chair and, while the policy outcome wasn’t perfect, it delivers on the end goal of providing farmers with the ability to choose the varieties that best fit their farming system,” he said.

“I wish to thank the growers and industry professionals who have served as a director during my time on the board.

“GPSA directors give up time away from their families and farms to help further our industry. Their commitment and service to South Australian growers should be commended.

“While I will be stepping down as Chair, I know that I’ll continue to champion GPSA’s work.”