Global Agriculture

Australia: New GRDC Panel Chair for the northern region

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22 July 2022, AU: Fifth generation grain and cotton grower Arthur Gearon from Chinchilla in Queensland has been appointed as the new chair of the Grains Research and Development Corporation’s (GRDC) Northern Region Panel.

Mr Gearon, who has been an active member of the Northern Region Panel since 2015, most recently as the deputy chair, has shown a clear passion for his industry and a commitment to generating positive outcomes for grain growers.

He will take over the role from Northern Region Panel Chair, John Minogue, who has been a part of GRDC’s Regional Panels for a decade, starting on the Southern Region Panel and moving to the Northern Panel when the organisation’s boundaries changed. Mr Minogue was elected as the Northern Regional Panel Chair in 2016.

GRDC Board Chair John Woods today congratulated Mr Gearon on his appointment and paid tribute to outgoing chair John Minogue.

“I’d like to congratulate Arthur, he has been an important and valued contributor as a panel member, ensuring GRDC investments reflect the priorities of northern growers and deliver real impact on farm,” Mr Woods said.

“Arthur’s passion for the industry, his connections across the agricultural sector, his considered approach to decision-making and leadership experience will position him well to lead the Northern Region Panel.”

Mr Gearon manages a family farming enterprise with his parents, Paul and Naureen, and his wife Nikki and their three children, Milena, Ryde and Steele.

He completed a Bachelor of Business with the Queensland University of Technology, majoring in International Business and Management and has completed the Australian Institute of Company Directors Course.

Before joining the GRDC regional panel, Mr Gearon was the vice-president of AgForce Grains, a peak organisation representing Queensland’s rural producers.

“It will be challenging, but I am honoured to be taking over from John Minogue, he has been an outstanding and engaging chair,” Mr Gearon said.

“John’s natural leadership style has been inclusive and collaborative, and he has worked tirelessly to ensure GRDC understands and considers the needs and priorities of growers when it comes to investing in RD&E.

“He has always been 100 per cent committed to doing what is best for the grains industry and that will be a legacy I will work hard to continue.”

In his new role Mr Gearon will also sit on GRDC’s National Panel and said he was looking forward to working alongside the other GRDC Regional Panel Chairs, Darrin Lee (west) and Andrew Russell (south).

Mr Woods also extended a thank you to Mr Minogue for his contribution to GRDC and wished him well on his next venture.

“I would like to thank John for his time as the Northern Panel Chair and more importantly, for the significant impact he made to the Australian grains industry in the position,” he said.

“John made it a priority to get into paddocks and listen to growers and advisers concerns and genuinely understand the grains industry’s research, development and extension needs.

“He has had an influential role as Northern Panel Chair and both GRDC and the broader grains industry have benefited from his involvement.”

Mr Gearon will take on the Northern Region Panel chair role on September 1.

The GRDC’s Regional Panels play a critical role in grower engagement, ground-truthing GRDC initiatives, and communicating outcomes of investments. 

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