SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA — Victorian grain farmer Brett Hosking will take on the role as chairman of Grain Growers Limited.  He succeeds John Eastburn, who is stepping down after nine years as chairman. Western Australia farmer Rod Birch will continue in his role as deputy chair.

Hosking is a fifth-generation farmer running a mixed farming business in Quambatook, in Victoria’s Mallee, Australia. He has been a GrainGrowers board director since 2015.

He thanked Eastburn for his long and passionate contribution to the organization and decades-long commitment to grain farmers since he first joined as a young man in 1974.

“Under John’s leadership, GrainGrowers has matured into a strong national organization that is well placed to represent the interests of Australia’s grain growers in 2018 and beyond,” Hosking said. “On behalf of the entire board I extend sincere thanks to John for his commitment to and passion for the position, the organization and grain farmers as a whole.

“GrainGrowers is in a strong position and I am excited and eager to carry on John’s work in ensuring that our growers’ voices are heard by industry decision makers and government, particularly in the run up to the federal election next year. Despite farmers on the East coast facing a tough season this year, the Australian grains industry is well placed and I am confident it will continue to grow, driven by strong farming businesses. I am looking forward to working with growers right across Australia, to get the policy settings right and allow this success to occur. I am particularly looking forward to hearing from farmers directly about ways GrainGrowers can help achieve their farming goals.”

Hosking said he is looking forward to visiting growers in their own regions over the next several months to hear from them face-to-face about what issues they would add to the list for the ear of government.

“As an industry we face many challenges — improving the efficiency and effectiveness of our supply chain, promoting the professionalism of our growers to the community and creating stronger links between grower organizations to ensure our voice is heard, are just a few.”

He has had a long-standing involvement in the Australian grains industry, which saw him serve Victorian growers as the Victorian Farmers Federation (VFF) Grains Group president from 2013 until 2017. Brett is also the immediate past vice-president of the VFF.