The WA Grains Group has been a member of the Invest West Agribusiness Alliance (IWAA) for over twelve months. The IWAA membership is open to all private and public organisations that wish to work together to improve the investment environment for the agriculture and food sector in Western Australia. IWAA is a partnership between the Department of Agriculture and Food and the Chamber of Commerce and Industry WA, the Alliance is to share investment knowledge, and promote Western Australia and facilitate successful investment.
When WA Grains Group members attended various functions it had occurred to them that there was no knowledge of farming being passed onto attendees (groups and organisations that were looking at investing in agriculture). The other issue was that all of the events were held in the Metropolitan area where there are no farms.
The WA Grains Group with the Marshall family of Pingelly (Dutarning Farm) decided to extend an invitation to members of the alliance to visit a working farm that covered a variety of enterprises. Thursday the 6th of November saw in excess of 60 people attend this networking event the first that IWAA has held outside of the metropolitan area since the alliance was launched in August 2013.
The bus from Perth arrived in good time for the farm tours to commence at 2.00 with the rest of the people making their way in their own vehicles. The group was split in two, one group staying around the sheds for Andrew Marshall to explain the change of focus of the earlier days from wool production to the current focus on lamb production. He covered the necessary requirements and issues of getting a prime lamb to market along with the associated costs. He also touched on Export Hay. The other group was on the bus being driven by Darren Baker to see the various crops and pastures. Les Marshall informed those on the bus of what is required to get a crop from a seed to selling point and what end product it is purchased for. Pastures were also covered, how they are managed, what makes a good pasture and commercial seed production. Each tour took approximately an hour after which the group swapped over to the other tour.
The tours were followed by a welcome from Doug Clarke the Chairman of the WA Grains Group, an explanation of IWAA by Rob Delane Chairman of IWAA, ‘Country banking & Farmers’ by Darren Gooding of BankWest, ‘Farming enterprise – as it is in WA’ by Andrew Marshall & Laurence Carslake, ‘Investment potential in grain storage & logistics’ by Kim Packer of Tamma Grains, the afternoon ended with a wrap up by Ray Marshall. Refreshments, Prime Roast Lamb along with networking completed the day, with the bus leaving an hour late to return to Perth.
Many positive comments were received from those that attended, they appreciated being able to talk directly to farmers and improving their knowledge of the industry as they were not aware of what goes into making the final product. Those that accepted the invitation from the WA Grains Group to visit Dutarning Farm were representatives from; Yuan’s Fresh Meats, Chamber of Commerce and Industry WA, DAFWA, Singapore Chamber of Commerce WA, Bank of China, HopgoodGanim, CNH Industrial, Tomkins Turner Corporate Advisory, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, Hyogo Prefectural Government Cultural Centre, KPMG, JGC Corporation, Price Waterhouse Cooper, Commonwealth Bank Migrant Financial Services Division, BankWest, Planfarm, ANZ, RaboBank, local businesses and farmers.