Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Seeing Around Corners.

It's been a while since I have posted, have had a lot going on. We had a visit from Canadian Nuffield scholar Kelvin Meadows and his wife Shellie, which was fantastic considering that it was almost a year to the day that we were in Canada spending time with them, it is really very interesting to see peoples perspective of an industry that they have not had anything to do with. It was very helpful to have them share there views about our business and how they saw our futures prospects. Speaking of future prospects our sugar mill owners a Singaporean based multi national company has expressed it's intentions to vertically integrate it's sugar business to now wanting to control the marketing of all sugar that is milled at it's factories. I have to say this doesn't really surprise me,I saw plenty examples of this on my Nuffield study tour, and in fact the model these guys are following, pretty much is a carbon copy of the big grain companies in north America and Canada. At first it will be marketing of sugar ,next it will be the infrastructure for handling and shipping of the sugar you see these guys don't want to be in sugar they want to own it! From paddock to plate if you like. On another note it seems that I have become an unofficial consultant for the research community,having had some visit's to have ideas and concepts run by me, have even been asked for input into some specific types of projects. I, on one hand feel honoured that I am being asked for my opinion, and on the other hand can't help but feel annoyed that this industry don't see the value in the Nuffield Australia farming scholarships,and in fact have not continued funding for 2015, but yet come to me because of the knowledge I have gained from my own Nuffield scholarship. Am still working on getting Industry support for the continuation of Nuffield , I think it is critical to our prosperity as an industry, for where are the next leaders going to come from? We need to get out and understand where we fit in the big picture, this will not be achieved by following the same leadership paradigm that we have now! Farm wise we have been getting through maintenance of our newly acquired machinery, not very exciting but necessary. Oh yeah we have had a cyclone that flattened all our cane, no structural damage.

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