Growers encourage to put their hat in the ring for Next Crop

Date Posted

30 October, 2019

Posted by

Cathy Weis

Australian sugarcane growers are invited to nominate themselves, or their peers, to participate in an innovative leadership program called Next Crop.

The program is an investment by Sugar Research Australia (SRA) and is run by Pragmatic Thinking to deliver a program tailored specifically to the unique needs of the sugar industry.

SRA Executive Manager, Operations, Dr Michael O’Shea, said that developing industry leadership has been identified as a priority through SRA’s five-year strategic plan.

“SRA launched the Next Crop program last year and we have now seen our first nine graduates through this program over the last six months,” he said. “We are building on that success in our second year and want to bring together another group of sugar industry emerging leaders for the program in 2020.

“Growers can find out more about how they can be a part of Next Crop by visiting the website

“The sugar industry is currently facing significant challenges, but we also have an exciting future ahead so long as we continue to invest in our future. A key part of securing our future is ensuring that the industry has skilled leaders who are willing to guide us through our challenges and create new and exciting opportunities.

“If you have ever wanted to improve your leadership skills, then the Next Crop program is a great opportunity for you.”

Dr O’Shea said that the first round of Next Crop saw the growers participate in a range of development activities at several locations.

Burdekin grower Mr Chris Lyne was one of the 2019 graduates, and he said the program helped him learn valuable leadership skills.

“Leadership is important in any industry, but in the sugar industry it is especially important given the average age of our workforce,” he said. “We need young people to keep stepping up so that we have future leaders.

“This program is about having a go and learning the skills you need as a leader. I encourage people to have a go.”

Next Crop is now open. SRA is seeking nominations from growers who are keen to build their leadership skills and take part in this innovative initiative. To learn more, visit

Applications close on November 29, 2019. The program will run between February and May, 2020.

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