GRAIN grower peak body Grain Producers Australia has appointed experienced rural communications specialist Colin Bettles as its inaugural chief executive.
GPA chair Andrew Weidemann said Mr Bettles was chosen for the role following a competitive recruitment and selection process.
"Colin demonstrated a high level of industry knowledge and in-depth understanding of GPA's history, vision and goals," Mr Weidemann said.
"Importantly, he also shares the Board's passion and commitment to drive positive, proactive changes that will benefit our members and our industry," he said.
Mr Weidemann said the decision to expand and appoint a chief executive had been made as part of the organisation's growth strategy.
"We're taking the next step building a stronger team and resource base, to represent Australian grain farmers on the national stage, and deliver better policy outcomes that help protect and boost their profitability and sustainability."
GPA deputy chair Barry Large said Mr Bettles' appointment would help with managing key issues for GPA, such as oversight of the Grains Research and Development Corporation and biosecurity management on behalf of levy-paying growers.
"It will also enhance our capacity to represent growers on other critical issues, such as trade, on the national stage," Mr Large said.
Mr Bettles has a background as a journalist with Farm Weekly in Western Australia where he covered the grains industry before moving to Canberra as Rural Press' Canberra bureau chief before stints as a media advisor for deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack and a strategic adviser with the NSW Land and Housing Corporation.