Vial to stand for SunRice Board
Moulamein rice farmer Leigh Vial (pictured) will stand for the Ricegrowers Limited Board, which trades as SunRice.
SunRice is calling for director nominees, with four positions up for election.
Directors serve a fouryear term, beginning from the end of the 2015 annual general meeting on August 21.
Following an unsuccessful attempt to be elected to the Rice Marketing Board, Mr Vial is confident he is the man for the job for SunRice.
Since 1993, the second generation rice grower has produced rice, livestock and winter crops on 2400 hectares with his wife Sue and their two employees.
His father grew his first rice crop in 1970 and since then, rice has been and still is the centre of the family business
‘‘With my recent international experience in rice, I have a unique set of skills and networks that can assist SunRice in its future growth.
‘‘Right now is a challenging yet exciting time for the rice industry.’’
Mr Vial’s passion for rice is still well and truly at the forefront of his life.
‘‘I have a bachelor and PhD in agriculture and a Masters in Economics,’’ said Mr Vial, who has served 12 years on the Rice Research and Development Committee (1995-07) where he focused on extension delivery, in particular grower discussion groups and the creation of the ricegrowing guide Production of Quality Rice in SouthEast Australia.
He chaired the Ricegrowers’ Association’s Environment Working Group (2005-07), formulating part of and delivering the Environment Champions Program.
For the past four years he served the global rice in- dustry as Head of the Experiment Station (ES), International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) in the Philippines.
With his experience, Mr Vial said he values Australia’s ‘‘unique’’ rice industry.
‘‘Almost every other rice industry is based on grower exploitation and we’re not. Our industry is worth returning to and worth supporting and hopefully, worth being part of leading.
‘‘There are growth development opportunities for rice.’’
Four of the six SunRice grower directors have come to the end of their term — current chair and Barham and Moulamein grower Laurie Arthur, Berriquin grower Mark Robertson, Berriquin and Coleambally grower Alan Walsh and Willbriggie grower Glen Andreazza.
All four will be eligible to renominate for the board.
SunRice will also be required to replace one of its non-grower directors at the AGM, following the announcement Peter Margin will retire this year.
The search for a replacement external director is expected to begin soon.