Grains park to mark milestone
Horsham’s Grains Innovation Park will mark a milestone this year when it celebrates its 50th anniversary.
Grains Innovation Park, GIP, officially opened on November 29, 1968 as the Victorian Wheat Research Institute.
Victorian wheat growers and the State Government jointly funded the original centre to breed wheat varieties for Victoria.
Victorian Wheat Research Foundation was a key driver behind the establishment of the research facility and continues to have an ongoing involvement as trustees of the site.
Since its inception, Grains Innovation Park, which has also been known as the Victorian Crops Research Institute, VCRI, and the Victorian Institute for Dryland Agriculture, VIDA, has grown to become one of Horsham’s largest workplaces.
Today, GIP is a base for the Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources, DEDJTR, including Agriculture Victoria and Regional Development Victoria, along with the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, DELWP, Victorian Fisheries Authority and Parks Victoria.
Private businesses also operate from the purpose-built business centre at the site.
During the past 50 years the many people employed at the centre have made a significant economic and social contribution to the region as well as to the grains industry as a whole.
To celebrate its many achievements, Grains Innovation Park will open its doors to the public this year.
A team is putting together a display recognising the site’s history and showcasing the work carried out at the park.
From July, stakeholders, businesses, schools and community groups have invitations to book tours of the site, which will take in the worldclass phenomics facility, Australian Grains Genebank, and a specially planted heritage trial that will feature crop varieties grown in the region for the past 50 years.
Horsham Historical Society will also help curate and archive some of GIP’S history as it works towards a publication for release in 2019.
Anniversary celebrations will culminate with an open day from 1pm to 6pm on October 18, which will include site tours, demonstrations and static displays.
Organisers have urged people to follow developments on a Grains Innovation Park webpage, agriculture.vic.gov.au/horsham.