Greg Mills and Pip Courtney from ABC Landline
A big shoutout to Greg Mills of GoAhead Business Solutions our favourite Rural Consultant, workshop facilitator, communications expert extraordinaire and all round great guy who was named 2017 Australian Rural Consultant of the Year at the Australian Farmer of the Year Awards, held by the Kondinin Group and ABC Rural. The award, announced at Parliament House in Canberra on August 16, recognises those making a significant contribution to Australian Agriculture
Working primarily in the intensive livestock industries, Greg offers a range of consultancy services to farming families, agricultural businesses and industry organisations.
However, it is his enthusiasm for agriculture and his ability to present information to a diverse audience which has made him a go-to mentor for many of tomorrow’s industry leaders.
Greg is widely known as a consultant with a passion to share strategies which build trust in farmers and agricultural industries; who isn’t afraid to face some of most challenging issues facing modern animal agriculture.
This includes confronting animal activist issues, particularly regarding the egg industry.
“Farmers and industries need new strategies to maintain their social licence to operate,” Greg said. “That is, the privilege of operating a farming business with minimal formalised restrictions based on maintaining public trust.”
“When the public trusts farmers to do what’s right they won’t feel the need to impose more controls through legislation, regulation or market requirements.”
Greg has positioned himself as a leading international authority on social license and values-based communication, and has a collaborative relationship with the US-based Center for Food Integrity. With his understanding of both the philosophy and approach to building trust, Greg has developed the Engage training program in Australia which empowers others to use these principles.
“Winning the 2017 Rural Consultant of the Year Award is a fantastic opportunity and will help me highlight the important issues currently facing Australian agriculture, like how the implementation of new technologies and production practices in the future will require continued community support,” Greg said.
“The Award also showcases how rural consultants are rising to the challenge of assisting farmers with the evolving issues of increasing complexity in the modern agricultural environment.”
Greg is an advocate for young professionals in agriculture. He is a key mentor and trainer for the Young Farming Champions Program where he shares his experience and gives participants the skills needed to communicate their own agricultural story with confidence.
Lynne Strong, who is the National Program Director at Picture You in Agriculture and runs the Young Farming Champions Program, believes Greg is always ahead of the curve.
“There are very few people out there like Greg,” Ms Strong said. “He is generous in his approach with our young leaders; providing them with the tools and confidence to stand up and speak on a variety of topics.”
“The expertise, knowledge and skills he brings to the organisation, along with his reliability, are second to none. He is outstanding.”
Research scientist Dr Jo Newton believes Mr Mills’ encouragement has been vital to her career. “In 2015 I was accepted into the Australian Futures Project Actions for NSW Agriculture Initiative, something I do not think would have been possible without Greg’s assistance,” Dr Newton said. “In a nutshell being mentored by Greg and being a part of the YFC program has helped me develop the skills and confidence to aim higher than I previously dreamed was possible.”
Greg Mills and Team BASF who sponsored the Australian Rural Consultant Award
BASF Head of Agriculture for Australia and New Zealand, Gavin Jackson, said Greg was an extremely worthy recipient of the Rural Consultant of the Year Award, acknowledging the work Greg continues to do with industry has had significant impact back to farmers.
“His work in livestock management, strategic farm business management, scientific communications, issue management and project planning and implementation has had a real positive impact not only within industry, but for many farming enterprises,” Mr Jackson said.
“Greg champions the big issues for all farmers.” Source