Agronomists learn tips for difficult conversations with growers in the paddock at series of workshops

Early career agronomists graduate from university well-armed with crop and paddock knowledge, but handling difficult conversations with clients is a topic rarely touched on in lecture theatres.

This year the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) is launching a series of soft skill workshops as part of its ‘Emerging Agros Network’ project.

Driven by industry demand, the workshop series will cover topics such as setting personal and business goals; time management; building effective networks; getting the best out of client relationships; communicating for success, negotiation, and conflict management.

GRDC Senior Regional Manager – North, Gilliam Meppem said equipping early career agronomists with ‘soft skills’ was an important part of capacity building for the broader grains sector.

“This project was initiated in response to calls from experienced agronomists who felt there was an opportunity for industry to play a role in developing graduates’ skills in areas like effective communication and negotiation,” she said.

“Young agronomists we engaged with during the first year of the project reinforced this message so we created this specialist workshop series.

“The Emerging Agros Network project is also an opportunity to connect young agronomists with the wealth of research, development and extension resources that are available through GRDC.”

The free-of-charge series will include three webinars and a face-to-face workshop:

  • March 10, webinar from 1pm: Understanding your core values and direction and setting personal and business goals. To register click here.
  • March 17, face-to-face workshop from 9-3pm, Moree: Working with different people; communicating for success, negotiation and conflict management. (This workshop will also be available as a recording). To register click here.
  • March 24, webinar from 1pm: Manage yourself, manage your time. To register click here.
  • March 31, webinar from 1pm: Building effective networks and getting the best of out of client and business relationships. To register click here.

The Emerging Agros Network project is managed by specialist agricultural communications provider, Seedbed Media.

While experienced grains industry specialist trainer Rebecca Fing from House Paddock Training and Consulting will deliver the 2021 workshop series.

Ms Meppem said the face-to-face event would offer real life examples of the approaches that experienced agronomists had used to handle challenging situations in the paddock.

“This event will feature a panel of leading agronomists who will provide insights into how they handle difficult situations and build successful client and colleague relationships,” she said.

For more information or to register your interest in the webinars, email Seedbed Media director Rachel Bowman on or register.

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