The CBH Group is Australia’s largest co-operative and a leader in the Australian grain industry, with operations extending along the value chain from fertiliser to grain storage, handling, transport, marketing and processing.
Owned and controlled by more than 3,600 Western Australian grain growing businesses, CBH's core purpose is to sustainably create and return value to Western Australian growers, both current and future.
2023 Nuffield Scholar
WA grain grower seeks to find and develop resources to help farmers negotiate with energy companies
Rebecca Kelly’s return to her family’s Western Australia farm coincided with a company requesting to put a gas rig on their best cropping land. The experience of dealing with the gas company prompted Rebecca to undertake a Nuffield Scholarship to study the topic further. Her scholarship is sponsored by CBH Group.
Rebecca runs the family’s cropping property in Mingenew, Western Australia, where they grow wheat, canola, lupins, commercial pasture seeds and coriander. Rebecca says they were initially approached for a gas rig in 2018, with the exploration going ahead in 2021.
“At the same time, we and many other farming families were approached by a different branch of the organisation to discuss seismic surveys going across all of our properties,” Rebecca says.
“I started a group with all involved families to help determine how we would like to proceed and assisted in the communication between the two parties.”
She says while her relationship with the mining company has been very positive, she could not find resources to aid farmers to in seismic and energy negotiations.
As part of her Nuffield Scholarship, Rebecca plans to travel to the US, Canada and Germany. She says relations between energy, mining and agriculture must be collaborative and advantageous to all.
“Companies within the mining or energy sector often have significant resources and expertise to guide their negotiations, which is often not matched nor available to farmers and small business owners. I am interested in researching this field to help level the playing field for farming families. My aim is that others faced with similar situations can access support that I, and many other farming families, would have found beneficial within our own negotiations, and to better understand the longer term impacts on agricultural land and businesses.”
Ph: 0417 275 021