Along with a review of its operation the WA Farmers Federation has appointed a new chief executive to ensure it remains relevant to the next generation of producers.

On January 20, WAFarmers announced the appointment of Peter Nolin as its new CEO. President, Dale Park, said Mr Nolin had been recruited in conjunction with the branding and strategic review to drive the organisation in a direction that would better serve its members and the wider agricultural community.

“Mr Nolin’s strong background in strategic development means he is the candidate best suited to taking WAFarmers into the future. "He is the former CEO of Fremantle Chamber of Commerce and established Gage Roads Brewing Company in 2002 after moving from America where he worked for the US Senate. "He also worked as general manager of an IT company as well as his own consulting firm," Mr Park said.

Mr Nolin said a strong desire to give agriculture the voice it deserved had driven him to take on the role. “Agriculture delivers $7.5billion to the state economy each year and is the backbone of regional WA. "It deserves a much greater standing in the community,” he said.

In an interview on the ABC Country Hour, Mr Nolan said he would focus on giving agriculture a united voice. "If the agricultural industry isn't united, doesn't have a strong voice with a compelling understanding of where it wants to go and good rationale for the arguments it is putting forward, then it will simply get ignored," he said.

"There's a whole other generation of farmers coming onto the land and I think they have different expectations about farming, engaging with government and about involvement in the global market. "My challenge is to engage those people and show them what we're doing is important," Mr Nolin said.

He also wants to help farmers develop future markets. We need to know... "how we get access to these markets, how we get long term relationships, increase the value of what we're doing and how to gain economies of scale so this industry can be more competitive and make more money for everybody," he said.

WAFarmers was founded in 1912  and is the voice of farmers throughout the state with a membership of more than 4,200. It works to achieve a more viable, profitable and sustainable future for the agricultural industry.

Lindsay McNeill

ABOVE: The new WAFarmers CEO, Peter Nolin.