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2022 Growing Leaders Scholarships awarded to WA growers


CBH Group are delighted to announce that two Western Australian growers are recipients of prestigious Growing Leaders Scholarships for 2022.

Now in its fifth consecutive year, the program funded by CBH and delivered in partnership with the Grower Group Alliance (GGA) and Leadership WA, aims to support existing and emerging grain industry leaders in growing their skills, essential for industry and community leadership roles.

The two recipients will develop their skills through Leadership WA’s 10-month 2022 Signature Leadership Program:

  • Dr Alaina Smith of Kojaneerup, is a partner in her family’s mixed cropping and livestock business on WA’s South Coast. She is Vice-Chair of her local grower group, Stirlings to Coast Farmers, and was previously a research officer there.  Dr Smith has a PhD in crop physiology and worked as a barley development officer for the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development prior to joining the family farming business in 2006.
  • Ben Cripps of Northampton, operates a grain farm alongside his wife, growing wheat, lupins and canola. He has been an active member of the Northern Agri Group, on which he has served in various roles including Chair. Prior to managing the farm, Mr Cripps had a diverse career which included working on farms and a period in the Australian Army, in which he was deployed to Afghanistan.

Two headshots of a man and a woman side by side
Alaina Smith (left) and Ben Cripps (right)

CBH Group Chief External Relations Officer, Brianna Peake, said the Growing Leaders Scholarship Program aimed to build leadership capacity within regional communities and build a pool of growers ready to take on leadership positions in the grain industry.

 “Sponsoring the program is part of our commitment to fostering leadership capacity within our regional communities, where having a pipeline of strong leaders is so important for the sustainability of our industry, communities and for the CBH Group,” she said.

 GGA Chief Executive Officer Rikki Foss said the GGA continued to have a strong focus on developing the capacity of grower groups and their members, and was proud to support the Growing Leaders Scholarship Program.

 “The program is a fantastic way to help build the professional development of growers and others involved in the grains industry, and I congratulate Alaina Smith and Ben Cripps for being awarded these highly regarded scholarships,” she said.

 Leadership WA Chief Executive Officer Dominique Mecoy welcomed Dr Smith and Mr Cripps onto the program.

 “Through the Signature Leadership Program, these two worthy recipients will have the opportunity to access the State’s most experienced and insightful leaders, and to take part in a journey embracing leadership far beyond ‘management thinking’,” she said.

More information about the Growing Leaders Scholarship Program is available on the GGA and CBH Group websites.