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Grain Producers Australia recognises the incredible service and selfless contribution of grains industry champion and stalwart, Ray Marshall, who passed away on Friday.

Ray was a GPA Western Region Grower Director from 2015 to 2019 – one of many senior industry leadership positions he held during an extensive career representing growers in various roles over a career spanning more than 30-years.

The Pingelly farmer served on both the WAFarmers Grains Council and the WA Grains Group – including President of both groups.

Other major roles included serving as inaugural President of the Western Oats Alliance (now Grain Industry Association of WA’s Oats Council), where his long-term advocacy promoting the consumer and health benefits of oat consumption, helped increase demand and therefore on-farm production.

GPA Chair, Barry Large, said Ray was a true champion and character who will be remembered and missed by many people across the Australian grains industry.

“Ray was a determined farm leader who contributed an enormous amount of his own time, resources and energy to benefit others – especially growers,” he said.

“One of Ray’s greatest strengths was his ability to speak his mind and his own truth, freely and openly – and what’s best for the grower was always at the forefront of his mind.

“Whether he was championing the benefits of oats, the need for stronger biosecurity protections, getting more value from our research dollars and levies, or keeping CBH and the grain traders honest, Ray had forthright views and welcomed the same from others.

“As well as being a passionate spokesperson, Ray also did a lot of work quietly behind the scenes, in the background, to work with others and help solve problems.

“In expressing sincere condolences from GPA, our thoughts are with Ray’s family and friends at this time, and in particular our members in WA.”

GPA Southern Director, Andrew Weidemann AM, said Ray was a fierce advocate who always contributed strongly for growers, in the GPA board room and around the GPA Policy Council table.

“Ray believed in the value of strong industry advocacy and farmer representation and always put his money where his mouth was in acting on those responsibilities,” he said.

“If the world’s run by those who turn up – Ray turned up and kept going, leaving a lasting legacy.

“He was a strong supporter of GPA from the very beginning and did a lot or work to promote younger farmers and bring on emerging leaders – asking nothing in return.

“Ray leaves a strong impression on us all and also some great memories of his passionate advocacy; whether it was a phone call to discuss a particular issue, or a group email sharing his thoughts.

“Another one of Ray’s great characteristics was his strong sense of fairness and willingness to stand up and fight against the tide of city-centric policy that farmers and regional Australians seem to have endured for so many years.”



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