Community and Grower Support

In addition to the funding provided by CRDC to researchers for RD&E, funding is also available to cotton growers and cotton community groups for specific programs, as follows:

CRDC Grassroots Grants 

Grassroots Grants logoThe CRDC Grassroots Grants program encourages Cotton Grower Associations (CGAs) to apply for funding to support capacity building projects in their region.

Up to $10,000 in funding is available for CGAs to help fund a project aimed at increasing the engagement of growers in the industry, solving specific regional issues and improving their skills, knowledge base and networks. 

Since the Grassroots Grants program commenced in 2011, it has provided over $790,000 in support to 91 projects across the cotton growing valleys. Click here for a full list of Grassroots Grant projects to date, or here to watch a video on one of the projects that has received Grassroots Grant funding: the purchase of weather stations to help growers in the Walgett area better predict weather events. 

Applications open annually on 1 July, and close on 30 November. Applications are reviewed on a first-come first-serve basis during this period and once the funds have been fully allocated, no further projects will be approved. 

The Grassroots Grant program is managed by CRDC. Interested applicants must read the program's Guidelines for Applicants and follow the instructions contained within to submit an application. 


UNE Cotton Production Course 

University of New England (UNE) logoThe UNE Cotton Production Course is a set of four units that cover the production, crop protection and environmental management of cotton crops in the Australian industry. 

Developed by experts in the cotton industry and offered by distance education, the course is ideal for cotton growers, along with others in or interested in the industry (advisors, consultants, cotton processors, researchers and rural science/agriculture students). 

CRDC assists cotton growers and others within the industry to undertake the course by providing five part-scholarships, covering up to 50 per cent of the cost of the four units, for each intake of the course.

Those interested must fulfil the entry requirements of UNE to undertake the course (UNE will independently determine if growers and others are eligible to take the course, while CRDC will determine separately who shall be eligible for, and receive, one of the five part-scholarships).  

For more information, or to apply for the Cotton Production course, contact UNE course coordinator, Brendan Griffiths.  


Future Cotton Leaders Program

Future Cotton Leaders Program logoAre you committed to the future of the cotton industry, and interested in developing your leadership knowledge, skills and experience? Then you may be interested in the Future Cotton Leaders Program - an initiative of Cotton Australia in partnership with CRDC.

The Future Cotton Leaders Program is recognised as the premier leadership development program for the Australian cotton industry. Course participants have the opportunity to hear from industry leaders, get advice and information to help guide their future from inspiring speakers and meet likeminded people from within the industry, helping them to build their networks and relationships. 

The course runs bi-annually, with applications open early every second year. The Future Cotton Leaders Program is running again in 2024. For more information, contact program coordinator Paul Sloman or facilitator Jo Eady.


Australian Rural Leadership Program 

Australian Rural Leadership Foundation logoCRDC is a proud supporter of the prestigious Australian Rural Leadership Program (ARLP), Australia’s iconic rural leadership development program, helping to produce a network of informed, capable and ethical leaders working to enhance rural Australia. 

The program works to improve the capacity of rural leaders to engage wherever a challenge is best addressed, and wherever they can contribute most effectively. Now in its 28th year (with a 700-strong network of fellows), the ARLP is a scholarship-based program with a national, competitive selection process held each year. 

CRDC proudly sponsors up to two cotton industry leaders per intake into the ARLP in partnership with Cotton Australia and Auscott, and encourages all with leadership roles or aspirations within the cotton industry to apply.

In recent years, CRDC, Cotton Australia and Auscott Limited have supported a number of industry leaders to undertake the program: Henry Lavender (Course 30); Aaron Kiely and Jack Brennan (Course 29); Justin McMillan (Course 28); Ruth Redfern (Course 27); Chantal Corish and Rod Gordon (Course 26); Fleur Anderson and John Durham (Course 25); Richard Malone and Tim Chaffey (Course 24); Matt Bradd and Meagan Laidlaw (Course 23); Sean Bolan and Jamie Iker (Course 22); Tobin Cherry, Dr Sharon Downes and Bronwyn Christensen (Course 21); and Brooke Summers and Elizabeth Stott (Course 20).

For more information on the ARLP, or to apply for the next Course, visit the Australian Rural Leadership Foundation (ARLF).


Nuffield Australia Farming Scholarships

Nuffield Australia logoNuffield Australian Farming Scholarships is a unique program that awards primary producers with a life-changing scholarship to travel overseas and study an agricultural topic of choice. 

Considered the leading program for primary producers in Australia, Nuffield has been providing scholarships for farmers for over 60 years, building a network of 300 Australian scholars who have extended their knowledge and skills through their experience in global agriculture. 


Scholars are selected annually and must demonstrate that they are committed and passionate about farming and fishing, are at the leading edge of technology uptake, and are potential future leaders in the industry. 


CRDC is a proud supporter of the Nuffield Scholarship program, supporting one cotton grower annually to undertake the program in partnership with Cotton Australia. In recent years, CRDC and Cotton Australia have supported a number of cotton growers to undertake the program: Tim Houston, Richard Quigley, Renee Anderson, Luke McKay, Daniel Kahl, Tom Quigley, Matt McVeigh and Nigel Corish. Applications for the scholarships open annually. For more information, or to apply for a Scholarship, visit Nuffield Australia.