Operation Grain Harvest Assist Seeks Retired Service Men & Women

A nationwide operation has been launched aiming to bolster the supply of local workers with retired ADF servicemen and women to help deliver this year’s bumper grains harvest and relieve pressure on farming communities.

Organised by former ADF volunteers to meet a pressing national need, retired and former ADF servicemen and women are being invited participate in Operation Grain Harvest Assist, to undertake paid work on grain farms stationed throughout Australia.

COVID-19 has greatly reduced the supply of grain harvest workers from overseas, with more than 100,000 fewer backpackers available this year, compared to 2020. The joint-Operation aims to recruit willing workers with the transferable skills needed to operate heavy machinery and perform other required jobs during grains harvest, in coming weeks.

Remuneration & Support

Potential employees can expect a minimum pay of $25+/hour (the Award rate) which may vary upward depending on skill level, experience and on the job performance.

Support, guidance and advice will be available to the former ADF servicemen and women, via a number of volunteer Operation Grain Harvest State/Regional Coordinators and their contact details will be on the special Facebook pages set up (see below).

The Co-ordinators will provide advice on commercial arrangements prior to finalising individual arrangements with farmers/harvest contractors and also assist with managing/resolving any issues that arise between the farmers/contract harvesters and those doing the work.

How to get involved?

Retired Royal Australian Armoured Corps Lt. Colonel, Garry Spencer AM has been instrumental in establishing Operation Grain Harvest Assist.

Former ADF servicemen and women will be connected to farmers, contract harvesters and grain supply chain businesses via regional Facebook pages that have been especially set up.

Further details can be found at:

Operation Grain Harvest Assist – Queensland/NSW/Victoria Facebook Page

Operation Grain Harvest Assist – WA/SA Facebook Page

LTCOL (Retd) Garry Spencer, AM, (Volunteer) National Facilitator:



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