Growers from far and wide recently gathered at Bongeen on the Darling Downs to celebrate the achievements of Australia’s cotton industry. The event was the National Grower Of The Year Field Day held on February 18 at ‘Kintyre’, the farm of John and Ros Cameron, who received the Monsanto Grower Of The Year Award at the 2013 Awards.
Cotton Australia CEO Adam Kay (L) with Minister John McVeigh
2013 Cotton Industry Awards recipients at the field day
2013 Grower Of The Year, John Cameron
Field talk at the Grower Of The Year Field Day
Cotton Australia CEO Adam Kay addresses the crowd
Attendees heard John Cameron discuss why he values flexibility, how he uses a two-zone system for maximum efficiency, manages inputs strictly in order to improve yield, and works around variable rainfall.
He also detailed his passion for nutrition and his farm’s business model , which involves contracting to other growers on the Downs in order to cover the costs of equipment for his own business.
The National Grower Of The Year Field Day is held annually at the property of the winner of the premier category of the Australian Cotton Industry Awards, now in their 11th year. This year’s field day attracted than 160 growers and industry representatives.
Nominations for the 2014 Australian Cotton Industry Awards program have now opened, and close on March 28.
|Have you nominated someone you know for the 2014 Australian Cotton Industry Awards? Click here to nominate someone now.|
Cotton Australia CEO Adam Kay, who spoke at the event, says the Awards recognise excellence and high achievement in Australia’s cotton industry throughout the supply chain, from growers and ginners to product suppliers, consultants, agronomists, researchers and extension teams.
“Our annual Awards program helps celebrate our industry, which has made such significant advancements in farm management, water conservation and sustainability,” Mr Kay says.
“The Awards are not about who is ‘best’, they are simply a tremendous way to recognise those who have contributed enormously to our industry and to shine a light on those leading the way.”
“I encourage everyone in the industry to consider those around them who deserve recognition and nominate them for an award - it’s a fantastic way to celebrate the industry’s achievements and share the great work and commitment of people throughout the cotton supply chain.”
To nominate a colleague or yourself for the Awards, or for more information, go to: http://www.australiancottonawards.com
At the field day, Mr Cameron spoke of his experience with the Awards process, saying he has appreciated the opportunity to travel and engage with the wider agricultural industry. On February 28, he addressed an AgriFood Skills Australia event at Chinchilla, Queensland, as part of the International Year of Family Farming initiative, and in the first week of March addressed the ABARES Outlook conference in Canberra.
Mr Kay also spoke to growers about Cotton Australia’s efforts over the past 12 months, including the fight to keep a lid on energy price increases, protecting growers’ access to land and water, oversight of the introduction of Bollgard III, facilitating more than $15 million of crucial research for the industry, promoting Australia’s cotton industry to the world via the Cotton To Market initiative and securing funding for crucial training programs.
Other 2013 Cotton Industry Awards recipients to address the field day attendees included Sophie Gulliver (Chris Lehman Trust Young Achiever of the Year, sponsored by Bayer CropScience), Janelle Montgomery (Cotton Seed Distributors Researcher of the Year) and Glenn Rogan (AgriRisk High Achiever of the Year).
The crowd also heard from Dr John McVeigh - Queensland’s Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries & Forestry and Member for Toowoomba South – and Darling Downs Grower of the Year Kerry and Julie Connolly.
Click here to find out more about the 2014 Australian Cotton Industry Awards.