Tom Mannes Drives myBMP Success as Southern NSW Regional Manager

Not many people can say they graduated from university and scored their dream job on the same day but for Cotton Australia’s Southern NSW Regional Manager Tom Mannes that’s exactly what happened.

“I was in the local pub celebrating my formal graduation from Charles Sturt University in Wagga. My family and friends were in the middle of helping me reflect on achieving my Bachelor of Agricultural Science and then the phone rang.”

On the other end of the line was Cotton Australia (CA) CEO Adam Kay who had considered applicants for the vacant role of Regional Manager (RM) Southern NSW and was calling to offer the position to 23 year old Tom – who had impressed during the interview process. The call gave Tom another reason to celebrate.

“I was rapt and of course immediately accepted the job.”

For Adam Kay the decision was easy. “As a young man with education, experience and a passion for agriculture Tom was a natural pick. He grew up in the area and knows farming well having been raised on the family property. Tom’s energy was obvious, and we are very pleased to have him on board.”

Tom hit the ground running with the help of Paul Sloman, an experienced Regional Manager and Policy advisor, who spent a week with Tom introducing him around.

“I was expecting the occasional question about my age, but no one commented on that instead they wanted to know what I wanted to achieve in the job and helping growers was top of my list.”

An important part of Tom’s role, and the role of all RM’s is to assist growers to gain certification in the myBMP program – a farm and environmental management program for cotton growers, to ensure Australian cotton is produced according to best practice.

There are ten modules included in the accreditation process including biosecurity, energy, fibre quality, HR and workforce safety, Integrated pest management Soil health and water management. Standards must be met and validated by audit before accreditation is approved.

It’s a process that can appear challenging, but Tom has been able to clear up any questions and provide the help his growers need. In his first 12 months Tom has helped 11 farming businesses and 38 farms to achieve myBMP certification with more possible in the coming weeks, a wonderful result for both the individual growers and the industry as a whole.

“This is a great effort and an outstanding demonstration of Tom’s efforts and attitude. He has fully grasped the process and the knowledge within the program and is a great ambassador for best practice farming,” Mr Kay said.

For growers myBMP certification is rewarding, not only in terms of improving on farm efficiencies but also for the potential premiums paid for cotton grown in line with Better Cotton standards. - Many Australian growers have reportedly been successful in negotiating Better Cotton premiums of between $3 and $5 /bale. For the industry it helps build our global sustainability credentials, giving brands and retailers confidence to source Australian cotton.

Tom was raised on a rice farm and irrigation was a key focus. That interest in irrigation is appreciated by the growers who are always looking at ways to enhance water efficiency – a subject covered extensively in the myBMP framework.

“Growing up in the Southern Riverina, general irrigation topics were always being discussed and being able to bring additional knowledge of general irrigation topics to growers has been very fulfilling. What makes it even more special for me is knowing how much the farming communities rely on sound irrigation strategies and the money that flows back into those communities from smart farming practices.”

Tom admits there was some initial hesitation from some gaining myBMP certification. “The first question was really about the process and then how long would it take and how much would it cost. I reassured all growers that the demands were not arduous, and I committed to help each grower on the journey.”

Jenna Bell, a local grower and member of the local Cotton Grower Association was one to experience Tom’s high level of assistance.

“Tom approached me to see if I was interested in myBMP. We had previously looked at it, but we had time management issues and didn’t think we could get it done.

“Tom provided templates and assisted me through the process. He set up dates for achieving the stages and he helped make it happen. Tom is very professional and he thinks like a cotton grower even though his background is different. He’s easy going and relatable to all farmers.

“So, whenever I had a question Tom responded quickly with the right advice and a template to suit. His previous experience with audits and certification really helped me pick it up very quickly and we achieved our goal in a good time frame.”

Tom is looking forward to the challenges of the next 12 months and hopes to help many more growers into a future assisted by myBMP certification.

Cotton Australia’s Southern NSW Regional Manager Tom Mannes
Cotton Australia’s Southern NSW Regional Manager Tom Mannes

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The latest news from Cotton Australia for the Australian cotton...

Feb 01, 2022

Australian cotton tipped for second best year on record

Cotton Australia is forecasting the industry’s second largest crop on...

Jan 27, 2022

Cotton Matters - 28th January 2022

The latest news from Cotton Australia for the Australian cotton...

Dec 08, 2021

Register now: emerging leaders virtual ‘unconference’

All emerging leaders in our industry are encouraged to register...

Dec 07, 2021

Australian cotton industry update on flooding impact

A rolling update on the impact of recent floods on...

Dec 01, 2021

Environmental outcomes enhanced through grant funding

Ongoing soil and water testing at a cotton farm in...

Dec 01, 2021

Grant paves way for improved cotton soil health and strategic water use

With 520 hectares of irrigation country, Aaron Kiely is always...

Dec 01, 2021

Community cotton farm supporting local students

School students in north-west NSW are now better off thanks...

Nov 30, 2021

Grant helps boost cotton farm water efficiency and sustainability

A Fitzroy Basin Association grant has helped improve water efficiency...

Nov 03, 2021

Dawson Valley growers gather for Cotton Community Dinner

Queensland cotton growers connect at community dinner.

Oct 25, 2021

One Year On – Projects Have Improved Biodiversity in Australian Cotton Landscapes

Over the last 12 months a unique partnership between Landcare...

Oct 25, 2021

Irrigators forgo harvesting water to improve positive environment outcomes

NSW cotton farmers will lose one third of water they...

Oct 07, 2021

Far North Queensland cotton growers celebrate a successful season

More than 100 farmers, family and supporters have gathered for...

Oct 07, 2021

World Cotton Day One Year On - Life After China

Australia’s cotton industry has announced it has virtually sold out...

Sep 24, 2021

Different name, same objective for Better Cotton program

The brand name farmers, manufacturers and consumers have come to...

Sep 23, 2021

Natural disasters, global pandemic creates demand for Australian-made clothing

Country Road’s latest men’s t-shirt is a great Aussie collaboration...

Sep 16, 2021

Cotton grower uses solar power to boost farm efficiencies

In south-west Queensland, data is being collected in a bid...

Sep 14, 2021

Country Road homewares made from Aussie cotton fly off the shelves

Australian cotton homewares from Country Road have sold out just...

Sep 13, 2021

What the bunch: Darling Downs farmers find niche market for perfect cotton

Cotton bouquets grabbing the attention of florists.

Sep 13, 2021

Cotton industry careers in the spotlight at employment showcase

Cotton Australia advocated for our industry at a recent virtual...

Sep 10, 2021

Gladstone senior citizens group discovers Australian cotton

Gladstone residents have toured Australia’s cotton industry.

Sep 10, 2021

Cotton growers cut water use per bale by half

Latest research confirms that over 25 years cotton growers have...

Sep 08, 2021

Aussie cotton fields to shine on global fashion stage

All eyes will be on Australia’s cotton industry when a...

Aug 26, 2021

Second cotton biodiversity project site launched, with Country Road and Landcare partnership

The second stage of a biodiversity project has begun.

Aug 25, 2021

Bumper crop expected as cotton season kicks off in Emerald

The Australian cotton season is officially underway with growers in...

Aug 25, 2021

Nigel Burnett elected new Chair of Cotton Australia Board

The cotton industry’s peak grower body Cotton Australia (CA) has...

Aug 10, 2021

Natural fibre leaders: there’s something in the water at Dirranbandi

Dirranbandi is home to two of Australia's national natural fibre...

Aug 09, 2021

Major announcement: 2021 Australian Cotton Collective and Industry Awards

Cotton Australia announces the cancellation of the 2021 Australian Cotton...

Aug 04, 2021

Cotton Australia joins global organisation promoting sustainable fibres

Cotton Australia has become a member of Textile Exchange.

Aug 04, 2021

ELK The Label launches Aussie cotton tee

An ethical Australian fashion brand has launched its first Australian...

Aug 04, 2021

Tree planting continues at the Kahl’s family farm

A second round of revegetation has been completed.

Aug 04, 2021

Willow and Claude film that follows cotton journey launched

A unique partnership has culminated in the launch of a...

Aug 04, 2021

Cotton Australia joins Textile Waste Round Table

Cotton Australia recently participated in a textile waste round table.

Jul 08, 2021

Register now for Sustainable Spray Practices Workshop

Growers in central Queensland are eligible for a new training...

Jun 16, 2021

Ground breaking trial returning cotton textile waste to cotton fields launched in Goondiwindi

Ground breaking trial underway testing if cotton products can offer...

Jun 01, 2021

Australian cotton industry places itself under the microscope

The Australian cotton industry has opened its doors to stakeholders...

Mar 31, 2021

North Queensland farm tour highlights growing interest in cotton production

North Queensland may become Australia’s latest cotton farming hot spot...

Mar 22, 2021

Bank-less systems helping cotton irrigators be more water efficient

There is a feeling of excitement among cotton growers in...

Mar 12, 2021

N-Drip irrigation system boosting water efficiency

A new water efficient irrigation system has become a permanent...

Mar 12, 2021

Darling Downs grower achieves best practice success

For Darling Downs cotton grower Howard Rother, attaining certification in...

Mar 12, 2021

Hit-and-miss rain for Darling Downs cotton growers

The dry weather on the Darling Downs is having an...

Mar 04, 2021

Theodore school students discover local cotton industry

School students visit a local cotton farm.

Feb 25, 2021

Australian Cotton Industry Awards back in 2021

Australian cotton growers will celebrate the best achievements of the...

Feb 23, 2021

Junee school students tour southern NSW cotton industry

A group of students have toured a cotton farm and...

Feb 22, 2021

Theodore students study natural qualities of cotton

Primary students in central Queensland have discovered the natural qualities...

Feb 18, 2021

Students tackle textile waste issue at Hackathon

Students from across New South Wales have gathered to learn...

Feb 15, 2021

Emerald teachers discover Australian cotton

Central Highlands teachers gain hands-on cotton knowledge.

Feb 10, 2021

Cotton industry shares knowledge at Gatton field day

Feb 05, 2021

2021 Australian Cotton Conference postponed

Cotton Australia and ACSA have decided to postpone the Australian...

Feb 02, 2021

Trenery launches Australian cotton sweat range

A new range of Aussie cotton products have hit the...

Feb 01, 2021

Dawson Valley cotton growers learning from each other

Cotton growers in Queensland’s Dawson Valley have joined together to...

Jan 21, 2021

Australian Future Cotton Leaders Program participants announced

The Australian Future Cotton Leaders Program participants have been announced.

Nov 24, 2020

Cotton growers launch conservation project to boost native parrot habitat

Cotton growers in southern NSW are working to protect native...

Nov 20, 2020

Cotton growers connect with schools virtually for National Ag Day

Students ask cotton growers questions in virtual Q&A session...

Nov 09, 2020

Cotton industry and regional council supporting local schools

Schools in Narrabri have received donations from a local farm.

Oct 07, 2020

World Cotton Day a time to celebrate and look forward with optimism

Sep 17, 2020

From cotton scrubs to cotton fields: Tamara Uebergang’s journey from nurse to farmer

How Tamara Uebergang went from a hospital ward to a...

Sep 15, 2020

Driving while tired a huge risk on cotton farms

Driving while tired can be a significant risk on a...

Sep 10, 2020

Rural people encouraged to seek mental health support on R U OK Day

Today, on R U OK Day, we are encouraged to...

Sep 04, 2020

Evie Watt wins Dorothea Mackellar Poetry Award with poem about cotton

A poem about cotton has won a major national award.

Aug 28, 2020

Coastal cotton: Maryborough farmer adds cotton to his crop mix

How cotton is being grown on Queensland's coast.

Jul 27, 2020

Young grower returns to family farm to start a new chapter

Next generation returning home to farm.

Jul 20, 2020

Growers encouraged to review WHS procedures during National Farm Safety Week

Growers are reminded to ensure safety on farm

Jul 20, 2020

How sport binds cotton communities together

Why sport is important in cotton communities.

Jul 08, 2020

Follow Australian Cotton on Instagram

The Australian Cotton Instagram profile has launched.

Jul 08, 2020

Cotton Australia’s 2019-20 Annual Report released

Cotton Australia's achievements and activities have been documented in its...

Jul 08, 2020

Cotton Australia advocates for industry at NSW Independent Planning Commission

Cotton Australia presents at NSW Planning Commission hearing.

Jul 08, 2020

Cotton Australia meets federal Water Minister Keith Pitt

Cotton Australia advocated for our industry to federal Water Minister.

Jun 29, 2020

Cotton industry research featured on ABC Landline

Ground-breaking cotton research featured on national TV.

Jun 19, 2020

How cotton production has helped Matt Shephard’s business grow

An insight into the business decisions farmers make when choosing...

May 11, 2020

From Melbourne to Mungindi: Sam Heagney on growing cotton and being an online advocate

From Melbourne to Mungindi: Sam Heagney's life in cotton

Apr 08, 2020

Advice for bringing contractors on farm during COVID-19 pandemic

What to consider when bringing contractors on farm during COVID-1...

Apr 03, 2020

Sky’s the limit: cotton grower Gavin Dal Broi optimistic about the industry’s future

Gavin Dal Broi reflects on southern NSW's growing cotton industry.

Mar 30, 2020

How a birthday party led to a life in cotton

Meet cotton grower Rachael Austin and discover how she approaches...

Mar 26, 2020

‘Like a big family’: one grower’s story of being part of the cotton industry

Grower Nick Beer explains why cotton is an industry he...

Mar 18, 2020

COVID-19 update from Cotton Australia

An update on Cotton Australia's response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mar 11, 2020

Australian cotton industry opens its doors for community engagement day

No topic was off limit as the Australian cotton industry...

Feb 28, 2020

Future Cotton Leaders Program launched

Applications have opened for the 2020 Australian Future Cotton Leaders Program.

Feb 27, 2020

Cotton education team building new connections

Boosting cotton education achieving results.

Feb 19, 2020

Identification of fall armyworm in Torres Strait and Cape York Peninsula

The exotic pest fall armyworm has been detected for the...

Feb 14, 2020

Nominations open for 2020 Australian Cotton Industry Awards

Australian Cotton Industry Awards nominations open.

Feb 13, 2020

Cotton returns to Brisbane Valley for the first time in 60 years

Mixed operations farmer turns to cotton.

Feb 04, 2020

Queensland growers encouraged to consider employer support payment program

Growers in Queensland encouraged to learn more about the Back...

Feb 04, 2020

More fashion brands choosing Aussie cotton

Brand Love thy Farmer is choosing Aussie cotton.

Jan 28, 2020

myBMP workshop helps Dawson Valley growers

Queensland growers attend myBMP workshop.

Jan 21, 2020

Cotton supports program for students learning about ag

CA supporting students in ag.

Jan 20, 2020

Growers advised to heed spray drift advice after recent rain

After recent rain, growers may need to undertake spraying.

Jan 17, 2020

Cotton Australia advocates for industry at national forum

Boosting understanding of food and fibre origins discussed at ag...

Jan 17, 2020

NSW growers encouraged to register for upcoming training

New training courses are being held in Moree and Narrabri.

Jan 14, 2020

Cotton Australia presents at agricultural teachers’ conference

Industry seminar and gin tour held for agriculture teachers.

Dec 02, 2019

CGA Windows for Silverleaf Whitefly announced

Windows for applying pyriproxyfen have been announced.

Oct 30, 2019

School students learn about cotton at Moo Baa Munch

Hundreds of students learned about the Australian cotton industry at...

Aug 21, 2019

Sussan launches new range of Australian cotton products

Last week marked the start of another brand partnership between...

Jul 31, 2019

Cotton Australia represented at Asia-Pacific Sustainable Fashion Roundtable

Cotton Australia’s last week joined a group of fashion and...

Jul 26, 2019

New Directors join Cotton Australia's Board

The Cotton Australia Board met in Griffith this week for...

Jul 24, 2019

‘Fiendishly complex' water issues discussed at Cotton Collective

Jun 25, 2019

Prevent spray drift with new crop mapping technology: SataCrop

Cotton Australia is excited to announce a new era in...

Jun 25, 2019

Cotton Australia holds valuable meeting with Queensland Premier

Senior members of Cotton Australia were pleased to meet with...

Apr 01, 2019

Ritemate Workwear launches Australian cotton range

For the first time, Australian cotton growers will be able...

Mar 29, 2019

Country Road and Australian cotton showcased at Legacy Summit

Cotton Australia represented at fashion sustainability summit in Sydney.