Syngenta announces award winners

Dec. 7, 2023 | 5 Min read
Some of the agriculture industry’s finest growers, advisers and innovators have been recognised as the latest winners of the Syngenta Growth Awards.

Some of the agriculture industry’s finest growers, advisers and innovators have been recognised as the latest winners of the Syngenta Growth Awards.

Launched a decade ago, the growth awards recognise the amazing contribution and influence growers, farm advisers and community leaders from across Australia and New Zealand have on the agricultural sector.

Country head and managing director of Syngenta ANZ Paul Luxton said this year’s national winners represent the best of the best.

“We’ve had another exceptional cohort of nominations this year and it was incredibly hard for our judges to narrow it down to our final national winners. The depth of experience of our winners, and each of their incredible contributions to not only their communities but the wider ag sector, is deserving of the accolades coming their way,” Mr Luxton said.

Winners range from legendary pioneers in the sector, to first generation farmers paving the way for future generations.

“One thing they have in common is a passion for furthering the sustainability of the ag industry through their endeavours, which is more important than ever as we look at what the future of farming looks like.”

The national winners in each of the four categories will be offered the opportunity to attend an international study tour next year, and will also join the alumni of previous winners, who continue to connect, collaborate and add value to their local communities.

The Growth Awards support the goals of Syngenta’s four ambitious global sustainability commitments to help farmers deal with the extreme weather patterns caused by climate change.

The commitments include accelerating Syngenta’s innovations to provide sustainable solutions for farmers, striving for carbon neutral agriculture, developing strategic and impactful partnerships to achieve the ambitious targets, and helping people stay safe in the workplace across Syngenta’s entire supply chain.

Meet the winners

Productivity - recognises growers and advisers who use best practice in achieving consistent productivity gains.

Edward (Ted) Langley grower, Pine Hill Station, Bordertown, South Australia. "When you’re onto a good thing, you don’t necessarily have to stick to it, You can evolve to try to improve little things, rather than sitting back on your haunches and doing the same thing you’ve done for the last 25 years."

Martin Lovegrove adviser, Cleve Rural Traders, Cleve, South Australia. “The lessons for others in this are to have a go and back yourself. Coming into Cleve Rural has given me the opportunity to mentor young agronomists and it gives me huge satisfaction, to watch these young agronomists grow and embrace the challenge of agronomy with confidence.”

Sustainability - recognises growers and advisers who are committed to addressing industry issues to create a sustainable and profitable future.

James Kahl grower, Merced Farming, Wee Waa, New South Wales. “By definition, sustainability is to maintain a performance and not go backwards, and that just isn’t good enough. The ag sector has to do a lot more than sustain."

Nigel Blieschke adviser, Torbreck Wines, Barossa Valley, South Australia. “It’s easier to show people what you’re doing, than to tell people what to do, so I am always very happy to demonstrate practices. When I was a young viticulturalist, I would ask lots of questions and people were willing to share their experiences and I took a lot out of that. The legacy of that is for me to share the information with others.”

Community and people - recognises growers and advisers who make a leading contribution to their community, workers and fellow growers.

Hamish Marr grower, Marr Farms Ltd, Methven, New Zealand. “We need to be having conversations about agriculture and the network of the economy when we are at the supermarket, around the barbecue, or on the sidelines at sport.”

David Manktelow adviser, Applied Research and Technologies, Hawkes Bay, New Zealand. “I think this is the most consequential decade that any of us will live through, in terms of change with production and the energy that is needed to drive production. I do see a really important future for high quality horticultural production, and production of grains and legumes. There are challenges and they are bigger than what we can afford to address ourselves, so we need to work together.”

Innovator - recognises trailblazing growers, advisers and industry influencers who contribute.

Fiona and Liam Mann Block275 growers, Eradu, Western Australia. “Innovation in agriculture will be driven by genetics and biometrics, which may be viewed by the consumer as controversial, so it’s going to be important that the ag industry is a united front on educating consumers on how safe and effective agriculture can be."

Judges’ choice - a special discretionary award bestowed by the judging panel on two nominees who have made a significant contribution to the agriculture industry in the areas of sustainability, productivity, innovation, and community and people.

Darren Best grower, Silverback Farms, Toodyay, Western Australia. "To be a first-generation farmer starting out on your own is a pretty big step. It’s all about being disciplined, and I think that’s what has got me to where I am today."

Nick Bloor, adviser, IVM Group, Varsity Lakes, Queensland. “People have to wake up to the role of plant science in enabling both a step change as well as a lasting change. It comes back to hearts and minds, and taking people on this extraordinary journey with us.”

Categories Rural Business

Read also

View all

Rainbow Agro invests in crop protection innovation

Feb. 1, 2024 | 2 min read

Joint forces fight swine fever

Nov. 14, 2023 | 3 min read

FastStart Cotton Awards open 2022-23

Oct. 9, 2022 | 3 min read