Meet the nominees for the 2021 Young Grower of the Year award.
|Business||Thorndon Park Produce|
|Crop Focus||Bunch Line vegetables|
|Methods||Intense outdoor horticulture Commercial methods and others such as IPM|
|Business||CO Agriculture Pty Ltd|
|Crop Focus||Wheat, potatoes, carrots & fodder crops|
|Methods||Bio fumigation, strip tilling & biodynamic|
|Young Grower Challenges||The initial costs and opportunity of starting a farm on their own|
|In 5 years I'll be:||Running my own farm with my partner, introducing some new technology and hopefully will have found a niche crop to grow|
|Crop Focus||Celery, broccoli & cabbage|
|Methods||Certified Organic farming using regenerative farming techniques|
|Young Grower Challenges||Managing workload and labour shortages|
|In 5 years I'll be:||Seeing the business have improved structures and strong markets to keep up with the strong growth|
|Crop Focus||Potatoes, carrots, onions & cereal crops|
|Methods||Conventional farming with IPM|
|Young Grower Challenges||Availability of professional development through networking and face to face courses|
|In 5 years I'll be:||Working on different farming techniques to help better the industry and discovering more sustainable produce packaging|
|Business||Scotties Point Farms|
|Crop Focus||Beetroot, Broccoli, Onions & Pumpkins|
|Young Grower Challenges||Finding people who are young and hard working|
|In 5 years I'll be:||Married, with some children and fully running Scotties Point Farms in partnership with my brother|
|Business||The Native Co./Quality Harvest|
|Crop Focus||Australian native herbs, fruits & leafy greens|
|Methods||Nutrient Filmi Technique, IPM, Protected Cropping, climate-controlled greenhouse|
|Young Grower Challenges||Startup costs of creating a business and challenges to secure education and training due to funding|
|In 5 years I'll be:||Educating the community to use Australian natives through school programs & creating opportunities for Indigenous Australians|
|Methods||Mostly conventional with a large focus around IPM. Recently moved into hydroponic|
|Young Grower Challenges||Labour and working out how we can do things as efficiently and sustainably as possible|
|In 5 years I'll be:||Still learning and finding new challenges to keep the industry moving forward|
|Business||Three Ryans/Goodooga Farms|
|Crop Focus||Cauliflower, Broccoli, Kale, White Cabbage, Red Cabbage & Cereal Crops|
|Methods||Conventional and regenerative farming|
|Young Grower Challenges||Convincing the older generation to give young growers a go and difficulty for young growers to get started in the industry|
|In 5 years I'll be:||Trailling new ideas, in order to produce healthier and more nutrient-dense food and consulting to help farmers transition into regenerative farming|
|Crop Focus||Spring onions, Silverbeet, Broccoli, Broccolini & Pumpkin|
|In 5 years I'll be:||Exploring the possibility of exporting any of the products we currently grow and whether there is a market for them internationally.|
|Crop Focus||Passionfruit, Avocados|
|Young Grower Challenges||Continuing to farm into the future with a changing natural environment. Meeting the demands of regulation and the market as it shifts to an environmental and ethical focus towards food production and consumption.|
|In 5 years I'll be:||Still farming, but on my own land with my partner. Developing agritourism and expanding our processing facility to utilise unsalable fresh food so we can build resilience in our land and our business.|
|Business||Lucaston Park Orchards|
|Crop Focus||Cherries, Apples, raspberries, plum, quince|
|Methods||Conventional Farming, IPM|
|Young Grower Challenges||
High cost of entry to the agriculture industry. Finding quality managment teams and harvest crews to support young growers.
|In 5 years I'll be:||I see myself leading a highly motivated multi-skilled team who share the common goal of producing the best possible fruit at a competitive price!|
|Crop Focus||Potatoes, canola, wheat, lucerne, hay, lambs and cattle|
|Methods||Conventional – but we’re always trying new things.|
|Young Grower Challenges||
Getting a start, that's the hardest thing. Pests and diseases, commodity prices and labour are also huge issues.
|In 5 years I'll be||Still on the farm, hopefully a little less in debt and in the position to have a bit more family time.|
|Crop Focus||Leafy greens, legumes, citrus, root vegetables and fruit-bearing crops including tomato, zucchini, capsicum and eggplant|
Business: Loose Leaf Lettuce Company
Tasmanian nominee, 22-year-old Caitlin Radford, works on her family’s multi-generational farm. She said she’s thrilled to have made the award shortlist and plans to make the most of the opportunities that come with being a Young Grower nominee.
“I feel incredibly humbled and proud to be nominated for the 2021 Corteva Agriscience Young Grower of the Year award,” Caitlin said.
“I’m excited as it will be my first Hort Connections. We’re making the journey to Brisbane to get as much out of the experience as possible. I really look forward to meeting and networking with the other finalists.”
Marlon Motlop, 31-year-old Director and Farm Manager of The Native Co in Adelaide, is also delighted to be nominated. He hopes the recognition will be an opportunity to bring awareness to the native food industry.
“Being nominated is a huge achievement and great recognition for a lot of hard work,” Marlon said.
“My driving force is to shine a light on the world’s oldest surviving flavours and inject them into the new world, creating opportunities for the community throughout Australia to learn about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and ancient farming.”
Third-generation Manjimup grower, 26-year-old Jake Ryan, is also shortlisted. He said the nomination was unexpected and that the national awards were essential for the industry development.
“I was surprised at first, but I’m very grateful and excited to be nominated,” Jake said.
“It’s important to honour young growers to keep inspiring them to be creative with their approaches to current issues. It also helps to show older generations that there may be different solutions to current or old issues and sometimes change is needed.”
For Nick Koch, Corteva Agriscience Marketing Manager, the 2021 Young Grower nominees showcase the wealth of talent in Australian horticulture.
“Corteva Agriscience is delighted to continue our sponsorship of the Young Grower of the Year Award and play a role in the career progression of the leaders of tomorrow,” Nick said.
“Congratulations to all the nominees. They are the best and the brightest young growers in Australia today and demonstrate the incredible depth of talent in the industry.
“We welcome each nominee into the Young Grower Alumni and look forward to getting to know them all before we announce the overall winner at the National Awards for Excellence in Brisbane on Wednesday 9 June.”
AUSVEG CEO James Whiteside said the Corteva Agriscience Young Grower of the Year award is a strongly contested and important category.
“Corteva Agriscience’s ongoing support of Australia’s young growers is a terrific illustration of industry leadership. We need to recognise the leaders of the future and celebrate the ability, innovation and enthusiasm of young people who have chosen a career in horticulture,” James said.