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35-year-old vegetable grower Daniel Hoffman from Penfield, South Australia has been named as the 2019 Young Grower of the Year.
The award, sponsored by Corteva Agriscience, was announced at the AUSVEG National Awards for Excellence held at the Hort Connections Gala Dinner in Melbourne tonight. In a competitive crop of 10 nominees from around Australia shortlisted for the prestigious award, Daniel was recognised as the best in his field based on his advocacy work for local growers seeking access to water on the Northern Adelaide Plains, strong R&D involvement and his own innovative on-farm practices.
Growing tomatoes, capsicums, eggplant, cucumber and bunch lines as part of the family farming enterprise, Hoff Family Trust, Daniel’s expertise areas include plant nutrition and fertiliser, as well as pest and plant health management.
Daniel Hoffman said he was honoured to be nominated for the Award and was thrilled to win the accolade. “It feels really nice to be recognised for years of work,” he said. “Young growers will be our future and if we can use things like the Young Grower of the Year Award to encourage us all to strive for better practices and share knowledge then I think that’s great. “If we, as the next generation of farmers, are working in an environment where we feel appreciated then the industry is going benefit from proud growers. This is a very noble and hard profession and we should be damn proud of the industry.”
Nick Koch, Marketing Manager for Horticulture & Insecticides for Corteva Agriscience said Daniel is a great example of the impact younger farmers can have on the industry. “At just 35, Daniel has proved himself to be a well-respected leader within the grower community and beyond, becoming a well-known advocate for the Northern Adelaide Plains water security issue on behalf of the broader farming sector,” Nick said. “In addition to his strong advocacy work, Daniel has supported a number of researchers as part of the AUSVEG South Australia Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program and helped to host a number of field walks on his farm also,” he said.
“He’s successfully managed to breed and maintain his own healthy population of the beneficial bug nesidiocoris tenuis as part of his IPM and biodynamic method of farming to produce high quality crops, which he supplies to key wholesalers such as Premier Fruits Group.”
AUSVEG, the industry representative body for the Australian vegetable and potato industries, manages the 2019 National Awards for Excellence, including the Young Grower of the Year Award.