Damien Manno, from Quality Harvest took out the 2022 Young Grower of the Year award in recognition of his innovation and dedication to excellence.Meet the 2022 Nominees
Robert Arvier, Tasmanian Agronomist turned farmer, claimed the 2023 Corteva Agriscience Young Grower of the Year at the Horticultre Awards for Excellence. First-generation farmer, Robert is Managing Director of West Pine Ag, which produces high-value irrigated vegetables outside Penguin on the state's north coast.
Robert said West Pine Ag has been built with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals in mind and the concept of the “triple bottom line”: profit; people; and planet. The company is also focussing on reducing waste, a project using crop residues for bioenergy, improving energy efficiency by installing automated irrigation systems, and baselining electricity and diesel consumption.
We've showcased some of the brightest rising stars in Australian horticulture since 2018, and this year is no exception. Robert prevailed against some exceptional competition to claim the 2023 title. Read more below.
Meet the future stars of the Australian Horticulture landscape.
Robert is co-founder and Managing Director of West Pine Ag, on the north-west coast of Tasmania, where he farms irrigated vegetables including potatoes, onions, carrots, broccoli, and swede.
He promotes sustainable, best-practice farming and is passionate about global agricultural development and innovation, particularly the adoption of renewable energy and the pursuit of energy efficiency and on-farm carbon reduction opportunities. Robert has a Master of Agribusiness and in 2017 was awarded a Nuffield scholarship. West Pine Ag has grown to support eight full-time employee equivalents and Robert enjoys heading up a like-minded team that seeks to be leaders in the sustainable development of Australian agriculture.
Joe and Dominic are as passionate about farming as their father, Dino Boratto. Always striving to be the best and introducing new technologies to their farming practices, the family business has grown significantly under the supervision and attention to detail of the brothers.
Joe has taken on the day-to-day production duties while Dominic oversees harvest and crop protection. Boratto Farms has moved from a traditional pest and disease management focus to more holistic and sustainable practices including insectaries, revegetation, Integrated Pest Management and a particular attention to application and timing.
Mitch is passionate about horticulture and a powerful advocate for agriculture more generally, serving as Vice President of Lockyer Valley Growers. Mitch enjoys hosting school and industry tours at his farm and sets time aside to contribute to industry events. On-farm, Mitch is motivated by innovation and implementing new ideas, including bringing cotton back to the Lockyer Valley after 30 years, using it as a rotation crop to assist in the long-term sustainability of vegetable production.
Jarryd is increasingly involved in the management aspects of his family’s enterprise, Dolling Produce, and has risen to become a board member for peak industry body Onions Australia.
Jarryd is motivated by regenerative agriculture and finding solutions that reduce chemical inputs and build soil health.
He says it is rewarding to see the measurable progress as the commercial onion business adopts modern regenerative agriculture practices, which have resulted in improved nutritional quality, consistency, and shelf life along with improved soil health.
Luigi was born on the farm he helps run with his parents in South Australia’s Ward Belt. In addition to operating the family’s potato growing and packing facility he’s studying a Bachelor of Agricultural Science, is the recipient of the 2021 Merit Award for Excellence in a Research Project and has introduced new technology and a range of data analysis to farm management. The 20-year-old is also a talented sportsman playing SANFL reserves for Central Districts and is a competitive sprinter.
Joe has been working for the family business for nearly six years and now oversees all produce sales for Victoria, in addition to assisting with orchard operations.
Showing a keen and eager attitude to learn from colleagues, and experts within the industry and similar industries, he is always looking for opportunities and investing in his development to grow the family business’ practices and processes. Joe is very much from the generation where sustainability is front of mind and sees it as an important evolution for both business and industry.
Sam is owner and manager of Sandy Creek Pineapples in Queensland’s Glasshouse Mountains, dedicating his life to growing produce under a sustainable production system. Sam is the Chairman of the industry leadership group, Australian Pineapples, and a leading advocate for sustainable farming in the industry.
Sam is the first grower in the pineapple industry to install commercially operating bioreactors across his farm to avoid nitrate run off to local waterways, is trialling polymers to limit soil erosion and stabilise herbicide to the soil and has embraced precision agriculture in his operation. He has also hosted numerous workshops and field days on his farm to continuously promote sustainable farming across the community.
Daniel helps run South Australia’s leading organic certified grower and packhouse, Monika’s Organics, alongside his mother Monika Fiebig. Daniel is a committed and progressive young farmer playing an increasingly important role in the family business, from day-to-day operations to top-level strategic management.
His genuine interest in the industry is reflected in his pursuit of professional development opportunities and participation in key initiatives such as Hort Connections, overseas growing tours, and regular social events with other young growers.
Corteva Agricience are proud sponsors of the annual Hort Innovations Young Grower of the Year award, highlighting the breadth of young horticulture talent in Australia. Meet the past nominees and participants.
Corteva has been a proud sponsor of the AUSVEG Young Grower of the Year award since 2018. See the long list of talented alumni who have vied for the prestigious title.