South Australian vegetable grower and industry leader, Scott Samwell, has received the the 2018 Hort Connections Awards of Excellence top gong.
Mr Samwell was named Grower of the Year, at the Gala Dinner held at the Brisbane Convention Centre this month.
The national award, sponsored by Syngenta, recognises outstanding achievement across all aspects of horticultural production, including growing, environmental management, staff management and quality of produce, and acknowledges grower commitment to innovation and advancing the Australian horticulture industry.
Ausveg chief executive officer, James Whiteside said the accolade reflects Mr Samwell’s dedication to his family’s growing operation, Eastbrook Farms, and his tireless efforts in advancing the vegetable industry, both in South Australia and on a national level.
“Scott is an ongoing supporter of new industry research and development and has spearheaded initiatives to host Integrated Pest Management (IPM) and soil health trials on his farm in Mount Barker,” Mr Whiteside said.
“He consistently gives his time to share the results of these trials with the wider industry through field days, hosting researchers and contributing to industry communications.”
“Scott is highly knowledgeable about the local and international horticulture industry and is constantly on the lookout for innovative vegetable growing practices.
“He also travelled the world as a Nuffield Scholar to learn about ‘fusion farming’, which combines conventional, biological and organic farming systems.”
About 1300 people from every sector of Australian horticulture attended the gala dinner to celebrate the significant contributions of the industry and its members.
“The Awards for Excellence are a rare chance for us to come together and recognise the outstanding achievements of our leading growers and industry members, and to celebrate the great work that our industry undertakes in feeding the entire nation,” said Mr Whiteside said.
The winners of the National Awards for Excellence were:
- Grower of the Year: Scott Samwell, SA
- Young Grower of the Year: Chris McLoghlin, Vic
- Community Stewardship: East Gippsland Innovation Days, Vic
- Innovation Partner: Terry Martella, WA
- Researcher of the Year: Jessica Page, Vic
- Women in Horticulture: Rachel Mackenzie, Qld
- Environmental Award: Frank and Dianne Sciacca, Qld
- Industry Impact: Danyang Ying, Vic
- Exporter of the Year: Dicky Bill Australia, Qld