FROM a potato grower producing premium vodka in Tasmania, to an exotic tropical fruit farmer in North Queensland, to brassica growers in Victoria, the nominees for the 2022 Corteva Agriscience Young Grower of the Year Award are an impressive bunch.
Eleven nominees from around the country have been shortlisted for the 2022 Corteva Agriscience Young Grower of the Year Award, honouring Australia's best young fruit and vegetable producers.
The winner will be announced at the Hort Connections Gala Dinner on June 8 in Brisbane as part of the National Awards for Excellence.
Each young grower nominated for the award is a champion for horticulture, demonstrates a commitment to the industry and their communities, and understands the importance of sustainability to improve agriculture and the land.
The nominees for the 2022 Corteva Agriscience Young Grower of the Year Award are:
- Sam Boyce, MJ Hall & Sons, Mooroopna, Vic;
- Ruby Daly, Daly Farms and Hellfire Bluff Distillery, Marion Bay, Tas;
- Craig Dingle, Kalfresh, Kalbar, Qld;
- Ryan Marr, Marrbiz Pty Ltd, Trentham Cliffs, NSW;
- Josh Maunder, Aus-Ex Fruit, Bellenden Ker, Qld;
- Marlon Motlop, The Native Co, Adelaide, SA;
- Ross Pirrone, Pirrone Bros, Ayr, Qld;
- Nicole Stevens, SA Potato Co, Parilla, SA;
- Carl Young, Redgold, Wemen, Vic;
- Michael and Jason Agosta, AAA Farms, Werribee South, Vic.
Ruby Daly, 27-year-old business manager of Daly Farms and Hellfire Bluff Distillery in Tasmania, is one of the contenders for this year's award.
Ms Daly said she was thankful and surprised to be nominated. She said she believes the award plays an essential role in acknowledging the work of younger growers and promoting farming as a career for young people.
"I grew up on our family farm at Marion Bay in southeast Tasmania. Mum and Dad have grown potatoes for over 30 years," Ms Daly said.
I'm excited and shocked to be nominated for the Young Grower of the Year Award. It's huge for me.- Ruby Daly, Daly Farms and Hellfire Bluff Distillery, Tasmania
"After high school, I did a trade. Then about seven years ago, I came home to help set up Hellfire Bluff Distillery.
"The farm distillery is a value-add using our second-grade potatoes.
"We produce spirits like premium potato vodka, Tasmanian gins, and liqueurs - taking fresh potatoes straight from the 'paddock to the bottle' on the farm.
"Over the past few years, the business has gone from strength to strength.
"Earlier this year, Hellfire Bluff Distillery won four gold medals at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition.
"I'm excited and shocked to be nominated for the Young Grower of the Year Award. It's huge for me.
"I have no idea who put me forward, but I feel really grateful that my work is seen as worthy of recognition like this.
"Awards like the Young Grower make a difference. They help build confidence in young farmers and show other people what a future in farming might look like.
"Which is really important - especially for young women."
Nick Koch, Corteva Agriscience marketing manager, said this year's Young Grower nominees show the depth of talent and diversity in Australian horticulture.
"The Young Grower of the Year Award celebrates the standout young fruit and veg growers across Australia," Mr Koch said.
"Corteva proudly continues to support the award. We're committed to rewarding the rising talent in horticulture and helping them progress into leadership.
"Year after year, I'm impressed by the dedication and ingenuity of the award nominees, and 2022 is no exception.
"All 11 shortlisted nominees are helping build a stronger, more innovative, and more sustainable industry and are destined to be the future leaders in horticulture.
"We're incredibly fortunate to have so many brilliant young women and men choosing to forge their careers in the fields and paddocks of Australia.
"I'm looking forward to getting to know the 2022 Young Growers nominees in June at Hort Connections in Brisbane.
"Corteva will be creating opportunities for them to connect with the alumni of previous Young Growers to continue to build a community of horticulture leaders."
- For more information about the nominees, visit: alliancewithscience.com.au.
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