The inspiration, passion, innovation and success of key players in the grains industry was celebrated at a gala awards dinner held as part of the 2019 Australian Summer Grains Conference on the Gold Coast last Wednesday.
More than 450 people turned out for the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) conference dinner, which was the final event of the three-day conference that attracted growers, agronomists, researchers, marketers and both national and international customers.
Australian Summer Grains Conference Chair Maree Crawford said the conference played a pivotal role in providing the latest research and development in technology, agronomic practices and genetics to industry.
But she said for many the highlight of the program was the presentation of the coveted summer grains industry awards.
"This is our fourth Australian Summer Grains Conference and we continue to be inundated by positive responses from industry praising the calibre of information and the networking opportunities offered by this event," Ms Crawford said.
"Yet there is no question one of the real highlights of the program is the awards dinner. Like all of agriculture, we don't do self-promotion well, but on this night, I am always overwhelmed by how willing people are to embrace celebrating their peers.
"These awards are an invaluable opportunity to recognise and applaud the innovation, passion, success and important contribution the award winners make to the summer grains industry."
One of the key awards of the night, the coveted BASF Women in Agriculture Award, went to Dalby agronomist Belinda Chase.
This is our fourth Australian Summer Grains Conference and we continue to be inundated by positive responses from industry praising the calibre of information and the networking opportunities offered by this event.
Ms Crawford said the award recognised Ms Chase's ability to communicate effectively with her clients and improve outcomes for them on-farm, along with her passion for the wider industry and her commitment to making a difference in a regional community.
Warra grain grower Brendan Taylor was presented with the inaugural Ben Coleman Award which recognises outstanding growers and their contribution to industry.
Mr Taylor, who farms with his wife and daughters, and is an active industry member and an exceptional communicator, using social media and technology to tell agriculture's story to the wider world.
The 2019 award winners are:
- BASF Women in Agriculture Award - Belinda Chase
- Ben Coleman Award - Brendan Taylor, runners-up Wade Bidstrup and John Woods
- Zoe McInnes Memorial Award - Casey Onus, runners-up Tony Lockery and Brent Wilson
- Bayer Rising Star Award - Matt Kenny
- Elders Innovation Grower - Alex Nixon
- Elders Industry Award - Swarm Farm Robotics
- The Sorghum Award - David Jordan
- The Maize Award - Harley Bligh
- The Sunflower Award - Liz Alexander
- The Soybean Award - Andrew James
- The Mungbean Award - Hermitage Research Facility Mung Crop Team.