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Borg slips into sugar leadership role

EXTRA JOB: Kevin Borg is adjusting into his new position.
EXTRA JOB: Kevin Borg is adjusting into his new position. Canegrowers Mackay

FOR the past five months Canegrowers Mackay chairman Kevin Borg has been getting his feet under the boardroom table, so to speak.

It has been a busy time for Mr Borg.

But despite the fast-paced life to and from his farm and the Canegrowers Mackay office, he still has a genuine country-boy smile.

The last few months the sugar industry have been flat-out.

We all have our own way of leading. I am probably known as being demanding, but while you are demanding, you still can understand other people's views.

From keeping an eye on the crushing, the introduction of Sugar Research Australia (SRA,) the new direction of the R&D to organising a bigger and better Ag Trade Life on May 23 and 24 next year.

While Mr Borg is no stranger to the industry, he has been a farmer for the past 30 years, starting off as a boilermaker apprentice at Farleigh Mill.

These days he has his farm 50km south of Mackay which he works on full-time with the help of his son.

It is his tradie problem-solving skills and his love for farm life that have shaped his leadership skills.

Mr Borg is an easygoing bloke with a relaxed nature, so when he said he was demanding, it didn't make sense.

"I am demanding, I don't mind being called relaxed, maybe you should ask my wife," he joked.

"We all have our own way of leading. I am probably known as being demanding, but while you are demanding, you still can understand other people's views.

"I certainly like hearing other peoples views you learn more, especially when you sit down and listen."

He said he likes things done and doesn't stand for letting things go on.

"If there is an issue in front of me I want it solved yesterday," he said.

Mr Borg said on-the-spot problem solving and maintenance on the farm is something he still gets a kick out of.

These days he has his son, who is a diesel fitter, helping him out on his days off from the mines.

It is putting pieces of the puzzles back together that has become a valuable tool as a leader of Canegrowers Mackay

"It is all character-building."

As a farmer Mr Borg has always had a voice and has sat as the chairman of the Plane Creek Area Productivity and has been an elected representative of the industry since 1994.

He said when he looked back he spruiked without knowing the full intent of the issue and it was easy to go off half-cocked.

"When you see the other side there is a new appreciation for the industry. Your work is cut out to get the best answer for everyone.

"I believe in working together; on my own I will never conquer the industry. You have to have your fellow growers and stakeholders with you to work together.

"You can't throw you hands up in the air and walk away, otherwise nothing will be achieved."

He said SRA was a challenge to the industry to roll out; it was one venture he was very vocal about and loved being a part of that process.

"The R&D section of the industry lacked direction before this.

"I think the new format is going to have a better understanding of the industry and where it wants to go," he said.

Topics:  kevin borg mackay canegrowers sugar