QUEENSLAND beef farmers David and Prue Bondfield have been crowned The Weekly Times Coles 2016 Farmer of the Year.
David and Prue were presented their award at a gala event at RACV Club in Melbourne attended by the Federal Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources Anne Ruston, Victorian Agriculture Minister Jaala Pulford and Coles Managing Director John Durkan, and hosted by Olympic swimmer and television personality Giaan Rooney.
The Bondfields were recognised for their drive to be not only the biggest - the sheer size of their geographic footprint protects them from drought - but also the best.
The couple run one of Australia's largest stud beef operations, Palgrove, which is based at Dalveen, south of Warwick in Queensland, but covers more than 10,500ha on five properties across two states.
The Weekly Times Editor Ed Gannon said the Bonfields' Palgrove was a great example of a highly professional farming operation.
"The Bondfields are amazing operators. The sheer size and influence of the Palgrove business on the Australian beef industry is extraordinary and great examples of what smart, modern farmers are doing."
The Bondfields operate three studs - Charolais, Charbray and Ultrablack - running 2300 stud cows, while also selling 1000 bulls every year.
And there is no stopping their progress - the next stage of their plan is to build a larger commercial arm to improve economies of scale and their already impressive standards.
The couple, who have grown from running 50 stud cows 25 years ago to 2300 today and from selling 23 bulls at auction for an average of $1380 to last year selling 168 for an average of $11,000, earlier in the evening won Beef Farmer of the Year.
The other category winners were:
Cropping: Brad Jones and Kate Raston, Bungulla Farming in Tammin WA
Beef: David and Prue Bondfield, Palgrove in Dalveen QLD
Dairy: Simon and Lauren Finger from Yannathan, VIC
Horticulture: Ceravolo family, Ceravolo Orchards in Ashton SA
Sheep: Ben and Cheryl Duxson, Glendemar Merinos in Marnoo VIC
FARM magazine Innovative Farmer of the Year: Cain family, Dad's Oats in Natte Yallock VIC
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