A MIXED cropping and sheep farming couple from Henty and a ricegrower from Leeton have been selected as the two finalists in the 2012 NSW Farmer of the Year Award.
Announcing the finalists today, Primary Industries Minister Katrina Hodgkinson said a diverse field of farmers across a broad cross-section of extensive and intensive plant and animal industries applied for this year's award.
The finalists are:
- Peter and Alison Campbell, Henty - crop about two-thirds of their 1550 hectare property and run a Merino self-replacing flock. The Campbells rotate lucerne, clover and cocksfoot pastures with a wheat-canola cropping operation, with a view to maximising profit while maintaining the sustainability of their natural resource base.
- Garry Knagge, Leeton - grows rice, irrigated barley and dryland wheat, and runs Merino and first-cross breeding ewes on two adjoining irrigation farms at Gogeldrie in the Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area. With wife Marg, Garry has continued the environmental and sustainability work on the properties - started by his grandfather and carried on by his father - protecting remnant vegetation and planting new vegetation.
NSW Farmers president Fiona Simson described the award as an important opportunity to highlight excellence in the farming sector.
"It's important that we communicate to the broader community the incredible business management skills of our farming men and women," Ms Simson said.
"It's these skills that ensure the food and fibre we all get to enjoy are of a high standard, using the latest sustainable production practises, and generating valuable contributions to our national economy.
"The Farmer of the Year initiative has produced some excellent industry champions in the last eight years - and we look forward to the Campbells and Mr Knagge joining that impressive network."
The NSW Farmer of the Year award recognises outstanding achievement, focussing on management skills, use of innovation, profitability, environmental sustainability and community involvement.
The Farmer of the Year wins a cash prize of $5,000 plus joins an overseas farming related tour group, and the runner up a $5,000 prize.
The NSW Farmer of the Year will be announced at the Farm Writers' Association of NSW Christmas lunch function to be held at NSW Parliament House on Wednesday, December 5.
The Award is an initiative of NSW Farmers and NSW Department of Primary Industries, with support from The Land and the Royal Agricultural Society of NSW.
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