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Research leads the way as 2016 Syngenta Growth Awards Regional Winners announced

Jim Cronin standing in bush
Jim Cronin is a Senior Agronomist with Landmark in Forbes, NSW. He has been named a Regional Winner in the Productivity category for delivering high returns for his clients despite increasing operational costs.
  • 25 Regional Winners have been shortlisted from an original pool of 57 nominees for the Syngenta Growth Awards.
  • Data from research and field trials are driving best-practice amongst the top 25.
  • The Regional Winners will now advance to the final stage of the Awards.
  • 7 Australasian winners will be announced at a gala dinner on 1 December 2016.

As Australasian agriculture faces mounting pressure to enhance operations, 25 agricultural professionals have been recognised for their innovative work towards improving the industry.

As testament to their significant contributions, 25 growers and advisers across Australia and New Zealand have been selected as Regional Winners in the 2016 Syngenta Growth Awards.

Currently in its third year, the Syngenta Growth Awards champion growers and agricultural advisers who lead the way in their profession.

“Today there’s a pressure to do more with less and the top 25 are developing innovative ways to overcome challenges of modern day farming, such as water availability and pest management,” said Paul Luxton, Territory Head – Australasia, Syngenta.

“They are constantly challenging themselves to stay abreast of new technology and incorporating the latest trial and research data into their everyday operations to increase productivity and sustainability.

“Across all 25 Regional Winners, we are seeing incredible efforts in research and development. Some are partnering with industry groups such as the GRDC to carry out field trials, while others are conducting their own, independent trials,” Mr Luxton said.

Regardless of what trials they conduct, there is a shared mentality amongst the top 25 that cooperation across the whole industry is imperative to remain viable.

“I’m inspired by the dedication shown by the Regional Winners and their sense of community and social responsibility,” Mr Luxton said.

The Syngenta Growth Awards are presented in partnership with Case IH and Fairfax Agricultural Media and have three nomination categories: Productivity; Sustainability; and Community and People.

The 25 Regional Winners have been chosen based on a rigorous selection criteria for each category and will now advance to the next stage of the Awards.

“Selecting the top 25 was challenging because we had such a competitive pool of nominees this year. But we are proud to announce the Regional Winners and showcase their contributions towards increasing productivity, innovation and camaraderie throughout our industry,” Mr Luxton said.

Seven Australasian winners will be selected by an independent judging panel and announced at the Growth Awards gala dinner in Sydney on 1 December 2016. The winners will then have the opportunity to participate in a study tour to the UK and Europe in 2017.

“The Awards have become a mainstay in the industry and as testament to this, we have an extremely high caliber of finalists moving into the next stage of the Awards,” Mr Luxton said.


The 25 Regional Winners are:


New South Wales

Graeme Callaghan: COONAMBLE, NSW: Adviser

Jim Cronin: FORBES, NSW: Adviser

Colin Arnold: BERRIGAN, NSW: Grower

Dean Salvestro: BENEREMBAH, NSW: Grower



Richard Daniel: TOOWOOMBA, QLD: Adviser

Tommy Le: GLENORE GROVE, QLD: Adviser

Simon Chapman: GUMLU, QLD: Grower

Nigel Corish: GOONDIWINDI, QLD: Grower

Trevor & Wendy Cross: BUNDABERG, QLD: Grower


South Australia

Peter Boutsalis: PROSPECT, SA: Adviser

Richard Porter: NEWTON, SA: Adviser

Naresh Singh: VIRGINIA, SA: Grower

Randall Wilksch: YEELANNA, SA: Grower



Stuart Millwood: LAUNCESTON, TAS: Adviser



James Dickson: WERRIBEE SOUTH, VIC: Grower

Andrew McMahen: MANANGATANG, VIC: Adviser


Western Australia

David Cameron: MOORA, WA: Adviser

Geoff Fosbery: NORTHAM, WA: Adviser

Duc Nguyen: CARNARVON, WA: Grower

Michael Fels: ESPERANCE, WA: Grower

Michael Nixon: NORTH PLANTATIONS, WA: Grower


New Zealand

Howard Clarke: GORE, NZ: Adviser

Tayah Ryan: KATIKATI, NZ: Adviser

Allan Fong: PUKEKOHE, NZ: Grower

Craig Whiteside: OTAGO, NZ: Grower


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The Growth Awards support the goals of Syngenta’s Good Growth Plan, which tackles the challenges of producing more with less, protecting the viability of farmland and promoting prosperous rural communities. Under the plan, Syngenta has made six specific commitments designed to increase crop productivity, improve land fertility, enhance biodiversity, empower smallholders, train farm workers and strive for fair labour conditions across the entire supply chain.