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2020 Growth Awards regional winners announced

Growth Awards - Group Study Tour

Amid improved agri conditions, a complicated global market and a pandemic, and in the face of a changing climate, there has never been a more important time to promote leadership in agriculture, according to Syngenta’s Paul Luxton, who today announced the 26 regional winners of the 2020 Growth Awards.


The Syngenta Growth Awards recognise leading growers and farm advisers from different regions across Australia and New Zealand, showcasing their contribution to the industry. Nominations were by invitation and the 26 regional winners will go onto the final stage of judging, with overall winners to be announced early next year.


“There is a wealth of talent in our industry. Recognising individuals who are leading the way, encouraging and empowering them is vital to the future of Australia and New Zealand’s agribusiness sectors. This has always been true but in 2020 it’s absolutely critical. Good practice, innovation, collaboration and simple passion for the industry is needed now more than ever,” says Mr Luxton, Managing Director and Country Head – Syngenta Australia and New Zealand.


Since its inception in 2014, the program has offered awards in Productivity, Sustainability, and Community & People categories. This year, Syngenta has added an Innovator category, to identify growers, advisers and influencers who contribute to innovation in agriculture or apply game-changing technologies.


“Innovation has always been one of the things we look for when judging the awards, because leaders are always testing new ideas and approaches, but this year we chose to go a step further and create a separate category that focuses solely on innovation,” Mr Luxton says


While the regional winners represent a range of careers, locations and achievements, there were some common threads around true passion for the future of the industry and a commitment to sharing and learning.


The 2020 judging panel comprised independent industry specialists, as in years past. This year Mr Luxton was joined on the judging panel by Ian McConnel, Director of Beef Sustainability for Tyson Foods; Richard Heath, Executive Director of the Australian Farm Institute; Kirrily Condon, Agronomic Consultant with Grassroots Agronomy; and Brianna Casey, Chief Executive Officer of Foodbank Australia.


“Our judging panel comes from across the supply chain, allowing us to apply a broad perspective when reviewing applications,” Mr Luxton says. “This is important, because what happens on farm has implications throughout the supply chain and right through to our global economy.”


Nominees were this year asked to complete a series of challenging questions designed not only to demonstrate their achievements and their expertise, but to uncover their views about collaboration across the industry and big picture topics from future agricultural challenges to food security.


“We’re really excited to name our regional winners,” Mr Luxton says. “It’s wonderful to see so much talent and passion in our industry – though it is certainly going to make choosing the ultimate winners a very tough job!”


The Growth Awards support the goals of Syngenta’s Good Growth Plan, which addresses the challenges of producing more with less, protecting the viability of farmland and promoting prosperous rural communities. Syngenta’s commitments to enhancing biodiversity, improving soil health, and helping people stay safe and healthy are underpinned by an investment of $2 billion towards sustainable technology breakthroughs each year by 2025.


The 2020 Syngenta Growth Awards regional winners are:

Productivity Growers:

Brad Johnston, Grower
Quandialla, NSW

David Haak, Grower
Tent Hill, QLD

Simon Doolin, Grower
North Star, NSW


Productivity Advisers:

Dale Abbott, Adviser
Bowen, QLD

Graeme Jones, Adviser
Methven, South Island, NZ

Karen Smith, Adviser
Perth, WA

Paul McIntosh, Adviser
Dubbo to Burdekin, NSW and QLD

Roger Blyth, Adviser
Canterbury, NZ

Tim Walker, Adviser
Spalford, TAS


Sustainability Growers:

Adam Schreurs, Grower
Clyde, VIC

Murray Hall, Grower
Brookton, WA


Sustainability Advisers:

Chris Monsour, Adviser
Bowen, QLD

Chris Toohey, Adviser
Albury, NSW

Denis Persley, Adviser
Brisbane, QLD

Linda Peacock, Adviser
Tauranga, NZ

Nigel Myers, Adviser
Lower Eyre Peninsula, SA

Stuart Grigg, Adviser
Ballan, VIC


Community & People Growers:

Anthony De Ieso, Grower
Adelaide, SA

Brett South, Grower
Esperance, WA

Sue Middleton, Grower
Wongan Hills, WA


Community & People Advisers:

Alex Thomas, Adviser
Torrens Park, SA

Grace Brennan, Adviser
Dubbo, NSW

Josh McGregor, Adviser
Moree to Southern QLD, NSW and QLD


Heath McWhirter
Griffith, NSW

Sarah Nolet
Sydney, NSW

Tanya and Rob Kitto
Geraldton, WA

Click Here for the full list of nominees and profiles of the regional finalists.