Minister for Primary Industries, Regional Water and Trade and Industry, Niall Blair, and NSW Farmers President Derek Schoen today declared the 2017 NSW Farmer of the Year Award open for applications and nominations.
Mr Blair said the awards are both a celebration and recognition of farming excellence through a diverse range of enterprises across NSW.
“Our farmers are some of the most innovative and industrious primary producers, who each day face many challenges to produce the world’s highest quality food and fibre,” Mr Blair said.
“The State’s $15 billion primary industries sector is going from strength to strength under the stewardship of our farmers, who demonstrate drive and determination to run efficient, profitable and sustainable businesses.”
Mr Schoen described the award as an important opportunity to promote the agriculture sector and help contribute to the future growth of the industry. The award also helps identify outstanding farmers who are pushing the boundaries within their industry and in farming generally.
“The award recognises people with outstanding management skills who demonstrate a combination of innovation, profitability, sustainability and community involvement,” Mr Schoen said.
“I strongly encourage all farmers in the primary industries sector to enter to become the 2017 NSW Farmer of the Year.”
The successful 2017 Farmer of the Year will be awarded $10,000, while the other finalists will receive $2,000.
The 2016 winner, Central Coast based barramundi farmer Nick Arena, encouraged his colleagues in the sector to nominate an outstanding farmer or apply themselves.
The award is an initiative of the NSW Department of Primary Industries and NSW Farmers, with support from SafeWork NSW and Fairfax Agricultural Media.
Application forms are available at www.dpi.nsw.gov.au or at www.nswfarmers.org.au with entries closing on September 27.