Farm Biosecurity is again sponsoring the animal and plant categories of the Biosecurity Farmer of the Year awards, which will be presented in Melbourne this September.
The awards recognise two farm businesses which have taken the initiative in tackling the potential risks to their business and livelihood by using good on-farm biosecurity practices – with winning results.
Nominations close on Friday 2 August and finalists will be announced towards the end of August.
The Biosecurity Farmer of the Year Award is part of the Australian Farmer of the Year Awards, and recognises the efforts of producers dedicated to keeping their operations free of diseases, pests, and weeds.
That includes farm businesses such as that of Dr Rod Hoare, who took out last year’s Biosecurity Farmer of the Year award in the animal category – and who does not compromise on biosecurity.
In 2001 Dr Hoare purchased vacant land for two businesses – Cadfor Murray Greys and Cadfor Equestrian – and proceeded to carefully plan for potential biosecurity risks such as strangles, herpes viral abortion and resistant parasites at the equestrian centre, where outside horses visit often.
He also established a comprehensive system to accommodate for all risks that may be brought onto or move within and off the property, including vaccination programs, record keeping and the segregation of animals and their waste.
Steve Rathjen is an onion grower with a difference. As a result of his well-considered on-farm biosecurity measures he was named the 2012 Biosecurity Farmer of the Year in the plant category.
When you peel back the layers of Mr Rathjen’s comprehensive on-farm biosecurity system, you begin to see the innovative ideas and well executed solutions that have been implemented to protect his agricultural land.
Like most, he adheres to basic on-farm biosecurity practices, always maintaining a high level of hygiene, which is further encouraged with gate signs and restricted vehicle entry – but he goes one very important step further.
Steve and his sons Darren and Brendan have also introduced a range of environmentally sound alternatives to pest control on the farm. The reduced reliance on chemical pest controls has led to improved soil conditions and increased onion yields.
Go to the Farming Ahead website to nominate online or download the nomination form.