There is no shortage of variety in the finalists for the 2013 Biosecurity Farmer of the Year Awards which were announced this week, including producers from a variety of livestock and plant categories across four states.
The award is split into two categories – animal and plant – representing the fact that the Farm Biosecurity program, which sponsors the award, is a partnership between Animal Health Australia (AHA) and Plant Health Australia (PHA).
Three finalists have been selected for each category, with the winners to be announced at the Australian Farmer of the Year Awards gala ceremony being held on Thursday 12 September in Melbourne.
Mr Duncan Rowland, AHA Executive Manager for Biosecurity Services, and Mr Brad Siebert, PHA Program Manager, Biosecurity Planning and Implementation, praised the quality of the entries received, highlighting the stiff competition and high standard of entries in this year’s awards that made judging difficult.
The animal finalists are:
• Peter and Frances Bender from Dover in Tasmania, owners and managers of Huon Aquiculture, a large salmon and trout farm and processing enterprise with a veterinary biosecurity plan helping to protect their stock.
• Shelley and Chris Cocker from Evandale in Tasmania, dedicated to educating their fellow sheep farmers about avoiding and managing diseases through their own experiences as producers and through Chris’ work in the local abattoir.
• Richard and Jacquie Halliday from Bordertown in South Australia, beating ovine Johne’s disease whilst demonstrating an open and transparent approach to communication throughout their ordeal.
The plant finalists are:
• Lindsay Bourke, a honeybee keeper from Launceston in Tasmania, devoting his time outside the farm to help fight major risks to the industry such as the Asian honey bee.
• Ron Creagh, a grain and sheep producer from Nungarin in Western Australia who devotes his time representing grains biosecurity matters at the state level and advocates gate signage as a key tool to his biosecurity success.
• Clinton Southern, a sugar cane grower from Ayr in Queensland who has gone ‘back to basics’ and employed old tactics to treat yellow canopy syndrome.