December 6, 2012
A mixed cropping and sheep farming couple from Henty in southern NSW has been named the 2012 NSW Farmer of the Year. Peter and Alison Campbell manage their farm with a view to maximising financial performance while managing natural resources. They crop about two-thirds of their 1550 hectare property as well as run a Merino self-replacing flock. NSW Minister for Primary Industries Katrina Hodgkinson presented the Campbells with the Award at today’s Farm Writers’ Association Christmas lunch attended by 140 people at Parliament House in Sydney. “Peter and Alison Campbell run a very well managed farming operation and are leaders in their local community,” Ms Hodgkinson said. “They impressed the judges with their commitment to profitability and sustainability, and their meticulous approach to weed management.” Ms Hodgkinson also congratulated runner-up Garry Knagge, a ricegrower who manages two adjoining irrigation farms at Gogeldrie west of Leeton in the Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area. “Garry Knagge shows great innovation with his work designing and laser levelling the farm for efficient irrigation,” Ms Hodgkinson said. “Garry should also be congratulated not only for his work with wife Marg on improving their land and environment, but also their contribution to the local community.” NSW Farmers’ President Fiona Simson was very impressed with this year’s finalists. “The Campbells and Knagges are clearly very hard working, innovative and passionate about the job they’re doing,” Ms Simson said. “They are helping us show the broader community the incredible business management skills of our farming men and women. “It’s these skills that ensure the food and fibre we all enjoy are of a high standard, using the latest sustainable production practises, and generating valuable contributions to our national economy.” The annual NSW Farmer of the Year award recognises the best farmers in NSW, focussing on their agricultural management skills, innovation, profitability, environmental sustainability and community involvement. The judges look for farmers who have put the best strategies in place to manage their land and enterprise profitably and sustainably – and each year the competition is strong. The Award is also a celebration of the achievements and resilience of agricultural industries in NSW. The Award is an initiative of NSW Farmers and Department of Primary Industries, with support from The Land and the Royal Agricultural Society of NSW. The Campbells win a cash prize of $5000 plus an overseas farming-related tour.