Inaugural Reef Rescue awards recognise top achieving farmers

THE Queensland Farmers’ Federation and the Regional NRM Groups Collective today congratulated the inaugural farmer and grazier winners of the Reef Rescue Awards, unveiled at a ceremony in Cairns this evening (Thursday May 9).

The top achieving farmers have been recognised for their outstanding achievements through involvement in the Reef Rescue program, by completing on farm projects that deliver substantial environmental outcomes and also improve farm productivity.

QFF CEO Dan Galligan said that under such a successful program as Reef Rescue, which had driven widespread practice change and innovation, choosing winners was always going to be a difficult task.

“But these winners are standout participants in Reef Rescue, are champions of the program, and are prime examples of why this program has been such a huge success since it began in 2008,” Mr Galligan said.

The winners are from a range of Queensland regions:

  • Dairy award winner: Geoff Downie, Monto.
  • Sugarcane award winner: Rodney Lamb, Marian.
  • Grains award winner: David and Adele O’Connor, Springsure.
  • Grazing award winner: Barry and Leanne O’Sullivan, Bowen.
  • Horticulture award winner: Ian Barnes, Mission Beach.

CEO of Queensland’s Regional NRM Groups Collective, Andrew Drysdale, said the awards gave recognition to farmers and graziers who had worked hard on changing management practices for the better.

“Monto dairy farmer Geoff Downie is one of the winners, and he has completed a number of great projects at the family’s property, including a very impressive creek crossing that keeps his cows healthy and out of the mud and water, and also improves water quality in the creek.

“Across the winning categories, these are all leading farmers and have made significant contributions of their own funds to improved practices.

“RGC joins with QFF and all industry bodies and regional groups in congratulating these winners and thanking all nominated farmers for their contribution to the Reef Rescue program.”