Applications opening for 2005 NSW Farmer of the Year awards

Applications for the annual ‘Farmer of the Year’ and the ‘Young Farmer of the Year’ awards are officially open, with farmers of all ages across NSW urged to submit entries.

The awards are designed to acknowledge agricultural excellence, with a particular emphasis on farm profitability and environmental sustainability.

The successful ‘Farmer of the Year’ will be awarded $10,000, with the ‘Young Farmer of the Year’ taking home $5,000.

Both awards will be judged on four key criteria:

  • Farm Management: the achievement of profitability and sustainability
  • Innovation: use of innovation and agricultural research
  • Financial Management: application of financial and risk management systems
  • Community Leadership: involvement in the local community.

The ‘Young Farmer of the Year’ award is open to farmers aged between 16 and 35 years.

NSW Minister for Primary Industries, Ian Macdonald, and NSW Farmers’ Association President, Mal Peters, today appealed to country people to get behind the awards.

Mr Macdonald said he hoped to see this year’s awards attract the same high calibre of entries as for the inaugural 2004 awards – and include applications from a broad spectrum of primary producers.

Application forms are available from NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) and NSW Farmers’ Association websites, publications and staff.

The deadline for applications is Friday, 3 June 2005, with finalists in each category to be announced late June.

The winners will be announced at the NSW Farmers’ Association annual conference dinner in July 2005.

Mr Peters urged farmers working in all aspects of agriculture to submit an application and give themselves a chance to have their efforts acknowledged.

“Too often the achievements of primary producers are overlooked by the broader community, and this award gives us the opportunity to draw attention to highlight these efforts,” Mr Peters said.

Mr Macdonald said last year’s winners, Wilcannia sheep farmer Garry Hannigan and Boggabri cotton farmer Andrew Watson (young FOTY), were excellent examples of the results being achieved by farmers who take on alternative industries and use innovation on-farm.

“I hope these two outstanding farmers inspire their colleagues in the rural sector to have their skills and achievements recognised,” Mr Macdonald said.

“Some of the State’s best business managers work in primary industries, and these prestigious awards play an important part in acknowledging their excellent achievements.”

Finalists will be selected in each category, and will be interviewed by a panel consisting of: NSW Farmers’ Association CEO, Ray Johnson; NSW DPI Director-General, Barry Buffier; Cobar farmer, Marie Russell; and Harden Mayor, Cr Chris Manchester.

NSW DPI’s website address is and NSW Farmers’ Association is at

Media contacts: Carina Bates, Minister Macdonald on (02) 9228 3344 or 0428 531 511or Deborah Schofield, NSW Farmers’ Association on (02) 8251 1804.