NSW Farmer of the Year encourages others to get involved

One of the best things I’ve ever done” – is how Gary Johnston from Forbes in the State’s Central West describes his participation in the NSW Farmer of the Year Award.

Mr Johnston, the 2006 NSW Farmer of the Year, is encouraging other farmers to nominate for this year’s award – with entries closing on Friday 28 September.

“It’s been an extremely rewarding experience for me,” said the mixed irrigated lucerne and livestock farmer.

“The 2006 awards helped me get more involved in my industry and allowed me to promote Australian agriculture and the resilience of our farmers during drought.

“It also put the spotlight on the Forbes district in a very positive way and showcased the 35 years we have put into our farm’s productivity and water use efficiency.”

Mr Johnston is now chairperson of the Excellence in Agriculture Committee at the Royal Agricultural Society, and tasked with helping to run the Sydney Show.

“I was invited to be an RAS councillor as a result of my Farmer of the Year success. Since then I have moved on to the chairperson role,” he said.

“Being Farmer of the Year has also given me international corporate exposure, helping to attract investment in a joint venture I was involved in.

“It’s led to a greater involvement in my industry, great contacts and access to industry leaders and government.

“I couldn’t be more positive about the awards and hope anyone who is thinking about entering goes ahead and throws their hat in the ring.”

The annual award recognises excellence in agriculture through management skills, innovation, profitability, environmental sustainability and community involvement.

The award is an initiative of the NSW Farmers’ Association and NSW Department of Primary Industries, with support from The Land and the Royal Agricultural Society of NSW.

The Farmer of the Year wins a cash prize of $5,000 plus joins an overseas farming related tour group. The runner-up will take home $5,000.

Application forms are available at www.nswfarmers.org.au or at www.dpi.nsw.gov.au.

Entries close Friday 28 September 2012.