COTTON growers and irrigators from throughout the Central Highlands celebrated those who provide support to the industry with the Central Highlands Cotton Growers and Irrigators Association Annual Irrigation Awards and Dinner Dance last Friday night.
The capacity crowd of more than 250 was spellbound listening to guest speaker, farmer and quadriplegic Sam Bailey’s inspirational story during the dinner.
CHCG&IA president Cameron Geddes said Sam Bailey’s ‘can-do’ spirit in the face of adversity had special meaning for association members after a year full of challenges.
“Rain at harvest, the discovery of an exotic cotton pest mealybug, and flooding along the Comet River – it’s been a disappointing year for many, but someone like Sam Bailey shows that you can appreciate what you have and focus your effort into next season.”
Mr Geddes said the evening provided the opportunity to recognise and celebrate the efforts of people who have provided valuable support to their industry.
“The winner of the Irrigator Service to the Industry Award, Ian Burnett, is a successful and passionate farmer who commenced irrigated farming in Emerald in 1982.”
Mr Geddes said he was recognised for his active engagement at a local, state and national level which included roles in the local association, the Fitzroy Basin Food and Fibre Association, the Australian Agricultural Corporation Emerald Campus and most recently as the vice-president for AgForce Queensland.
Agronomist Roger Lindeman was awarded the Iain Mackay Memorial Service to the Industry Award, recognising the advice provided to irrigated cotton and grain producers in Central Highlands since 1980.
The CHCG&IA introduced a new Cotton Quality award for the 2009/10 season.
Awards co-ordinator Susan Maas, said the Cotton Quality award was judged on a grower’s best field greater than 15ha in area. Trevor, Ivy and Derek Elsden from Jenderrie Farms, Emerald, were announced winners.
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