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Ag’s finest recognised in Syngenta Growth Awards

Grain Central November 17, 2020

TWENTY-SIX regional winners have been announced in this year’s Syngenta Growth Awards.

Syngenta Australia and New Zealand managing director and country head, Paul Luxton.

The Syngenta Growth Awards recognise leading growers and farm advisers from different regions across Australia and New Zealand, showcasing their contribution to the industry.

Nominations were by invitation and the 26 regional winners will go onto the final stage of judging, with overall winners to be announced early next year.

Syngenta Australia and New Zealand managing director and country head, Paul Luxton, said amid improved agri conditions, changing climate, a complicated global market and a pandemic, there has never been a more important time to promote leadership in agriculture.

“There is a wealth of talent in our industry. Recognising individuals who are leading the way, encouraging and empowering them is vital to the future of Australia and New Zealand’s agribusiness sectors. This has always been true but in 2020 it’s absolutely critical. Good practice, innovation, collaboration and simple passion for the industry is needed now more than ever,” Mr Luxton said.

Since its inception in 2014, the program has offered awards in Productivity, Sustainability, and Community & People categories.

This year, Syngenta has added an Innovator category, to identify growers, advisers and influencers who contribute to innovation in agriculture or apply game-changing technologies.

“Innovation has always been one of the things we look for when judging the awards, because leaders are always testing new ideas and approaches, but this year we chose to go a step further and create a separate category that focuses solely on innovation,” Mr Luxton said.

2020 Syngenta Growth Awards regional winners:

Productivity Growers:

Brad Johnston, grower, Quandialla, NSW

David Haak, grower, Tent Hill, Qld

Simon Doolin, grower, North Star, NSW

Productivity Advisers:

Dale Abbott, adviser, Bowen, Qld

Graeme Jones, adviser, Methven, South Island, NZ

Karen Smith, adviser, Perth, WA

Paul McIntosh, adviser, Toowoomba, Qld

Roger Blyth, adviser, Canterbury, NZ

Tim Walker, adviser, Spalford, Tas

Sustainability Growers:

Adam Schreurs, grower, Clyde, Vic

Murray Hall, grower, Brookton, WA

Sustainability Advisers:

Chris Monsour, adviser, Bowen, Qld

Chris Toohey, adviser, Albury, NSW

Denis Persley, adviser, Brisbane, Qld

Linda Peacock, adviser, Tauranga, NZ

Nigel Meyers, adviser, Lower Eyre Peninsula, SA

Stuart Grigg, adviser, Ballan, Vic

Community and People Growers:

Anthony De Ieso, grower, Adelaide, SA

Brett South, grower, Esperance, WA

Sue Middleton, grower, Wongan Hills, WA

Community and People Advisers:

Alex Thomas, adviser, Torrens Park, SA

Grace Brennan, adviser, Dubbo, NSW

Josh McGregor, adviser, Moree to southern Qld, NSW and Qld


Heath McWhirter, Griffith, NSW

Sarah Nolet, Sydney, NSW

Tanya and Rob Kitto, Geraldton, WA


The 2020 judging panel comprised independent industry specialists, as in years past. This year Mr Luxton was joined on the judging panel by Tyson Foods director of beef sustainability Ian McConnel; Australian Farm Institute executive director Richard Heath; Grassroots Agronomy agronomic consultant Kirrily Condon; and Foodbank Australia chief executive officer Brianna Casey.

“Our judging panel comes from across the supply chain, allowing us to apply a broad perspective when reviewing applications,” Mr Luxton said.

“This is important, because what happens on farm has implications throughout the supply chain and right through to our global economy.”

Nominees were this year asked to complete a series of challenging questions designed not only to demonstrate their achievements and their expertise, but to uncover their views about collaboration across the industry and big picture topics from future agricultural challenges to food security.

Source: Syngenta

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