Potato and vegetable growers have vied for the title of top producers as part of Simplot's Annual Grower Awards. The Awards, which have been in place since 1997, recognise the outstanding achievements of Tasmania's potato and vegetable growers during the 2020-2021 harvest.
Les Murdoch, Simplot Australia's General Manager Agricultural Services, says, "These Awards provide Simplot with the opportunity to acknowledge our best growers and harvesters from the Ulverstone, Scottsdale, and Midlands areas, and recognise some of the younger growers who are doing outstanding work."
"Now, more than ever, it's essential to focus on our local industry, and that means supporting Tasmanian farmers. We're committed to sourcing Aussie vegetables first at Simplot, which Australian families have enjoyed through our Birds Eye and Edgell products for generations.
We are fortunate to work with over 300 hard-working growers across Australia who continue to innovate and develop new agricultural practices with us. It can be a very tough industry at times, and that's why it is important to applaud all our growers and commend the winners, said Mr. Murdoch."
Simplot Grower Award winners receive a travel voucher. Unfortunately, an Awards event will not be held for the second year running due to COVID-19. Nevertheless, Simplot wishes to thank all its growers and congratulates this year's winners:
The Simplot Grower Awards 2020/2021 went to:
- Tasmanian Potato Harvest Contractor of the Year 2020: Williams J & M Nominees
- North West Potato Grower of the Year 2020: Rawlings JA
- Scottsdale Potato Grower of the Year 2020: Bella Vista Partnership
- Midlands Potato Grower of the Year 2020: Johnston SJ & VA Contracting
- Seed Potato Grower of the Year 2020: Pemel Pty Ltd
- Most Improved Potato Grower of the Year 2020: Waasdorp A & CL
- North West Vegetable Grower of the Year 2020 Ellenton Pastoral – Adam Becher
- Midlands Vegetable Grower of the Year 2020: Pine Lodge Pastoral
- Most Improved Vegetable Grower of the Year 2020: Melton Vale Enterprises
These awards also celebrate the Young Growers of the Year. Winners of this award receive a placement in the Cultivating Rural Excellence Program, which helps them develop their own business and provides them with the tools to prosper.
This year the Young Grower Awards went to:
- Simplot Young Grower of the Year 2021 – Potatoes: Jacob Clarke – Esandsea Farming
- Simplot Young Grower of the Year 2021 – Vegetables: Jock Hughes – Cluden Newry Pty Ltd T/A Hughes Family Trust