Creating a better future for Australian apple and pear growers, through industry leadership and commercial advancement.
APAL is proud to present the 2022 Awards for Excellence recipients, a group of outstanding individuals who have helped shape and influence our industry across all areas.
Grower of the Year: Trent Vedelago, FonleaOrchards, Granite Belt, Queensland
Grower of the Year is awarded to an individual who is outstanding across all aspects of production, including growing, environmental management, staff management and product quality.
Stanthorpe orchardist Trent Vedelago keeps a sharp focus on quality and consistency, pays attention to detail and – as much as he is able – ‘makes no mistakes!’It is the consistency of high yields and quality achieved under Trent’s guidance as operations manager at Fonlea Orchards, his innovation and enormous resilience that brought the orchard through the 2019-20 drought, making Trent the standout choice for the 2022 Grower of the Year award.
Lifetime Achievement: Dr Ben Darbyshire, Western Australia
An individual who has provided motivational and inspirational leadership for the advancement of the apple and pear industry at a local community level or for the Australian apple and pear industry more generally.
All-rounder Dr Ben Darbyshire has played a critical role in the Western Australian apple industry for more than 20 years, including nine years as chairman of the Fruit West Co-operative, which was responsible for the commercialisation of the new burgundy-coloured WA apple variety, ANABP 01 (marketed as Bravo™). His unique set of skills gained as a scientist, industry leader and apple grower made him the ideal recipient for the APAL 2022 Lifetime Achievement.
Young Grower of the Year: Sam Boyce, MJ Hall & Sons, Mooroopna, Goulburn Valley, Victoria
An grower who champions the success of the industry and shows a commitment to innovation, helping to define the next generation of growers.
Sam Boyce loves the diversity and challenge of the orchard in his job as orchard operations manager for MJ Hall & Sons. In recent years, Sam has played host to trials of new technologies from SwarmFarm Robotics, Bayer Crop Science, and Inspired Ag, and provided valuable feedback. He has implemented the use of pneumatic defoliation and hosted new chemistry registration trials, always with an eye to the business and sustainability case for the orchards. Sam’s love for his job and the industry are at the heart of his achievement as 2022 Young Grower of the Year.
Women in Horticulture: Rien Silverstein, Silver Orchards, Goulburn Valley, Victoria
A female industry member who has demonstrated outstanding ability and success in their chosen field, whether it is growing, research and development, farm management, or otherwise.
Winner of the 2022 Women in Horticulture award, Rien Silverstein emphasises the importance of working with others to benefit the whole community. Rien joined Australian Women in Agriculture in its early days and the Victorian Farmers Federation in 1998, eventually going on to join the boards of the Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority and VFF. She enjoys giving advice to the new generation of growers and even suggested that the new generation form a Young Growers Group of Fruit Growers Victoria at the VFF.
Research and Extension: Dr Ian Goodwin, Goulburn Valley, Victoria
A researcher who has a track record of research or extension work that has advanced the industry offering long-term industry benefits.
This year Dr Ian Goodwin celebrates 40 years as an agricultural scientist, with 30 of them in apple and pear research. As such, it was no surprise that Ian was named the 2022 Research and Extension Provider of the Year. Ian is currently project leader for two projects in the PIPS3 research program. One of which is the smarter and sustainable pear orchards project, looking at management systems and techniques to maximise productivity and fruit quality in new blush pears as well as traditional cultivators.
Marketer of the Year: Nic Giblett, Newton Orchards, Manjimup, Western Australia
Open to any individual or team who through a marketing campaign has shown excellence in the marketing of apples and pears in Australia.
The 2022 Marketer of the Year, Nic Giblett, is clear about what she sees as the keys to successful promotion of the apple and pear industry and its produce; quality above everything, good relationships with customers, and integrity and openness in their dealings.Nic has invested many hours in enticing local workers to the farm and packhouse environments through the WA Government’s ‘Work and Wander out Yonder’ campaign. However, Nic emphasises that this is a team award, stating that “marketing is never an individual effort.”
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