National Farmers' Federation

NFF launches 2009 Innovation in Agriculture Awards

AS OF today the National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) is calling for nominations under its inaugural 2009 NFF/DAFF Innovation in Agriculture Awards, which encourage and recognise excellence in modern farm activity. Celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, the NFF is instituting the Awards to acknowledge the pioneering advances and outstanding contributions made by modern farmers. The NFF welcomes the Australian Government’s involvement as the official 2009 Awards sponsor – through the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry’s (DAFF’s) Australia’s Farming Future initiative. Australian Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Tony Burke said the Government was happy to support the 2009 Innovation in Agriculture Awards. “Australians regularly acknowledge the resilience of our farmers, but don’t always give our farmers the credit they deserve for innovation,” Mr Burke said. “Part of the secret behind the success of Australian agriculture is that Australians are smarter farmers than the rest of the world.” NFF President David Crombie added: “The benefits of new and diverse practices at the farm-gate not only improve farm endeavours in terms of production, but drive gains in the efficiency and competitiveness of the entire farm sector. These benefits flow through to the broader community, enhancing Australia’s economic performance, environmental management and social cohesion. “Australian farmers are adept at managing changing circumstances and meeting new and emerging challenges. It’s only fitting we recognise those efforts. The farm sector is already preparing to meet the challenges of increasing climate variability, prolonged droughts, the deepening world food crisis and the need to produce more food from limited resources. “We envisage these Awards becoming part of the tradition of the newly revitalised NFF, having taken the approach this year of broadening farm representation by being more inclusive of all areas that are fundamentally intertwined with modern farming.” The NFF/DAFF Innovation in Agriculture Awards are designed to facilitate existing state and commodity-based Award programs, and their winners, in achieving national recognition, while also enabling those farmers undertaking specific innovation activities to also nominate under the national Awards. The Awards cover four categories: * Sustainability; * Value Adding; * New Technology; and * Community Development. The Awards are open to all farmers who are full financial members of NFF member organisations – be they state farm groups or commodity councils. Farmers may nominate themselves or be nominated by their state farm or commodity group. Under the Community Development category, farmers may be nominated by any person or organisation. The 2009 NFF/DAFF Innovation in Agriculture Awards Entry Guide – providing details and examples on each Award, the criteria for entry and guidance on application format, is available from the NFF Congress website at: http://www.congress.nff.org.au/awards.html[2009 Innovation in Agriculture Awards]. Nominations close Friday 3 April 2009. The Awards will be announced and presented at the Gala Dinner of the NFF National Congress. The Awards ceremony will be held at The Brisbane Convention Centre on the evening of Monday 22 June 2009. [ENDS]

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