BORRIKA farmer Leighton Huxtable and South East-based consultant Ken Solly received Spirit of Excellence awards for their contribution to the primary production sector at the Agricultural Bureau of South Australia's 125-year celebration at the West Adelaide Football Club last Friday night.
The event was attended by more than 120 people, including former and current bureau members.
Mr Solly and Mr Huxtable received Service to Primary Production awards.
This award, nominated by Agricultural Bureau branches, recognises the provision of exceptional services to primary production.
Eligibility is not restricted to farmers but to anyone involved with primary production including the service industries, government, education and agri-politics.
Mr Huxtable's family were pioneers in the Borrika area, and settled in the district in 1911.
He was president of the Borrika Agricultural Bureau for two years and was SAFF chairman for six years.
In 1995, Mr Huxtable started the Borrika Buying Group, helping farmers reduce operating costs in their businesses through cheaper input costs.
In 2008, he established Direct Farm Inputs, and a partnership with global agricultural powerhouse Louis Dreyfus was recently announced.
Mr Huxtable was one of the early pioneers of no-till cropping, and was involved in the first 10 years of the Karoonda Sheep Fair/Farm Fair.
The second award recipient, Mr Solly, grew up on the family farm at Yaapeet, Vic, which he managed during the 1980s. In 1997, he was the head of dairy extension at the Kyabram TAFE, Vic, before moving to Naracoorte in 1998, where he worked as a TAFE lecturer.
In 2001, Mr Solly established business consultancy firm Solly Business Services. He has been a regular facilitator of SAFF meetings, and also acted as the Victorian Young Farmers deputy state president from 1972 to 1975.
Mr Solly is now a regular columnist in the Stock Journal.
Chloe Shaw, Waikerie, was awarded the Rural Youth Bursary, a grant for young people aged between 18 and 30 years and working in rural areas. It provides the opportunity to pursue further study, undertake a study tour or develop a special project in their chosen career.
Ms Shaw works as a technical officer for Jubilee Almonds in the Riverland.
The $5000 bursary will see her travel to the San Joaquin Valley in California, US, where she hopes to build networks with researchers, and gain insights on latest developments within the almond industry.
"I'm keen to implement field trials and improve orchard management techniques for the almond industry back in Australia," Ms Shaw said.
"The goal is to maximise productivity in the industry and overcome challenges we're faced with."
The Peter Olsen Fellowship was awarded to Celia Scott, Poolaijelo, in western Vic. The annual agricultural fellowship is given to a young farmer between the ages of 18 and 35 and aims to boost on-farm skills and knowledge.
The funds go towards further study, study tours or special projects. It is named after the late Peter Olsen, an Advisory Board of Agriculture member at the time of this death in a tragic plane accident in 2002.
Ms Scott received $8000 to assist with her plan of setting up a paddock-to-plate enterprise in the state's south-east.
"As a proud producer, I would like to improve the image of agriculture through direct producer and consumer communication," she said.
* Full report in Stock Journal, October 17 issue, 2013.