Victorian "king of salad" wins Australian Farmer of the Year 2017 Award
The head of a Gippsland company that utilizes world's best harvest and post-harvest technology in leafy green production has won the prestigious 2017 Kondinin Group and ABC Rural Australian Farmer of the Year Award.
Andrew Bulmer, a farmer and family man from the small town of Lindenow in Gippsland, Victoria, was given the honor in light of his business prowess and innovative approach to farming.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Barnaby Joyce, congratulated winners across all categories of the awards, highlighting the importance of talking up the sector and celebrating successes.
"The Australian Farmer of the Year, 37-year-old Andrew Bulmer, is the king of fresh salads managing a family-run farm at Lindenow in Victoria and has overseen a 400 per cent increase in his farm’s washed salad business in just 18 months,” Joyce said in a release.
"Like so many farmers Andrew has been looking for new technologies and thinking outside the box to improve his business."
Member for Gippsland, Darren Chester, also congratulated the winners for their dedication to the agriculture sector and to contributing to the success of rural and regional Australia.
“Events like this are important and innovators like Andrew Bulmer are setting a great example for the people of regional Australia and those involved in the agricultural sector,” Chester said.
“Andrew puts his family farm’s success down to hard work and the efficiencies gained through the successful early adoption of new harvest and post-harvest technologies.”
Bulmer said his company Bulmer Farms' farming footprint had grown following expansion into new regions and a focus on setting up the enterprise as a "farm-of-the-future".
"To achieve this, we needed to implement the key knowledge and learnings gained over the decades, as well as incorporating world’s best practice and the innovation available right now," Bulmer said.
"Our washing and drying process has enabled us to achieve a dryer product. This has increased shelf life and opened up export opportunities through our marketing business, Green Acres Australia.
"We have also brought a new harvester from the United States, which has increased our efficiency at harvest, giving us a better product to run through our washline."
Australian Farmer of the Year award winners for 2017:
• Australian Farmer of the Year: Andrew Bulmer, Victoria
• Young Farmer of the Year: Jason Smith, Victoria
• Farming Legend of the Year: John Bennett, Tasmania
• Rural Community Leader of the Year Award: Kristy Sparrow, Queensland
• Rural Consultant of the Year: Greg Mills, New South Wales
• Excellence in Innovation: Rob Cook, Queensland
• Excellence in Technology: Lachlan Seears, South Australia
• Excellence in Diversification: James Walker, Queensland