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Young farmer shows elite qualities

09 Sep 2015

New South Wales sheep farmer Anika Molesworth has been crowned the 2015 Case IH Young Farmer of the Year at the Kondinin Group-ABC Rural Australian Farmer of the Year Awards in Sydney on Wednesday, September 9.

Anika’s commitment to embracing organic farming set her apart from her peers, according to Case IH Product Manager, Pete McCann, who was part of the judging panel.

“Anika is an outstanding prospect in all facets of the industry,” Pete said.

“Her commitment to organic farming has yielded plenty of success, but her drive to further her studies to ultimately benefit the global agricultural industry is exceptional.

“She has already been recognised deservedly in this industry, and while it was a tough choice to pick from such an elite group of finalists, we believe Anika is a worthy winner.”

Anika’s organic mindset has been incredibly successful, as demonstrated by the high occurrence of twins and triplets breeding, and the stock consistently achieving top results at the saleyard.

Anika has combined her passion for agriculture and science research into working as Research Assistant on a Charles Sturt University and Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) project located in southern Laos.

The project seeks to develop crop-livestock systems platforms for capacity building, commercialisation and community learning in a region troubled by food scarcity and poverty.

With outstanding financial credentials, Anika was named the National Winner of Sales and Service by Suncorp Bank and one of the Top 100 Women in Australian Agribusiness in 2014 by Emerald Grain and Fairfax Agricultural Media.

Anika also holds a Bachelor degree in Science specialising in agribusiness, and is currently undertaking a Masters degree in Sustainable Agriculture.

“Australia’s Young Farmer of the Year offers the opportunity to share ideas and develop strategies on the role and purpose of agriculture in Australia in the 21st Century and beyond,” Anika said.

“I have a great passion for agriculture and a desire to create sustainable industries that meet the needs of the present without limiting the resources available for future generations.

“With this responsibility, I would wholeheartedly promote Australia’s agricultural sector, highlighting both its boundless opportunities and drawing recognition to the challenges that face farmers.

“I hope to inspire others to embrace the diverse and rewarding prospects that Australian agriculture has to offer.”

​“As members of the agriculture industry it’s important that we tell positive stories about farming, and young people in our industry must be recognised for the role they play in raising the bar for future generations." – Bruce Healy.

While Anika received the title, the other two finalists, David Bell and Cameron Moore, also demonstrated their commitment to the industry.

For instance, when David Bell took over his family’s 200,000ha beef property on the South Australian Birdsville Track at age 27, it was during the worst drought in Dulkaninna Station’s 119-year history.

David, who runs the entire enterprise, introduced new tools to managing the station, both in the paddock and the office, and uses his excellent networks to increase his own knowledge and help others.

Tasmania’s Cameron Moore is another with an eye to active local community involvement, as he aims to help overcome common issues such as water supply and irrigation.

Cameron grew up farming vegetables, but his decision to introduce grazing cattle successfully maximised the farm’s production on their hilly north-eastern terrain. Cameron and his business partner employ 30 full-time staff at Farm Fresh Vegetables, and he has expanded the vegetables they grow.

This was the third year in a row that Case IH has sponsored the Award.

Case IH Brand Leader, Bruce Healy says it’s important to put the spotlight on young, innovative producers in agriculture.

“As members of the agriculture industry it’s important that we tell positive stories about farming, and young people in our industry must be recognised for the role they play in raising the bar for future generations.

“These Awards recognise young farmers who are planning for the future: not just on their own farms, but helping others – young and old – to improve their farming practices and increase productivity.

“All of these young farmers show what is possible. While propelling themselves, they are also helping others improve their own farming practices and futures. They are showing why young farmers are so important to our industry.

“We can read and hear a lot about difficulties and hardships in Australian farming but through the Australian Farmer of the Year Awards we can see and hear so much more about the positives and strengths.

“The future of Australian agriculture is bright,” Bruce said.

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