DIMBULAH paw paw, lime and papaya farmer Chris Maisel of Maisel Ag Pty Ltd has been nominated for the 2019 National Corteva Young Grower of the Year Award.
The award recognises fruit and vegetable growers under the age of 35 who have exemplified a strong commitment to innovation along with a dedication to their community and the agricultural industry as a whole.
The Corteva Young Grower of the Year Award will be presented at the 2019 National Awards of Excellence during Hort Connections in Melbourne later this month.
Mr Maisel noted his surprise at receiving a nomination.
“I was humbled, to think that someone believes what I’m doing is worthy of a nomination means a lot to me,” he said.
“The nomination was completely out of the blue, this past year was my first year involved in horticulture – before this I lived my whole life on the family cane farms in Arriga.”
Mr Maisel said he believes he had been shortlisted due to his multi-faceted approach to horticulture.
“I bring to the industry my background in cropping and education (BAgribusiness and BAppSc-Agronomy),” he said.
“Together these have taught me to challenge current methods, implement changes and have the desire to support the industry as a whole through direct participation in improvement programs.
“My goal is to use my experience and education to drive productivity, encompassing best management practices and integrated pest management.
“I try to bring a modern approach to old problems, doing so by working in collaboration with the industry papaya breeding program for future proofing the industry.”
Mr Maisel took time to thank those who have played an integral role in his short yet successful horticultural career thus far.
“I would like to thank Bindi, Grahame and Tim of GT AG Services, Tolga, for their on-going support and services,” he said.
“Of course, I also want to thank my family for their encouragement, support and guidance.”
While Mr Maisel’s nomination is an exceptional achievement on an individual level, he wanted to focus on promoting horticulture as an attractive future for young people.
“It’s about getting more young people studying and into career paths, not just as growers, but the whole supply chain of horticulture,” he said.
“There is a strong future in horticulture that needs young people to help solve challenges such as labour, water security and better varieties etc.
“It’s about showing that young growers can add value and make a difference to their industry by bringing innovative and fresh ideas and wide-ranging skill sets.”