25 May 2023

A stellar line up of industry leaders have been nominated for the National Awards for Excellence – the Australian horticulture industry’s most prestigious recognition. With 88 growers, businesses, research and industry nominees for nine award categories including the highly-coveted Syngenta Grower of the Year, Corteva Agriscience Young Grower of the Year and Boomaroo Nurseries Women in Horticulture awards.

Hort Connections 2023 will explore the theme of “Knowledge for Growth” to ensure the industry is primed to take advantage of the next generation of research, technology and business innovation to grow the production and value of the horticulture industry.

The Awards will be announced on Wednesday 7 June, at the National Awards for Excellence Gala Dinner, the capstone event for Hort Connections 2023. The Awards highlight the accomplishments of the industry’s leaders and gives an opportunity for the industry to celebrate the best and brightest in their field. The Awards recognise outstanding growers in multiple categories across horticulture, as well as researchers, innovative businesses and leading exporters.

Industry members from around Australia have nominated potential Award candidates, with winners chosen by an independent panel of growers and industry stalwarts from across the horticulture supply chain.

“I would like to congratulate each nominee on their nomination and wish them the best of luck,” said Hort Connections spokesperson Nathan McIntyre.

“To be nominated for an award at Hort Connections is a great honour, and all the nominees have demonstrated their commitment to the horticultural industry and have made a valuable contribution to its ongoing growth and success.

“I would also like to thank those who nominated their peers and colleagues for an award in recognition of their hard work and dedication.”

If you haven’t already registered, visit hortconnections.com.au to view the event program and see the many opportunities on offer for growers and industry members.

About Hort Connections 2023
Hort Connections is a joint initiative between AUSVEG and the International Fresh Produce Association Australia New Zealand (IFPA A-NZ).

These annual events have rapidly become a central fixture in the Australian and New Zealand horticulture calendar, with over 3,000 delegates from all sectors of the horticulture industry attending Hort Connections 2022 and more than 200 commercial and not-for-profit businesses, government departments and industry organisations partnering in the event.

Hort Connections 2023 is being supported by Hort Innovation – Principal Convention Partner – as well as Coles, Nutrien Ag Solutions, Corteva Agriscience, the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, which have come on-board as sponsors of the event.

Nominees for the 2023 National Awards for Excellence
Syngenta Grower of the Year

  • Adam & Chris Schreurs – Schreurs & Sons
  • Brendon Hoyle – Ashbern Farms
  • Con Laftsis – Laftsis Fresh Produce Pty Ltd
  • Daryl & Sally Boardman – Sunnyspot
  • Murray Collins – Collins Bros
  • Pirrone Brothers
  • Shane Eldridge – Eldridge Fresh Organics
  • Taylor Family Produce
  • Templeton Farming Enterprises
  • Tyrone Dickson & Darren Nichol – April Sun Farms
  • Vee Jays Kalfresh Pty Ltd

Corteva Agriscience Young Grower of the Year

  • Daniel Quattrocchi – Monika’s Organics
  • Jarryd Dolling – Dolling Produce
  • Joe & Dominic Boratto – Boratto Farms
  • Joseph Napoleone – Red Rich Fruits
  • Luigi Mondello – Gawler River Produce
  • Mark Russo – Adelaide Hydrofresh
  • Mitch Brimblecome – Moira Farming
  • Robert Arvier – West Pine Ag
  • Sam Pike – Sandy Creek Pineapple Co

Bayer Researcher of the Year

  • Ben Hill-Ling – AgXtra
  • Dr Jianhua Mo – NSW Department of Primary Industries
  • Dr Michael Rettke – SARDI
  • Dr Simon Baxter – University of Melbourne
  • Kevin Dodds – NSW Department of Primary Industries
  • Penny Measham – QDA
  • Prof Femi Askinsanmi – QQAFI
  • Simon Newett – Queensland Department of Agriculture & Fisheries
  • Stewart Lindsay – Department of Agriculture & Fisheries

Butler Market Gardens Environment & Sustainability

  • Andrew Smith – R & R Smith
  • Applied Horticultural Research
  • Fresh Select
  • Kane Busch – Busch Organics
  • Mitch Pursehouse – Naturpac
  • Queensland Fruit & Vegetable Growers
  • Robert Arvier – West Pine Ag
  • Sam Pike – Sandy Creek Pineapple Company
  • Steve Mackinlay – Stahmann Webster
  • Venus Citrus Company Pty Ltd

UPL Tech Innovation Award

  • Applied Horticultural Research
  • Eitan Dan – CropX Ltd
  • Kylie Hall – Hectre
  • LYRO Robotics
  • Sentek Technologies
  • Melons Australia
  • Nelson Australia
  • Onside & Kiwifruit Vine Health
  • Tyrone Dickson & Darren Nichol – April Sun Farms
  • Wyma Solutions

E.E. Muir & Sons Community Stewardship

  • Allan McGann – drumMUSTER (AgSafe)
  • Ann Lyster – Lyster Orchards
  • Green Solutions Wide Bay
  • Joseph Clarke – Centrefarm/ALEDA
  • Kalfresh Vegetables
  • Kylie Jackson – Bundaberg Fruit and Vegetable Growers
  • Michael Tran – E.E.Muir & Sons
  • Susan Finger – Vernview Pty Ltd
  • Trevor Ranford – Summerfruit Australia

Hort Innovation Exporter of the Year

  • Agatha Chau – Centre West Exports
  • Austchilli Group
  • Colleen Dangerfield – VFS Exports
  • Craig Spencer – Cater & Spencer
  • Frank Frappa – Premier Fresh Australia
  • Gianni Lastella – Farmer Group
  • Jade King – Green Valley Fingerlimes
  • Jeremy Haw – Hussey and Co.
  • Kees Versteeg – Qualipac
  • The Avolution

Boomaroo Nurseries Women in Horticulture

  • Angela Ruffo – Tripod Farmers Group
  • Ann Lyster – Lyster Orchards
  • Bree Watson – Bundaberg Fruit & Vegetables Growers
  • Colleen Dangerfield – VFS Exports
  • Jane Taylor – Coles
  • Jessica Jurgens – Vee Jays Kalfresh
  • Liteisha Lochert – Solan Pty Ltd
  • Monika Fiebig – Monika’s Organics Pty
  • Rowena Petrie – Royston Petrie Seeds
  • Susan Finger – D&S Finger

VISY Industry Impact

  • Bruce Scott – Campbells Fertiliser
  • Daniel Fuller – Plants Grow Here
  • Danny Le Feuvre – Australian Honey Bee Industry Council
  • David de Paoli – Austchilli Group
  • Dean Morris – Moricom Orchards Pty Ltd
  • Glenbernie Orchard Pty Ltd
  • goFARM Australia
  • Justin Longhurst – Welby Garden Centre
  • Peter Petsios – SA Tomato Co Nursery
  • Tasmanian Berries – Andrew Terry



Shaun Lindhe, AUSVEG National Manager – Communications
Phone: 03 9882 0277, Mobile: 0405 977 789, Email: shaun.lindhe@ausveg.com.au