Tasmanian grower, Mr John McKenna, has been recognised with the Netafim Environment Award at the 2013 AUSVEG National Awards for Excellence for his leading work in controlled-traffic farming.

The 2013 AUSVEG National Awards for Excellence are the horticulture industry’s premier awards and recognise leaders across multiple areas of the Australian vegetable industry.
AUSVEG is the leading horticulture body representing 9,000 Australian vegetable and potato growers. 
Mr McKenna has actively worked with local researchers to turn research into action on his farm in the fertile soils of the north-west region of Tasmania. 
Controlled-traffic farming involves management of tilling practices and traffic management on-farm to ensure that soil does not become compacted. The practice improves the sustainability of soil by building organic matter and improving soil structure. 
AUSVEG Chairman, John Brent, congratulated Mr McKenna, praising his commitment to work with researchers and provide important feedback on how research can be implemented on-the-ground.
“It is important to our industry that research does not just exist in the theoretical space, but is taken up and implemented by growers throughout Australia. Mr McKenna’s appreciation of this productivity technology and his adaption of it to environmental techniques was key to him receiving the prestigious Netafim Environment Award,” said Mr Brent.
Controlled-traffic farming is an important tool for Australian vegetable farmers to manage their soils sustainably over the long term, while also being good stewards of industry.
“Mr McKenna is providing important proof-of-concept which can be communicated to researchers, but more importantly other growers.”.
“While AUSVEG’s experience is that growers are unlikely to read lengthy research reports, they are always keen to know what’s going on over the back fence in their neighbours’ properties. In this sense Mr McKenna’s work is very important to ensuring broader uptake of controlled-traffic farming within his region,” said Mr Brent. 
The Environment Award is sponsored by leading irrigation supplier Netafim, in recognition of their innovative work in drip irrigation and water efficiency. 
Photos can be supplied on request, along with interviews with award winners through the below media contact.
MEDIA CONTACT: William Churchill, Public Affairs Manager, AUSVEG 
Email: william.churchill@ausveg.com.au, Phone: (03) 9822 0388, Mobile: 0411 166 748.