Innovation, best practice and passion are the common features of the 83 growers, researchers, agronomists and other industry stakeholders that make up the list of finalists for the Horticulture Awards for Excellence, announced today.

The Horticulture Awards for Excellence acknowledge and highlight Australia’s industry-leading growers and industry members, with a focus on exceptional innovation and contribution over the past 12 months.

“On behalf of AUSVEG, I congratulate all our finalists in this year’s Horticulture Awards for Excellence,” said AUSVEG National Manager – Events and Partnerships Nathan McIntyre.

“Our finalists this year come from all corners of Australian horticulture and right across the supply chain, and they represent the innovation, passion and dedication that characterise our industry.”

The winners of the nine award categories will be announced during the Hort Connections 2024 conference and trade show held at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre next week.

Horticulture Awards for Excellence 2024 finalists

Syngenta Grower of the Year

  • Coolibah Herbs, VIC
  • Paul Meiers, Meiers PF & MA, QLD
  • Velisha Farms, VIC
  • Candy MacLaughlin, Skybury Farms, QLD
  • Gerard Alampi, Prima Fresh, VIC
  • Noel Mason, AG & HC Mason, SA
  • Macadamia Farm Management, QLD
  • Georgia Beattie, Bulla Mushrooms, VIC
  • Rocky Lamattina & Sons, VIC
  • Frank Musolino, Musolino Farms, SA

Corteva Agriscience Young Grower of the Year

  • Jeremy Trembath, Lonesome Duck Station, NT
  • Zeke Zalsman, Zaldeesh Farms, WA
  • Clinton Crust, Mt Sylvia Fresh, QLD
  • Jacob Jurgens, Vee Jay’s Kalfresh, QLD
  • Blake Reeve, Reeve Tasmania Pty Ltd, TAS
  • Jennifer Hulme, Hinkler Park Pty Ltd, QLD
  • Daniel Quattrocchi, Monikas Organics, SA
  • Georgia Beattie, Bulla Mushrooms, VIC
  • Lachlan Schreurs, Schreurs And Sons, VIC
  • Jack Cafcakis, Cafcakis Nominees, SA

Bayer Researcher of the Year

  • Vinay Pagay, University of Adelaide, SA
  • Stewart Lindsay, Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, QLD
  • Sandra Dennien, Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, QLD
  • Steele Jacob, Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD), WA
  • Sukhvinder Pal (SP) Singh, NSW Department of Primary Industries, NSW
  • Nancy Schellhorn, RapidAIM, QLD
  • Nick Diamantopoulos, Australian Garlic Producers, VIC
  • Michael Considine, The University of Western Australia- WA
  • Doris Blaesing, RMCG, VIC

Butler Market Gardens Environment & Sustainability

  • Jeremy Trembath, Lonesome Duck Station, NT
  • Craig Van Rooyen, Van Rooyen Family Trust, QLD
  • Grown Smart Produce, WA
  • End Food Waste Australia, Australian Banana Grower’s Council and Melons Australia, SA
  • Mitolo Family Farms, SA
  • Green Camel Organic Produce, NSW
  • Georgia Beattie, Bulla Mushrooms, VIC
  • Clyde Compost, VIC
  • Green Solutions Wide Bay, QLD
  • Isaac Sandercock, Propak Industries, SA

UPL Tech Innovation Award

  • BASF Nunhems, QLD
  • Vinay Pagay, University of Adelaide, SA
  • Bitwise Agronomy, TAS
  • Manjula N Udagepolage Don, Dualchelate Fertilizer Pty Ltd, SA
  • AgriSmart, VIC
  • Qualipac, QLD
  • HTM Complete, QLD
  • RapidAIM, QLD
  • Tripod Farmers, VIC
  • Schreurs & Sons, VIC

Muirs Community Stewardship

  • VEG Education, VIC
  • Anthony De Ieso, Thorndon Park Produce, SA
  • Prima Fresh, VIC
  • EGVID Pty Ltd, VIC
  • Peter (Pepe) Fassos, Five Sixty Farms, NSW
  • Kylie Jackson, Regional Grower Services, QLD
  • Stuart Griggs, 2023 Victorian Vegetable Innovation Day, VIC
  • Paul Pezzaniti, Platinum Ag Services, SA

Hort Innovation Exporter of the Year

  • Paul Meiers, Meiers PF & MA, QLD
  • Pacific Coast Eco Bananas, QLD
  • Craig Van Rooyen, Van Rooyen Family Trust, QLD
  • Matthew Benham, Top Citrus, QLD
  • Schreurs & Sons, VIC
  • Farmer Group, SA
  • Nutrano Produce Group, NSW

Boomaroo Nurseries Women in Horticulture

  • Joy Jarvis, Prime Organics, WA
  • Jade King, Green Valley Fingerlimes, QLD
  • Sara Orr, Trandos Farms, WA
  • Gail Woods, Fresh Markets Australia, VIC
  • Megan Crowhurst, Arbour Grove Nursery, QLD
  • Bronwyn Walsh, Agricultural Produce Commission, WA
  • Bree Watson, Bundaberg Fruit and Vegetable Growers, QLD
  • Stephanie Knight, Rijk Zawaan, VIC
  • Alecia Leav, PN Leav Pty Ltd, SA

VISY Industry Impact

  • Joseph Clarke, Joseph Clarke, NT
  • Joseph Cane-Oram, Sensand, VIC
  • Mark Pullin, VEG Education, VIC
  • Ian Layden, The Gatton Smart Farm AgTech Showcase, QLD
  • Theunis Smit, Omen Ag, QLD
  • Luke Jurgens , NQ Aerovation, QLD
  • Monika Fiebig, Monikas Organics, SA
  • Andrew Bulmer, EGVID PTY LTD, VIC
  • Stuart Grigg, 2023 Victorian Vegetable Innovation Day, VIC
  • Dr Anita Marquart, Biological Services, SA


For more information about Hort Connections and to register for the event, please visit

Media Contact: Andrew MacDonald. Phone: 03 9882 0227, Mobile: 0406 836 330, Email: