The vegetable industry’s night of nights is imminent with AUSVEG Chairman John Brent announcing the finalists of nine award categories this morning.

“Nominations for the National Awards for Excellence have exceeded the numbers we’ve had in previous years,” Mr Brent said.

AUSVEG is the national peak industry body representing the interests of around 9,000 vegetable and potato growers around Australia.

Finalists for the Grower of the Year Award, sponsored by Syngenta, include: Frank Ruffo of Bacchus Marsh, VIC; Gazzola Farms of Narre Warren South, VIC; Jim Trandos of Wanneroo, WA; Joe D’anastasi of Glenorie, NSW; Daryl Lohrey of Launceston, TAS; and, Andrew De Dezsery of Two Wells, SA.

Finalists for the Researcher of the Year Award, sponsored by Bayer CropScience, include: Ian Porter of Ferntree Gully, VIC; Len Tesoriero of Camden, NSW; Rohan Prince of WA; and, Andrew De Dezsery.

Finalists for the Industry Recognition Award, sponsored by DuPont, include: Frank Ruffo; Jim Turley of West Perth, WA; Dan Trimboli of Pennant Hills, NSW; John Gallagher of City Beach, WA; and, Andrew De Dezsery.

Finalists for the Productivity Partner Award, sponsored by Elders, include: Andrew De Dezsery; Syngenta; Scott Campbell of Ballard, QLD; George Vorrasi of Two Wells, SA; and Steven Ziebarth of Queensland.

Finalists for the Industry Impact Award, sponsored by Boomaroo Nurseries, include: Gazzola Farms; Gavin Foord of West Perth, WA; and, Andrew De Dezsery.

Finalists for the Women in Horticulture Award, sponsored by McCains Foods, include: Allison Jane Clark of Cambridge, TAS; Jane Lovell of Launceston, TAS; Joyce Babin of Carnarvon, WA; Denise Ellement of Wattleup, WA; Maureen Dobra of Gingin, WA; Val Murphy of Thopdale, VIC, and, Narelle West of Kalbar, QLD.

Finalists for the Young Grower of the Year Award, sponsored by Dow AgroSciences, include: Damien Rigali of Wanneroo, WA; Andrew Bulmer of Lindenow, VIC; and, Daniel Maher, of Ballarat, VIC.

Finalists for the Innovative Marketing Award, sponsored by Brisbane Produce Market, include: Rick Butler of Black Rock, VIC; Western Potatoes of West Perth, WA; Joe D’anastasi of Glenorie, NSW; Candy Michaelis of Adelaide, SA; and, Andrew Phillips of Childers, QLD.

The Premier’s Award will be presented by Queensland Minister for Tourism and Fair Trade Peter Lawlor, who will represent Premier Anna Bligh in a category honouring an outstanding member of the vegetable industry.

Finalists for the award are David Anderson from Shoalwater in WA and Rob Robson of Carole Park, QLD.

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