Cairns, Australia – Leading Atherton Tablelands potato grower David Nix has been recognised for his role in developing an innovative lifting system, with the DuPont Community Stewardship Award at this evening’s 2014 AUSVEG National Awards for Excellence Gala Dinner, at the Cairns Convention and Exhibition Centre.

AUSVEG CEO, Richard Mulcahy, praised Mr Nix who is receiving the award in recognition of his working in partnership with local entrepreneur Dick Knowles to conceive and implement the cross-arm ‘scissor action’, hydraulic, bulk-bag-lifter paddock trailers.

“This method has provided a safer way to lift bags onto trucks, as bulk-bags replaced 50kg bags which were previously lifted onto trucks by hand,” said Mr Mulcahy. “The design is now widely used across the Atherton Tablelands, which shows just how much a good idea can change the way we do business for the better.”

Included as a category at the AUSVEG Awards for Excellence for the first time this year, the Community Stewardship Award, sponsored by DuPont recognises an individual or business which has implemented a system or program of safe storage, and use of on-farm materials above and beyond industry standards.

The individual or business must also engage in local or national community events and initiatives, with the objective of developing wider industry and is also required to demonstrate the responsible planning and management of resources, leading to beneficial environmental impacts.

Mr Mulcahy said the award also recognised Mr Nix’s significant involvement in the community, and broader industry, as evidenced by his participation in a Potato Field Day tour of growing operations in the Atherton Tablelands on Sunday June 22.

Mr Nix is also a participant in the EnviroVeg program and has been working to ensure his practices meet current standards.

Mr Mulcahy congratulated Mr Nix and noted the high calibre of nominations across all Awards for Excellence categories this year.

AUSVEG is the leading horticultural body representing Australia’s 9,000 vegetable and potato growers.

The 2014 AUSVEG National Awards for Excellence Gala Dinner was held at the Cairns Convention and Exhibition Centre on Saturday 21 June, and honoured growers and other members of the Australian vegetable and potato industries for outstanding achievements in their respective fields.

The event – the biggest in Australian horticulture – attracted around 1,000 delegates.

For official photos of the awards ceremony, please contact the AUSVEG media contact below.

MEDIA CONTACT: Andrew MacDonald, Spokesperson, AUSVEG Ph: (03) 9882 0277, Mob: 0406 836 330, Email: