WHEN Maurie Conway stepped up to accept the AgForce Service to Grains Industry award on Friday, the pride on his face was hard to hide.
Mr Conway retired from his post with the Department of Agriculture today, and after a sterling 29 years working with growers around Central Queensland, he said he plans to pack up his new caravan and hit the road.
He said his favourite part of his job over the past decades was the people he worked with, who he said were “twice as smart as me”.
“My first passion was pastures,” he said.
“And then I got invovled in farming systems, and that was a really big step up for DPI at the time, there wasn’t a whole lot of technology in the filing cabinet so a lot of that was demonstration.
“Growers cottoned on pretty quick to the way forward.”
Mr Conway, known affectionately around Central Queensland as the “old school advisor”, was given a true sendoff at the CQ Grains Industry Gala Dinner in Emerald last Friday.
Central Highlands Mayor Kerry Hayes took to the microphone on the night.
“I don’t mind saying this – Maurie is widely known as the old school advisor, and I think he likes that term,” Cr Hayes said.
“Maurie’s career spans four decades, and he has been an agronomy expert in CQ for three of those.
“He has played an integral part in the adoption and implementation of farming systems in this region.”
After growing up on a mixed farm at Baralaba, attending the local high school and then going to Gatton for college, Maurie said he returned to Central Queensland in 1989 to work in pasture research in Biloela, before making the move to Emerald in 1988.
Mr Conway said he has enjoyed almost every aspect of his job with the department, and said seeing technology capabilities, and uptake, increase dramatically over the span of his career has been a highlight.
AgForce grains president Wayne Newton, Dalby, also congratulated Mr Conway on his lengthy contributions to the industry.
Mr Conway joked that he could not promise he would not be pulling over the caravan regularly to take samples.