THE winners of the 2016 Peter Kenny Medal and the Minister’s Emerging Leaders Award have been recognised for their contribution to the agricultural sector at the AgFutures Conference in Brisbane.
At the conference dinner tonight, Mundubbera’s Dan Papacek was named the winner of the 2016 Peter Kenny Medal while Duaringa’s Claire Dunne won the Emerging Leaders Award.
The awards were established to reward and encourage those who had made outstanding contributions to a better future in agriculture, fisheries or forestry.
Agriculture minister Bill Byrne said the awards had attracted a very strong field of applicants and the winners were very worthy recipients. Mr Byrne also congratulated all of the nominees.
The Peter Kenny Medal, and $3000, was the prize for innovation leading to profitability and sustainability.
“Mr Kenny was an influential and devoted advocate of agriculture, rural education and regional communities.
“He was passionate about agriculture and rural issues and educating the next generation of producers. Applicants for this prize had to be involved in agriculture, fisheries or forestry in some capacity.
“Winner Dan Papacek is a leader in his field, committed to advancing Queensland agriculture through the use of integrated pest management.
“His mission is to help Australian growers achieve best practice management with minimal pesticides.
“Dan has been a true role model and leader through his generosity in educating and mentoring young researchers and providing unfunded extension advice to growers.
“He started his business Bugs for Bugs in Mundubbera in 1981, at a time when integrated pest management and use of beneficial insects to control pest insects was not common practice.
"Dan’s perseverance and belief in the science has meant that Bugs for Bugs is now one of Australia’s leading suppliers of biological control agents.”
The Minister’s Emerging Leaders Award recognises an individual from within the primary industry sector who has demonstrated outstanding leadership or potential to make a contribution to their field or profession, the wider industry and the community.
The award is for up and comers and is only open to young leaders aged 18 to 30
“Inaugural winner Claire Dunne receives a $2000 prize to further develop her career and leadership capabilities,” Mr Byrne said.
“Claire is the creator and current editor-in-chief of rural women’s magazine Graziher, a collection of women’s stories, feature articles, recipes and interviews on a variety of rural topics.
“We know that life on the land can be very lonely for many women, and the reception to Claire’s magazine has shown the broad and diverse market there is for this type of literature.
“Graziher is reducing the isolation, connecting communities and showcasing the myriad of opportunities available in rural and remote locations.”
Mr Byrne said the Palaszczuk Government was committed to driving innovation, building on Queensland’s natural advantages and raising Queensland’s profile as attractive investment destination.
“Building this future will largely depend on attracting and nurturing Queensland’s best and brightest by giving them opportunities to develop their skills and put their ideas into action,” Mr Byrne said.
“These awards have revealed the high calibre of nominees from a across a variety of industries and roles, and the finalists all demonstrated exceptional leadership in their chosen fields.
“I commend them for their hard work, commitment and passion for advancing Queensland’s agricultural interests.”