The Gwydir Valley Cotton Growers Association (CGA) held their annual Charity Dinner and Awards night on Thursday, August 31 at the Max Centre in Moree.
Nearly 140 growers and industry supporters were there to help fundraise for the CGA’s charity and scholarship programs but also help celebrate the achievements of the industry.
Gwydir Valley CGA Chair, Sean Boland opened the evening.
“One of the great things about nights like tonight is that it provides us with the opportunity to recognise individuals from our local industry and their achievements,” he said.
“But evenings wouldn’t be possible without the support of all our sponsors and those in attendance. We remain very grateful for our sponsors’ continued support.”
During the evening, the dryland and irrigated cotton grower of the year awards were presented. These awards aim to have crops within the region objectively compared and promote the best performing crop in terms of yield and field management.
Ms Alice Devlin from CSD and Dr Janelle Montgomery from CottonInfo announced the winners of this year’s crop.
“The dryland winner being a new grower to the industry really highlights the opportunity of cotton growing potential within the region,” Ms Devlin said.
“The expansion of the industry to the east is really exciting, and the Thompsons have shown just how successful the crop can be in in this area.”
Mr John and Sarah Thompson from “Lindale” Delungra won with a yield of 3.88 bales per hectare and a total score of 91.
This was a significant achievement considering the seasonal conditions for dryland/rain grown cropping last summer.
The irrigated winner was Rob Carter from “Mimosa”, Moree with a yield of 13.31 bales per hectare and a total crop score of 91.
Rob, with the support of his consultant, managed the tough conditions of the season with careful plant growth and insect management.
Mr Carter said he was surprised by how well the crop went given it got off to a slow start with a late plant and a water logging event, but feels this may have even contributed to its success, by not flowering right in the peak of the hot weather.
The Gwydir Valley’s Young Achiever of the Year award, now in its third year, was awarded to Auscott’s agronomist Jake Cutcliffe for his efforts into crop trials and management which has had a significant shift in production decision-making as well as his community input.
Ms Fiona Norrie, last year’s recipient and 2017 Adama Chris Lehmann Trust Cotton Industry Young Achiever of the Year said “how lucky we are to have someone with this passion and talent in our region and industry”. His award was accepted on his behalf.
Mr Lyndon Mulligan awarded the 27th Service to Industry award to Dr Janelle Montgomery for her tireless effort in water use efficiency, system optimisation and extension in the region.
Janelle said she was completely surprised by the award, but was grateful to be back out in the field, working for an industry that is passionate about the future and what can be achieved.
She also thanked her family for supporting her in her career that has been in the Gwydir Valley for the past 20-years.
Another key aspect of the dinner is the opportunity to fundraise for local charities and the scholarship program implemented by the CGA.
Due to the generosity of those in attendance, $5,900 was raised for the Westpac Rescue Helicopter from the auction and $2,700 from the wine draw raffle together with $11,000 in sponsorship for the CGA’s Healthy Communities Scholarship.
“We look forward to announcing our Healthy Communities Scholarship winner for 2017 in the coming weeks with applications closing before the dinner,” secretary/treasurer of the Gwydir Valley CGA Zara Lowien said.
“We will also be actively helping promote the Young Aggies’ new Rural Scholarship, which was announced by that group during the dinner.
“We’re very proud of what the CGA can look forward to supporting in the local region and this is due to the generosity of the industry and its supporters.”
Gwydir Valley CGA thanks their 2017 sponsors - Monsanto, Aircair, Chesterfield Australia, Commonwealth Bank, eChem, McGregor Gourlay, Namoi Cotton, SprayerBarn, Sundown Pastoral Co, North West Ginning, Cotton Seed Distributors, Cotton Australia, Brighann Ginning, B&W Rural, Any Occasion Catering, Auscott Limited, Louis Dreyfus Commodities, Just ISP, Moree Real Estate, Westpac, Bella Sante Skin and Body, Westpac Rescue Helicopter, Rabobank, ProClass and Boyce Chartered Accountants.