Moree agronomist Tony Lockrey has received trans-tasman recognition for his drive to provide the best he can for his clients and his community at the 2018 Syngenta Growth Awards.
The AMPS Agribusiness Moree senior agronomist won the Community and People – Advisor Award at the 2018 Growth Awards, held in Sydney on Wednesday, December 5.
He was one of eight major award winners named among the best of the best growers and farm advisers from across Australia and New Zealand.
AMPS Moree branch manager Mark Simpson said it’s a significant achievement to win such a prestigious award.
“Tony was nominated and chosen over a group of pretty high-calibre, well-respected individuals,” he said.
“It’s quite an achievement.
“I think it’s certainly a great way to recognise Tony’s character. He’s an extremely hard worker and very motivated to get the best results possible for our clients, which quite often comes at a personal cost; he’s very giving of his time.
“He enjoys what he does and enjoys people most. He’s motivated to get the best cropping results but he’d never do that for the sacrifice of people. He values the relationships he holds with his clients and works hard to get a great result for them.
“That this personal sacrifice and hard work has been acknowledged in a forum of exceptional people is great.”
The Community and People Growth Award recognises growers and advisers who make a leading contribution to their community, workers and fellow growers.
Mr Lockrey’s involvement in agronomy sees him give on-farm advice, but his keenness to see that advice as valuable to his clients’ businesses has led to a heavy involvement in research and development.
In his role as an agronomist with a company that has its own research program, Mr Lockrey helps lead and organise field days, farm walks and research trials which address local issues.
He has been an agronomist for 23 years, 12 of which he has spent with the business which has been AMPS for the past eight years.
“I love working in a productive area; Moree is an extremely productive shire,” Mr Lockrey said.
“We can grow crops all year round when the weather is with us.
“We’ve got a little farm of our own which helps me identify better. It exposes you to some of the vulnerabilities and pressures growers are exposed to.”
With a long list of involvement with industry bodies, Tony’s influence and impact is great.
Yet it is his work within the community, outside of his agronomy role, where he is also having a huge impact.
Mr Lockrey organises a Men’s Campfire Dinner once a month, which has attracted up to 70 men who are encouraged to talk about anything.
He’s also been involved with Moree Rugby Union Club this year helping in a chaplaincy role following the devastating death of second grade coach Nathan Holland at the start of the season.
Mr Lockrey wants his agronomic skills to provide good business advice to his clients, but he also encourages a thriving community where people are prepared to support each other personally.
“I’ve always loved being involved in community,” he said.
“What we do in business is more than just about research or supplying needs for growers. It’s also being part of the community.”
Not expecting to win the big award on Wednesday night, Mr Lockrey was humbled to be recognised among some of agriculture’s top performers.
“I had taken my jacket off and was ready to clap whoever won it,” he said.
“I’m just happy with the day to meet all those men and women in ag. There was some pretty amazing ag horsepower in that room. I felt like a bit of a pup there to be honest.”
Mr Lockrey not only attended the awards ceremony with his wife Lyn on Wednesday night, but during the day all 26 regional winners – including Moree grower Andrew Crowe who was a regional winner for the Grower Productivity Award – got to spend time networking over lunch and sharing ideas at an innovation and technology workshop.
“It was a fantastic networking opportunity - that was the highlight for me,” Mr Lockrey said.
“To me, the recognition isn’t for a job well done, it’s for a job well started.”
As a major winner, Mr Lockrey has the opportunity to participate in a one-week agricultural study tour of the Europe and the United Kingdom in June next year, which he said is “very exciting”.