24 June 2022, AU: It was axe o’clock for the best and brightest in Australian horticulture at Corteva Agriscience’s annual Young Grower social event, organised by AUSVEG as part of Hort Connections in June.
The annual gathering gives future horticulture leaders from around the country a chance to connect, network, have fun and build a community of professional encouragement and support.
This year the young growers met at Lumber Punks in Brisbane’s West End to learn the art of indoor axe-throwing. The activity started with a quick safety session – after all, it’s about throwing axes! Then everyone took to their lanes to begin throwing. In no time, the whole group was looking sharp and on target.
A little friendly competition saw Luke Carter from Corrigan’s Produce Farms take out the main prize for axe-pert of the day. Kaushik Vora (Velisha Farms), Mitch Brimblecombe (Moira Farming), and Nich Koch (Corteva) were worthy runners-up.
Nick Koch, Corteva’s Marketing Manager, said the event was a fantastic way for young people in the industry to meet and connect.
“Corteva is the long-term sponsor of the Young Grower of the Year Award, honouring fresh produce growers and future horticulture leaders who are committed to the industry, innovation, and their communities and understand sustainability’s importance in improving agriculture and the land.
“Our social event traditionally takes place the day before the Corteva Young Grower of the Year Award is announced at the Hort Connections Gala Dinner as part of the National Awards for Excellence.
“AUSVEG always coordinates something entertaining for the networking event. But axe-throwing was undoubtedly a first for most people. Everyone really got into the spirit of it, and it was great to see future leaders of the industry meet and socialise.
“We’re incredibly fortunate to have so many brilliant women and men choosing to forge their careers in the fields and paddocks of Australia. Corteva wants to help them connect and build a community of horticulture leaders.”
The day after the axe-throwing event, South Australia’s Damien Manno from Quality Harvest in Kudla was announced as the 2022 Corteva Young Grower of the Year.
AUSVEG selected Mr Manno for the award as recognition for his hard work, innovation, and dedication to excellence.
They highlighted Damien’s development of the ‘herbaliscious’ basil brand, which provides basil to consumers with rootstock intact for a higher quality product and better shelf life. As well as the significant growth of his basil and hydroponic strawberry operation and the active role he plays as an emerging leader in horticulture. Definitely one to watch!
Hort Connections was also a chance for the Corteva team to take growers and industry reps from Australia and abroad on two virtual tours of their Salibro® Recklemel® active nematicide trials. One of the trials was conducted by a 2019’s Young Grower of the Year winner, Daniel Hoffman, on farm in Penfield, South Australia.
Salibro is a new nematicide with a novel mode of action for the control of root knot nematode. It’s registered for use in all root and tuber, fruiting vegetable and cucurbit crops grown in the open field and covered crop situations.
Dan Cornally, Corteva Agriscience’s Salibro product manager, said their virtual reality equipment allows people to explore the trial site and see the advantages of Salibro in action.
“It’s great to visit farm trial sites to see how new product solutions work on the ground. But that’s not always possible, particularly when the sites are hundreds of kilometres away or during busy events like Hort Connections.
“With the VR glasses, visitors can interact and are transported to ‘walking’ around the farm without leaving the stand. It really helps demonstrate the soil health and root development benefits of Salibro.
“Agriculture is becoming much more tech-savy, especially with the younger growers and agronomists. Tools like VR might become normal practice in the not to distance future.”