Young Farming Champion Daniel Fox was announced as one of the winners in the 2018 Kondinin/ABC Rural Australian Farmer of the Year Awards at a dinner at Parliament House in Canberra on October 16.
“The Australian Farmer of the Year Awards are designed to celebrate and applaud the outstanding achievements of those individuals and families making a significant contribution to Australian Agriculture.”
Daniel won the Award for Excellence in Innovation, sponsored by Telstra. He is a fifth-generation farmer, whose family have been farming in the Marrar district of New South Wales for more than 80 years. Over the last decade Daniel has been helping move the farm from a traditional mixed sheep and cropping property to a continuous cropping enterprise using regenerative agriculture.
Farming in partnership with his wife Rachel (left) and parents David and Cathie (right ) and grandparents farming is all about family for Dan Fox
“It’s very humbling to win this award,” Daniel says. “There are a few local growers in our area moving in the same direction as us and we bounce ideas off each other quite regularly, for which I thank them very much. This award is reassuring that we are moving in the right direction and we will continue to implement regenerative agriculture practices on our farm and share our ideas and the information we learn. On a personal note, I feel this award is just as much earned by my family as it is by me, as without them I would not have had the opportunity to work on our family farm and be inspired by their work ethic and passion for agriculture.”
Changes made on the Fox farm in recent times include the purchase of a disc planter in order to move to a full zero-till controlled traffic system, a transition to organic-based liquid fertiliser, companion cropping and experiments with chaff lining and cover cropping.
Guy Franklin, Telstra’s General Manager, Innovation Accelerator, was impressed by Daniel’s commitment to applying innovative techniques on-farm and making fantastic progress in improving and future-proofing his farming business. “It is great to see a next generation family member apply new thinking to the way of doing things and this shows a good understanding of innovation,” Guy said. “I applaud Daniel, as I think what he’s doing will be a blueprint for how the land will be managed for sustainable use into the future.”