Our best farm­ers in award hunt

Tablelands Advertiser - - LIFESTYLE -

A MULTI-crop farmer who uses cut­ting-edge smart­phone tech­nol­ogy to ad­just his ir­ri­ga­tion sched­ule is one of four nom­i­nees in line for the Charlie Nas­tasi Hor­ti­cul­tural Farmer of the Year Award be­ing pre­sented tonight.

Mareeba lime, pomelo and cus­tard ap­ple grower Jose Caa­mano has been man­u­fac­tur­ing his own fer­tiliser blends and is start­ing to trial Ja­panese Radish to im­prove wa­ter re­ten­tion.

The in­dus­try in­no­va­tor heads a unique crop of Tablelands farm­ers who will vie for the re­gion’s hor­ti­cul­ture in­dus­try’s top hon­our.

Fruit grow­ers Matthew Perkes, Elio Quin­terie and Sam Collins are also in con­tention.

The Mareeba District Fruit and Veg­etable Grow­ers As­so­ci­a­tion toiled over the mer­its of each nom­i­nee and their con­tri­bu­tion to the re­gion’s agri­cul­ture.

MDFVGA Prei­dent Joe Moro said it would be dif­fi­cult to pick a win­ner.

“Each nom­i­nee brings some­thing unique to the lo­cal hor­ti­cul­tural in­dus­try and should be con­grat­u­lated for lead­ing the way in their re­spec­tive ar­eas,” he said.

“We’ve had some out­stand­ing nom­i­nees in the past and this year will be no dif­fer­ent.”

Nom­i­nees are judged on lead­er­ship and in­no­va­tion.

The an­nual awards con­tin­ues the legacy of the late Mr Nas­tasi, who was the re­gion’s largest mango pro­ducer and prin­ci­pal of Golden Drop Mango Win­ery.

The win­ner will be an­nounced at the an­nual Mareeba District Fruit and Veg­etable In­dus­try din­ner on Fri­day night. Other nom­i­nees in­clude Matthew Perkes, Elio Quin­tieri and Sam Collins.

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