Cotton award winner
WILLAM Back discovered a passion for the cotton industry during a placement as a University of Queensland agricultural science honours student.
At age 33, he has been promoted from an initial role as agronomist to farm manager of Auscott’s 9000-hectare cotton operation at Narrabri, and will shortly transfer to manage another major Auscott operation, Cobran, in Hay.
He has been nominated as a finalist in the 2018 Cotton Industry Awards, in the Young Cotton Achiever of the Year category.
He said cotton had appealed to him because of an intersection between a crop that responded to active management and the opportunities presented by the industry itself.
“The scale was impressive. It’s exciting how the research has improved the quality and the yield of that crop,” he said.
“Cotton crops respond very well to good management.
It’s a very involved and intensive industry, and there are opportunities for people who are interested and have a background in science to apply what they have learned.”
William sees a strong future for the industry as it develops new varieties that allow the crop’s geographic range to extend southward, eastward, and in northern Australia.
“Increasing that volume is good for the Australian industry, because on the world scene, we don’t produce enough cotton,” he said.
“So that’s where the varieties are giving more adaptability to suit more climates and soil types, and the industry is very proactive at supporting and promoting that growth.”
“It’s very exciting to be a finalist. It’s very humbling to have been nominated, and then also to make it through to be a finalist. It’s a great chance to participate in the industry, through the awards process.”
William shares his finalist position with Jake Cutcliffe, of Auscott’s Moree operation, and Sam Simons, from Agromax Consulting in the Namoi Valley.
The Cotton Industry Awards, also including Grower of the Year, High Achiever of the Year and Researcher of the Year, will be announced in August as part of the 2018 Australian Cotton Conference on the Gold Coast.
YOUNG ACHIEVER: Farm manager William Back is one of three finalists in the 2018 Cotton Industry Awards Young Cotton Achiever of the Year category.