Growers in the running
CHERRY Emerick and Carl Walker of Bowen Gumlu Growers Association have a lot to be smiling about.
Recently the pair received a nomination for the Ausveg National Awards for Excellence.
BGGA chairman and grower Mr Walker was nominated for the Grower of the Year award.
“I was a bit flabbergasted when I found out I was nominated,” he said.
“I feel quite honoured to be selected but I’m not letting it go to my head.”
Mr Walker grows capsicums, green and white cucumbers, cherry tomatoes and cherry truss tomatoes but says he doesn’t do it for the recognition.
“I love what I do and I think when I stop I’ll walk away, but that hasn’t happened yet,” he said.
“We are just guardians of the land, making it sustainable for the next generation.
“We do it so there is something there for the next generation to build on.”
Mr Walker said if he were to win the award, it would take a spot on his “brag wall”.
“It certainly would be nice to put on the wall,” he said.
“It’s nice to get a pat on the back for doing a decent job but I don’t take them too seriously.”
Ms Emerick, who is the BGGA industry development officer, received a nomination for the Women in Horticulture Award.
“I haven’t been nominated for this award or an award like this before, I’m very surprised and humbled,” she said.
“It’s a very nice feeling to be acknowledged for my work in the industry and it’s great there is an award to recognise the work of women as well.”
Ms Emerick’s job involves ground work to promote inclusion and best practice in the horticulture sector.
“It’s all about guiding the grower and working with them, not two steps in front of them,” she said.
“We’ve done all kinds of workshops with them on things such as biosecurity and getting them export-ready.”
Ms Emerick said women had always been in the horticulture industry.
“The women very much take a back seat in the industry,” she said. “I’m a big advocate for them doing different courses and getting out there to network.
“They do wonderful work.”
NOMINATIONS ARE IN: BGGA’s Carl Walker and Cherry Emerick have both received nominations in the Ausveg National Awards for Excellence.