Grow­ers in the run­ning

Warwick Daily News - South West Queensland Rural Weekly - - Rural Weekly - GEORDI OFFORD Geordi.offord@ru­ral­weekly.com.au

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.”

PHOTOS: FILE AND CON­TRIB­UTED

NOM­I­NA­TIONS ARE IN: BGGA’s Carl Walker and Cherry Em­er­ick have both re­ceived nom­i­na­tions in the Ausveg Na­tional Awards for Ex­cel­lence.

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