Young cane farmer finalist for Farmer of the Year awards

3 September 2013
Media Release

Mossman farmer, Australian Canefarmers (ACFA) director and Next Gen Officer, Gerard Puglisi, has been named as a finalist in two categories in the prestigious Australian Farmer of the Year Awards.

Gerard’s clear commitment to his industry has earned him a finalist position in both the ‘Rural Leader of the Year’ and ‘Diversification Farmer of the Year’ categories.

“I am very pleased to be named as a finalist in both of these categories. It’s a real honor to be recognised by such a respected forum and to be considered amongst so many deserving candidates,” Mr Puglisi said.

For over ten years, fourth generation cane farmer Gerard, has been actively involved in numerous leadership positions linked to the sugarcane industry, regional communities and agriculture.

Gerard has also been actively involved in on-farm research and has successfully garnered links with researchers to improve crops and instigate grower-led research projects.

Sitting on the Bonsucro Standards Revision Committee as the only farmer globally, Gerard brings his knowledge and expertise in farming and environmental stewardship to the committee. With Gerard’s farm also being a fully accredited member of Bonsucro, he has made the commitment to a sugarcane sector that is continuously improving.

Added to his list of already outstanding achievements, Gerard is also a founding member of the sugar industry’s peak young farmer program, Next Gen. As Next Gen Officer, Gerard is the driving force behind the program, which encourages and supports young cane farmers into a career in agriculture.

In the last few years, Gerard has joined with a progressive group of farmers and entrepreneurs in his region to embark on cocoa production and has been appointed Director of Daintree Estates, the world’s first to produce origin chocolate made from Australian grown cocoa.

Gerard is up against two other finalists in each category and will travel to Melbourne this month to attend a dinner and awards ceremony hosted by Kondinin Group and ABC Rural.

For more information, or for an interview with Gerard Puglisi, please contact Amanda Sheppard on (07) 3839 1900.

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