Mid West farmers Fiona and Liam Mann, adviser Bill Campbell regional winners in Syngenta Growth Awards

Headshot of Kate Campbell
Kate CampbellMidwest Times
Fiona and Liam Mann of Eradu.
Camera IconFiona and Liam Mann of Eradu. Credit: Supplied

Necessity is the mother of invention, as the saying goes, which could not be more true for Eradu farmers Fiona and Liam Mann.

Their ingenuity in a bid to diversify their business and help shield them from the unpredictability of Mother Nature saw them start Block 275, a venture that sees them grow, harvest, bottle, sell and market their own canola oil.

Mr and Mrs Mann have been named regional winners of the Syngenta Growth Awards in the Innovator category, which puts them in the running for the national awards later in the year.

Two of WA’s six nominations for these awards hail from the Mid West, with Geraldton-based consultant Bill Campbell a regional winner in the productivity category.

Owen Langley, from Syngenta, said the Manns, who farm wheat, canola and lupin on their property north-east of Geraldton as well as run a large contracting business, were strong advocates for the agricultural industry.

“What I was really interested in and what’s led to this nomination is their Block 275 canola oil business. . . they’ve really done it out of necessity. I guess their farm size relative to those around them is quite small so they’ve had to make their farming business diverse and get other revenue streams,” he said.

Mr Langley said Mr Campbell was an adviser who worked with growers in a low to medium rainfall zone in a bid to help them manage risks, understand their business and work around the challenges to achieve a sustainable future.

He commended Mr Campbell, who is also a spray application specialist, for his hands-on, one-on-on approach with growers, businesses and stakeholders.

The Syngenta Awards recognises growers, advisers and innovators for their contribution to the Australian and New Zealand agricultural industries.

“While we’re celebrating individual achievement with this program, we are also seeking to empower regional and agricultural communities, which are sometimes undervalued and underestimated. Our agriculture industry is world class and deserves its time in the spotlight,” Syngenta managing director and country head ANZ Paul Luxton said.

The 23 regional winners will progress to the national stage of judging. Each national winner in four categories — innovator, community and people, productivity and sustainability — will be offered the chance to attend an international study tour next year.

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