Boisdale vegetable grower Michael Evans has received the Environmental and Sustainability Award at the 2019 AUSVEG VIC and Wolfdene Awards for Excellence held on Friday 3 May.
Michael is the Farm Operations Manager at Mulgowie Farming Company, a family-owned producer of conventional and organic sweet corn, green beans and broccoli across Australia.
The Environmental and Sustainability Award, which is proudly sponsored by Butler Market Gardens, recognises an individual who has implemented sustainable farming practices and has shown leadership in promoting environmental issues in the wider community.
From 2015, Michael has implemented an integrated crop management (ICM) approach on the Boisdale farm, which has resulted in better crop rotations and careful planning for site selections of crops based on soil management and variety selection. Michael successfully uses integrated pest management policies on-farm and has introduced several biological products to help manage crop nutrition and soil health.
AUSVEG VIC State Manager Tom Cohen said Michael’s focus on sustainable farming practices sets a strong example to the wider vegetable industry.
“Through his leadership, Michael has been able to demonstrate the farm’s direction with good agricultural practices that are mindful of the environment and where safety, quality, productivity and continuous improvement are part of everyday activities,” Mr Cohen said.
“Michael has led Mulgowie Farming Company’s involvement in over 50 large- and small-scale trials for seed variety selection and chemical, fertiliser and farm management practice techniques at the Boisdale site.
“Currently, the farm is testing precision agriculture technologies to get paddocks balanced with variable rate applications, and it will also act as a demonstration site for strip tillage and cover cropping in the Gippsland area.”
Michael is also participating in a collaborative research project with La Trobe University to improve poorly-drained Sodosol soils, and has contributed to the industry’s program for area wide management of insect-vectored viral and bacterial diseases. Michael is also a panel member of the Lake Wellington Land and Water Management Plan, which aims to improve the productivity and profitability of farms and care for the environment throughout the Macalister Irrigation District.
“Michael is truly a champion of sustainable farming and environmental stewardship in the Victorian vegetable industry and he is a very deserving recipient of this award,” Mr Cohen said.
For photographs of the awards ceremony or to request