Some of Australian agriculture’s most innovative thinkers, designers and engineers will be in the running for awards at this year’s Australian National Field Days (ANFD).
The 2016 National Australia Bank Agribusiness Award of Excellence and The Land Machine of the Year Award recognise advances in technology, design and manufacture of agricultural equipment.
Richard Hazelton, of Haze Ag, Cudal, was the proud winner of last year’s The Land Machine of the Year Award for his innovative Haze Ag fertiliser spreader.
The spreader also took out an NAB Agribusiness Award of Excellence.
Richard began working in the fertiliser industry as a spreading contractor in 1978, but has only been developing and building his own machines for the past five years.
Exhibiting at the field days for the first time in 2015, he said he was honoured to be recognised alongside people he had long admired in the agricultural engineering sphere.
“Last year when I received the award I was standing alongside Bill Byrne from Peak Hill Industries,” Richard said.
“I have always held Bill in very high regard and Peak Hill Industries is just a ton of talent, so that was a great thrill.”
While the Machine of the Year award win delivered valuable publicity for Richard’s young business, he said the personal satisfaction of matching it will multi-national companies meant even more.
“The award was satisfying from a business perspective, but even more so from a personal one,” he said.
“We were up against multi-national companies with massive Research and Development budgets, so to be recognised in that company was a big coup.”
Not one but four exhibitors were recognised at last year’s National Australia Bank Awards of Excellence at ANFD.
The field of competition was strong, with the four awards going to a range of varied machines across livestock and cropping applications.
The four winners were the Haze Ag Spreader, the Croplands Self-propelled Sprayer, TopCon’s Apollo Seeding Application Controller, and Peak Hill Industries’ Air Operated Peakhandler Sheep Handling Machine.
Visitors to the field days will be able to view entries for this year’s awards on display throughout the event.