GULGONG farmer and pioneer of pasture cropping Colin Seis has won this year’s prestigious Bob Hawke Landcare Award.
Mr Seis was presented with the award by former prime minister Bob Hawke at the National Landcare Awards in Melbourne on Wednesday night.
He beat finalists Sam Archer, "Kincora", Gundagai, who is also Riverina Local Land Services chairman and NSW Farmers executive councillor, and Cam Nicholson, from Knewleave Partnership beef and sheep farm, Queenscliff, Victoria.
The Bob Hawke Landcare Award includes $50,000 in prize money which Mr Seis may use to further develop his innovative work and share his knowledge with other landcarers and farmers.
“What motivates me is the serious state our planet is in. Look at the bigger picture: Landcare has done some wonderful work in starting the process but really we’ve got a planet to fix if we are going to survive as a species on it,” Mr Seis said.
“Landcare - starting in Australia – is leading the world in not only environmental but also ecological best practice – most other countries don’t have a body that brings farmers, environmentalists and ecologists together under one umbrella like the Landcare movement.”
Mr Seis owns an 809-hectare property, "Winona", where he runs about 4000 merino sheep, a merino stud, and grows about 200ha of crops annually using his ‘pasture cropping’ technique.
Since 1993, Mr Seis has used his technique, which sees cereal crops sown directly into perennial pastures without killing the pasture.
Pasture cropping has since been widely adopted in Australia and internationally, with benefits including weed control, stabilising soil erosion, increased soil carbon levels and the production of nutrient-dense, healthy food.
Mr Seis has travelled Australia and the world sharing his knowledge on the subject, and can spread the word further since winning the Bob Hawke Landcare Award.
Ten National Landcare Awards were also presented to Landcare groups and individuals, representing seven of the eight states and territories across nine diverse categories, from Junior Landcare to Indigenous Land Management, Coastcare and Sustainable Farm Practices as well as the People’s Choice Award.
The awards are administered by Landcare Australia through funding from the federal government National Landcare Program.
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