Source: NICOLA BELL, The Weekly Times

Cowra livestock, broadacre farming and intensive horticulture producer, Ed Fagan, has been named the 2015 NSW Farmer of the Year. Member for Cootamundra, Katrina Hodgkinson, visited his farm and congratulated him on his award. “Ed’s work in improving soil health and weed control was impressive and he has come away with the highest of honours,” Katrina said.

“Farmers in our region are exceptional producers and it is great to see Ed recognised for his hard work and devotion to the agricultural sector.” Ed Fagan operates Mulyan Farm, a 1600 hectare diversified enterprise that trades cattle, breeds and trades fat lambs and grows wheat, canola, maize, popcorn and oats. In addition, horticultural crops, including beetroot, asparagus, red and brown onions are grown, and Mulyan Farm is the only commercial baby leaf spinach producer in NSW.

Minister for Primary Industries, Niall Blair and NSW Farmers’ President Derek Schoen presented the 2015 NSW Farmer of the Year Award during the Farm Writers’ Association Christmas lunch held at Parliament House in Sydney. Mr Blair said Mr Fagan has shown outstanding achievement, focusing on management skills, use of innovation, profitability, environmental sustainability and community involvement.

“Mr Fagan’s commitment to protect natural resources by improving soil nutrition, weed control and innovative research and development are incredibly impressive,” Mr Blair said. “It is innovative initiatives in the farming sector like this that will build the future of the state’s $12 billion primary industries sector.

“Right across the state we are seeing farmers embracing new and innovative ways to do business that are leading the world and the finalists in this year’s Farmer of the Year Awards are testament to that.” Mr Blair also acknowledged the achievements and congratulated the other finalists – Canobolas cherry and apple growers Fiona and Bernard Hall and Batemans Bay oyster farmer Ewan McAsh.

NSW Farmers President Derek Schoen said this year’s finalists demonstrate the state’s diverse farming enterprises and congratulates them on their brilliant achievements. “Ed Fagan, Ewan McAsh and the Halls are innovative, very hard working and passionate about agriculture,” Mr Schoen said. “They show qualities in business management skills and sustainable production practices that ensure a high standard quality product we all can enjoy.

“Their successful enterprises are making valuable contributions to their local communities and our national economy.” The annual NSW Farmer of the Year Award recognises the best farmers in NSW, focusing on their agricultural management skills, their use of innovation, profitability, environmental sustainability and community involvement. The Award is an initiative of the NSW Farmers Association and NSW Department of Primary Industries, with support from The Land and SafeWork NSW. Mr Fagan has won a cash prize of $10,000 and the two other finalists receive $2,000 each.