​Media Release

Lindenow’s king of salad takes out 2017 Australian Farmer of the Year​

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Barnaby Joyce
Member for Gippsland, Darren Chester

16 August 2017

  • Eight national awards recognising excellence in agriculture were awarded today
  • Kondinin Group and ABC Rural have been partnering for eight years in the awards
  • The Kondinin Group and ABC Rural Australian Farmer of the Year is Andrew Bulmer, Victoria

​Farmer and family man from Lindenow in Gippsland, Victoria, Andrew Bulmer, has taken out the prestigious 2017 Kondinin Group and ABC Rural Australian Farmer of the Year award for his business prowess and innovative approach to farming.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Barnaby Joyce, congratulated all winners saying it was important to talk up the sector and celebrate successes.

"The Australian Farmer of the Year, 37-year-old Andrew Bulmer, is the king of fresh salads managing a family-run farm at Lindenow in Victoria and has overseen a 400 per cent increase in his farm's washed salad business in just 18 months," Mr Joyce said.

"Like so many farmers Andrew has been looking for new technologies and thinking outside the box to improve his business."

Member for Gippsland, Darren Chester, also congratulated the winners for their dedication to the agriculture sector and to contributing to the success of rural and regional Australia.

"Events like this are important and innovators like Andrew Bulmer are setting a great example for the people of regional Australia and those involved in the agricultural sector," Mr Chester said.

"Andrew puts his family farm's success down to hard work and the efficiencies gained through the successful early adoption of new harvest and post-harvest technologies."

Mr Joyce also congratulated 36-year-old Rob Cook, fourth generation cattleman from Bucca, Queensland who, after a life shattering helicopter accident, developed some ingenious new practices enabling him to remain on the land.

"Rob, who is a quadriplegic, dug deep and created a world first electric hydraulic joystick control, enabling him to operate the block gate and all five way drafts in his cattle yards," Mr Joyce said.

"This is an ingenious example of innovation and has allowed Rob to stay on the land, farming 700-head of black Brangus cattle over three properties."

Comments attributable to the winner of the 2017 Kondinin Group and ABC Rural Australian Farmer of the Year, Andrew Bulmer:

"Bulmer Farms' farming footprint has grown due to our expansion into new regions and our focus on setting up the enterprise as a farm-of-the-future," Mr Bulmer said.

"To achieve this, we needed to implement the key knowledge and learnings gained over the decades, as well as incorporating world's best practice and the innovation available right now.

​By implementing world's best harvest and post-harvest technology, Bulmer Farms have achieved significant efficiencies across the business.

"Our washing and drying process has enabled us to achieve a dryer product," Andrew said. "This has increased shelf life and opened up export opportunities through our marketing business, Green Acres Australia.

"We have also brought a new harvester from the United States, which has increased our efficiency at harvest, giving us a better product to run through our washline."

Australian Farmer of the Year award winners for 2017:

  • Australian Farmer of the Year: Andrew Bulmer, Victoria
  • Young Farmer of the Year: Jason Smith, Victoria
  • Farming Legend of the Year: John Bennett, Tasmania
  • Rural Community Leader of the Year Award: Kristy Sparrow, Queensland
  • Rural Consultant of the Year: Greg Mills, New South Wales
  • Excellence in Innovation: Rob Cook, Queensland
  • Excellence in Technology: Lachlan Seears, South Australia
  • Excellence in Diversification: James Walker, Queensland