Xavier Toohey named 2021 Young Grower of the Year

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Victorian potato farmer, Xavier Toohey, has been named the 2021 Corteva Agriscience Young Grower of the Year.

Xavier Toohey is the 2021 Young Grower of the Year

The 36-year-old was crowned the country’s top young grower at the AUSVEG National Awards for Excellence at the Hort Connections Gala Dinner in Brisbane this week.

It was widely regarded as the highest honour for Australia’s horticulture leaders of the future and recognises outstanding young growers who champion industry success and demonstrate a continual commitment to innovation.

Toohey was chosen from a field of 14 shortlisted nominees where he was celebrated as the best based on his achievements, commitment and ingenuity in the field and the active role he plays within the horticulture sector.

Corteva Agriscience marketing manager, Nick Koch, says Toohey was a deserving winner of horticulture’s top gong for 2021.

"Xavier’s tenacity and enthusiasm for producing potatoes are incredible. He’s just the sort of passionate grower our industry needs," Koch says.

"At a time when other people were leaving the potato industry, Xavier committed to it and invested in it. He now has two farms, and it’s a real credit to him.

"Not only has he built a successful and sustainable business in a short space of time, but he’s done it off his own steam.

"A lot of young people have help to get them started in farming, but Xavier did it on his own through sheer hard work and determination. He’s also stepping up and taking leadership at an industry level as well which is fantastic.

"The Young Grower of the Year Award is about our industry recognising exceptional young growers like Xavier."

2021 Corteva Agriscience Young Grower of the Year nominees:

Kane Busch, Busch Organics – Bairnsdale, Victoria
Anthony De Ieso, Thorndon Park Produce – Adelaide, SA
Jase Dobra, Loose Leaf Lettuce Company – Gingin, WA
Mitchell East, Willarra Gold – Manjimup, WA
Matthew Griggs, Lucaston Park Orchards – Lucaston, TAS
Christina Kelman, Rita’s Farm – Wallacia, NSW
Marlon Motlop, The Native Co./Quality Harvest – Adelaide, SA
Renee Pye, Zerella Fresh – Parilla, SA
Caitlin Radford, CO Agriculture Pty Ltd – Moriarty, TAS
Jake Ryan, Three Ryans/Goodooga Farms – Manjimup, WA
Jake Shadbolt, Scotties Point Farms – Swan Hill, VIC
Sam Spirili, Spirili Strawberries – Wandin North, VIC
Justin Vanstone, Vanstone Produce – Crowley Vale, QLD

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