Meet The Finalists: 2022 Australian Government Landcare Farming Award

Martin Royds holding produce in a paddock

1 AUGUST 2022: Anticipation for the 2022 Australian Government Landcare Farming Award is growing, with the complete list of finalists for the prestigious award announced today.

Ranging from the Desert Fruit Company’s organic, regenerative date farm in the Northern Territory to farmer-run grassroots organisation Agriculture Kangaroo Island in South Australia, pioneers in landcare-led sustainable agriculture from across Australia will come together for the winner’s announcement at the 2022 National Landcare Awards on 24 August.

Landcare Farming Project Manager Angela Hammond said she was thrilled to see such a wide variety of projects reflecting the ongoing growth of Australia’s landcare-led agricultural movement.

“Australian farmers and graziers are enthusiastic landcarers, and the diverse range of finalists for this year’s Australian Government Landcare Farming Award showcases the incredible breadth of work happening in the agricultural industry,” said Ms Hammond.

“Innovative Landcare-led agricultural practices are paving the way for Australia’s sustainable farming future. Many of this year’s finalists have made a lifelong commitment to transforming their properties into the land management success stories they are today. I hope their work can inspire other primary producers around the country to follow their lead and join Australia’s flourishing and innovative sustainable farming movement”.

Minister for Agriculture, Sen the Hon Murray Watt, said that the Australian Government was proud of their ongoing support of the prestigious award which highlighted Australian farmers’ commitment to improving sustainability in agriculture.

“Australia is a leader in sustainable agriculture, and this award allows our farmers to be recognised for their fantastic achievements on a national stage,” said Minister Watt.

“Each one of these finalists has taken a different approach to sustainable agriculture, but all are overcoming unique challenges to show that when we improve land, soils, vegetation and biodiversity, we create a stronger, cleaner and greener agriculture industry.”

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The full list of finalists includes:


ACT: Mount Majura Vineyard

Mount Majura Vineyard has demonstrated quality, environmental sustainability, innovation, community commitment, and leadership in wine production since planting its first vines in 1988. Using ecological knowledge and principles to make grape growing and winemaking more sustainable, they also engage with the local communities and the Canberra district winemaking community to share knowledge, experiences, and mutual support.


NSW: Martin Royds, Jillamatong and Tombarra

A fifth-generation beef cattle farmer from Braidwood, Martin Royds is passionate about working with nature, building resilience by increasing soil carbon on his land. To build knowledge regarding sustainable farming he has partnered with multiple organisations, and associations with Aboriginal leaders, and runs experiential training from his property “Tombarra”.


VIC: Andrew and Jill Stewart, Yan Yan Gurt West Farm

The Stewart’s are innovative community leaders who have adopted Landcare and agroforestry principles on their 230-ha farm ‘Yan Yan Gurt West’. By developing a whole farm plan that has seen woody vegetation coverage increase from 3% to 18%, they have tackled issues such as gully erosion, salinity, waterlogging and ecological decline.


TAS: Tim Reed, Wenlock Enterprises 

Over the past 7 years, Tim Reed has been working to improve his 232-acre beef farm in Rosevale, Tasmania, formally set stocked and conventional farmed, by switching to a new style of farming, a combination of sustainable, holistic and regenerative management.


SA: Agriculture Kangaroo Island

Formed in 1996, Agriculture Kangaroo Island (AgKI) is the premier body for agriculture on the Island, boasting 120 members. An organisation by farmers for farmers, AgKI puts sustainability and productivity first, ensures all its members are able to access best-practice information, and provides an on-ground connection to promote local uptake of landcare and government projects.


WA: Silvia Leighton and Peter McKenzie, Wilyun Pools Farm

Together Silvia Leighton and Peter McKenzie are dedicated to using regenerative farming methods to make their 1214ha property, Wilyun Pools Farm, more sustainable. Through adopting the three pillars of Landcare and Regenerative Agriculture – healthy environment, healthy society, and healthy economy, they have contributed to a network of like-minded landholders.


NT: The Desert Fruit Company

The Desert Fruit Company (DFC) is a cooperatively owned and managed, worker run, Australian date farm, located southeast of Alice Springs. Using organic, regenerative farming techniques including as nitrogen fixing cover crops, organic fertilisers and sprays, and microbial production for soil creation, the DFC is an exemplar of sustainable and regenerative agriculture from a remote business.


QLD: Nadia and Robert Campbell, Goondicum Pastoral Company and Goondicum Station

Joint owners of Goondicum Pastoral Company and Goondicum Station, Nadia and Robert Campbell have been operating under the ethos that agriculture can coexist in balance with the natural environment since the 1950s. Their work has turned the land around to the point where Goondicum Station now supports a variety of native regional ecosystems rich in Australian biodiversity.

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