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TAS Country : September 23rd 2010
Friday, September 24, 2010 Tasmanian Country 9 News Tassie farmer is the big cheese KUDOS: Michael Chilvers was named one of Australia's top three grain growers. JENNIFER CRAWLEY 'There is an amount of grain grown in the state, but there are not many people for whom it would be their major enterprise.' TASMANIAN cheesemaker Josef Gret- schmann is Australia's diversified far- mer of the year. Mr Gretschmann, who runs Elgaar Farm at Deloraine, was one of two Tasmanian farmers nominated for Australian Farmer of the Year awards. Michael Chilvers, of Nile, was named one of the country's top three grain growers. The Gretschmanns came from Bavaria in 1986 to settle in Tasmania. Josef, his wife Antonia, their five sons and one daughter work on the farm. The sons work in the farm factory and on distribution and design, alongside six Elgaar Farm employees. Elgaar products are sold in 40 shops in Tasmania and 30 in Melbourne. Mr Gretschmann did not know he had won the award until it was announced at the Farmer of the Year awards ceremony in Sydney on Tuesday night. ''No one mentioned anything,'' he said. ''It's a great honour. It's recog- nition of what Tassie is going towards. ''When you look at what the major industries were 15 to 20 years ago it was 80 per cent wool and beef. Now it's completely changed around, and that is the future. We [Elgaar] never stop growing --- we sell everything our herd of 110 cows can produce.'' Half of the farm is dedicated to grain growing. Elgaar produces organic rol- led oats. Elgaar Farm products have won state and national medals, and its milk won a gold medal at this year's Royal Sydney Royal Easter Show. Mr Gretschmann is the driving force behind the organic dairy initiative, a movement to widen the organic dairy industry in Tasmania with more farms and processing factories. ''Organic farming topped the list of the top 10 growth industries in Aust- ralia this year,'' he said. ''There is a lot of market momentum there.'' Michael Chilvers, of Nile, was nomi- nated for grain grower of the year by the Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association. Mr Chilvers has been heavily in- volved in research in the grains indus- try through the TFGA and farmer groups. He said Tasmania was not recog- nised as a prime grain growing area. ''There is an amount of grain grown in the state, but there are not many people for whom it would be their major enterprise'' Mr Chilvers said. Wheat is the biggest crop on the Chilvers' 1080ha Windburn property, followed by barley. Michael and his wife Fiona grow 250ha of wheat, 180ha of barley and 120ha of canola. Grain growing pro- vides 40 per cent of the farm income. The family grow for Boags, Inghams and the feedlot at Powranna. Mr Chilvers is chairman of the TFGA cereal and seeds committee. This is the first time he has been nominated for an award. ''I hope the nomination raises the profile of grain in the state because it's often seen as the poor cousin to everyone else,'' Mr Chilvers said. ''We've got our problems with scale of production and competing against imports. ''It's not easy and it's not straightfor- ward, but we are still quite comfort- able.'' EXPAND YOUR BOUNDARIES GROW YOUR LANDHOLDINGS WITH LENDING SOLUTIONS FROM RURAL BANK. This information has been prepared without taking into account your personal circumstances, objectives, financial situation or needs. All applications for loans or credit are subject to lending criteria. Terms, conditions, fees and charges may apply. Full details are available on application or by phoning our Customer Service Centre on 1300 660 115, online at www.ruralbank.com. au, or by visiting your loc al branch. All information is subject to change. Products are issued by Rural Bank Limited and distributed by Elders Rural Services Australia Limited. Rural Bank Limited ABN 74 0 83 938 416 AFSL 23 8042 . Registered office: Level 1, 27 Currie Street , Adelaide SA 5000. rub-3498_Sth_0910 Opportunities to increase your landholdings don t come by that often. But when they do, make sure you have the financial resources to act. With Rural Bank lending you can customise a solution that ties in with the income and expenditure streams of your agribusiness. So that you have what you need to grow. For more details on the seasonal and term finance options that best suit your needs, speak to the rural lending specialist at your local Elders or Bendigo Bank branch or call Rural Bank on 1300 660 115. www.ruralbank.com.au
September 16th 2010
September 30th 2010