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TAS Country : April 28th 2011
24 Tasmanian Country Friday, April 29, 2011 2011 Rural ambassador steps up on ladder BUSY TIME: Simone Hayers. BRUCE MOUNSTER AS Agfest assistant func- tion coordinator, Simone Hayers still has a way to climb on the ladder of responsibility. Ms Hayers, 22, is a mem- ber of the Kingborough- Huon Rural Youth club. She said other commit- ments had been holding her back at Agfest. For the past three years she has been juggling an environmental course at university and a full-time job at the Hobart City Council. Ms Hayers said that was about to change in the coming year after she fin- ished her course. ''The pressure comes off in June, I can't wait.'' Despite her limited Ag- fest exposure Ms Hayers has already seen first hand how the effort put in by Rural Youth volunteers can be rewarded. As a Rural Youth mem- ber she was helping out at last November's Huon Show. Her club organises the show's animal nursery, ute competition and dog high jump events. She said her work had counted towards her nomi- nation by the Huon show committee in the Tasman- ian rural ambassador com- petition. Last year she won the state competition, based on character and community involvement, against nom- inees from other Tasman- ian shows. She will com- pete for the national honours in Adelaide. In March, she was na- med Rural Youth Organis- ation of Tasmania's junior vice presidwent. As assistant function co- ordinator Ms Hayers will help organise the opening ceremony and the Agfest dinner. STATE'S FINEST: Ruth and Bert van den Berg take their award-winning business to Agfest for the first time. Picture: ROSS MARSDEN Growth path that shades competition BRUCE MOUNSTER A NEW exhibitor at Agfest this year will be Bert and Ruth van den Berg's fern oasis. The van den Bergs, who have operated Fernmania for 26 years, are determined to make an impact at their first Agfest. ''We'll definitely be different, a real eye catcher. No one's going to miss us,'' Mr van den Berg said. The van den Bergs are exhibiting hundreds of different fern species, from six-metre high monsters harvested from Tasmanian forests to shrub-sized ferns that have been propagated and raised at Fernmania's Scottsdale base in the state's North-East. Mr van den Berg said the propagation of many fern species from all around the world was a complicated process, which demanded tender loving care. ''It's an involved, dedicated type of work. Ruth does a lot of that side of the business,'' he said. Mr van den Berg said he specialised in the harvesting of ferns , which involved removing ferns from a logging coup, then transplanting them. Mr van den Berg said their ferns could be headed anywhere from a Hobart back yard to Singapore's Changi airport, which took delivery of some 7m tall examples packed in shipping containers. He said that before the global financial crisis hit a couple of years ago, exports to Europe had developed into a major part of the business. The couple established a base near Scottsdale seven years ago to warehouse ferns for quarantine and packing, and it also allowed the nursery side of the business to flourish. Mr van den Berg said the beauty of ferns was they could make a shaded area look beautiful almost instantly. He said their ferns were harvested in accord with a Forestry Tasmania permit and nothing went to waste. He said fern off-cuts and left overs made ''the best garden mulch you can buy'' and people came from far and wide for it. ''It holds the moisture and is very rich in trace elements,'' he said. ''To get paid for your waste is ideal in business.'' Fernmania was named the 2009 Tasmanian exporter of the year. 405 Fourth Ave j l l GOURMET NUTS & DRIED FRUITS SPECIALTY FOODS NEWTHISYEAR. . . Walnuts in honey. also SELLING • Tas Walnuts in the Shell • Tas Dried Apple • Gourmet Nuts • Caramel Nut Popcorn • Turkish Delight • Chutney • Dukkah www.nutsnmore.com.au 2081218-110429 See you at AGFEST Craft Pavillion SITE I16 ONE LEAN MACHINE. A PROVEN ALTERNATIVE THE VERMEER® COMPACT LOADER. This may be your most versatile and reliable employee. From small to large jobs the rugged compact utility loaders and attachments from Vermeer are designed to help increase productivity and reduce labor costs. Call you local Vermeer dealer today to add Vermeer Skid Steers to your rental fleet or visit www.vermeer.com.au because less manual labor for your customers means more business for you. QLD 1800 620 720 NSW 1800 680 620 VIC/TAS 1800 776 660 SA 1800 444 394 WE HOLD RELIABILITY TO A HIGHER STANDARD. YOURS. b A $500 GIFT VOUCHER FOR THE RETAIL STORE OF YOUR CHOICE* O Services include: entry form and drop it into the entry box provided. We will be located at 109-7,Trades Expo pavilion (from 212/06). Bonus AgFest Offer Save 10% FREE Launceston | Hobart | Moonah | Devonport www.johnkinghearing.com Freecall 1800 244 080
April 21st 2011
May 5th 2011