Awards Dinner 2018: A touch of Spring

Our recent Central Highlands Irrigation Awards Dinner on Friday the 31st of August was a fantastic night. Close to 250 growers, irrigators, sponsors and industry representatives came to the Emerald Town Hall which was decorated to welcome in Spring. Attendees were able to reflect on the many achievements in our region before catching up or dancing the night away. Congratulations to our many growers and industry members on their outstanding achievements for the 2017/18 season!

President Aaron Kiely presented this review for the last year. president’s speech 2018


Thank you to Alexandria Galea who collated the 2017-2018 video presentation. You can view it here –

Sam Elsden with the help of Emma McCullagh and Rick Jones from QLD Cotton produced this video on how the awards committee calculated rain-grown yield. To check it out, head here –

The Awards presented on the evening:

Grower Service to Industry Award, sponsored by Cotton Australia and CHCGIA:

Cameron Geddes


Cameron Geddes was awarded the Central Highlands Cotton Growers & Irrigation Association Service to Industry Award for his efforts as a grower to go above and beyond to provide service to the broader industry. He has been growing cotton for over 20 years.  Cameron has been involved in the industry at a local level and has championed many outcomes throughout his time.  He has acted as a fifth member, treasurer, vice president and president of the association.  Only secretary to go!!  During his time as president, he was instrumental, in conjunction with industry in managing the outbreak of mealybug in the region.  He has a passion for supporting research, demonstrated through not only through hosting many on farm trials and extension activities but even helping with sampling and data collection to ensure Emerald was represented in industry research.  In 2012, Cameron instigated a survey to better understand Central Queensland’s stagnating yields and quality issues.  Working with the research and tech group, the aim was to improve the reliability of irrigated cotton yields, through benchmarking of current practices, system limitations and grower attitudes.  The survey results were startling and not in a positive way.  The report from that survey illustrated that there needed to be a monumental shift in the way production was considered in the region.  The results were embargoed because the commercial picture was not pretty. The report results included feedback that the average target yield that growers were happy with was 8 b/ha.  One lone ranger reported that they would strive to grow 13 b/ha.  One grower!  Everyone thought he was mad after consecutive years of averages of 8 b/ha and declining.  The results of this survey led firstly to significant industry investment in the project: Strengthening the Central Highlands Cotton Production System, led by Paul Grundy.  The grower survey also highlighted that management had little impact on yield and quality outcomes, identifying that climate was the key driver, which led to the planting date focus.  A recent economic study has attributed the value of the planting date research at $20.24 million.

We asked researcher Dr Lance Prendergast to share some thoughts from his time working with Cam on multiple water use efficiency trials. Lance reflected the following;

“An hour chat at the back of the ute with Cam inevitably provided more food for thought than any three day conference of “experts” ever did.  Cam provided invaluable assistance and advice throughout the course of irrigation research conducted on his property. His boundless enthusiasm for exploring options for production system improvement, coupled with his willingness to contribute to the industry, make Cam a fitting recipient for the “Service to the Industry” award.

Congratulations Cameron.


Iain Mackay Non-Grower Service to Industry Award sponsored by CGS:

Susan Maas


Susan Maas has been a key contributor to the cotton industry in the Central Highlands and Dawson Valley regions since commencing work as an Extension Officer with AgriScience Queensland in 2004. She established excellent industry relationships with regional grower associations, cotton crop consultants, agribusiness and industry organisations.

Susan has collaborated effectively with industry research scientists and research funding organisations CRDC and the Cotton CRC. She has been actively involved in the development of BMP and the evolving myBMP as well as showing leadership in the area of farm hygiene procedures and management strategies, joint coordination of a herbicide resistance management workshop and strong industry support at both management and local grower levels. Other key achievements included playing a pivotal role in the events associated with the identification and industry response to Mealy Bugs in early 2010, a participant in the Future Cotton Leaders program and a recipient of the Cotton CRC Chief Scientist Award in May 2009.


Quality Awards
1st (sponsored by LDC) – Geddes Enterprises – Andrew and Julie Geddes
2nd (sponsored by GT HOSES) – CT Farming – Cameron and Tracey Geddes
3rd (sponsored by CHAS)- will be awarded at our AGM in October


Rain-grown Yield Awards

1st (sponsored by CSD) – 4b/ha QATC – Emerald Agricultural College
2nd (sponsored by CHCGIA) – 3.01b/ha Mosley Farming – Daryl and Gayle Mosley and Lynora Downs – Cotton JV


Irrigated Yield Award
1st (sponsored by CGS) – 13.5b/ha CT Farming – Cameron and Tracey Geddes
2nd (sponsored by Qld Cotton) – 12.8b/ha Jenderrie Farms – Trevor, Ivy and Derek Elsden
3rd (sponsored by Ag n Vet Rural) – 12.6b/ha Barkool – Ross Burnett


Thank you to all of our dinner sponsors. Without which an event like this would not be able to happen.

Major Sponsor: Vanderfield

Platinum Sponsors: Sunwater and Rabobank/Achmea

Gold Sponsors:  Myamba Farming and Bayer Crop Science

Silver Sponsors: CQ Ag Services, Cotton Australia, Landmark, AgnVet Rural

Bronze Sponsors: LDC, CHDC, Bayer Crop Science, Liberty Fuels, Brennan Mayne Agribusiness, CHRC, Queensland Cotton, Farm and Construction Products

Supporter Sponsors: Reinhart, Sumitomo Cemical, Independent Commodity Management, Excel Agriculture, CHRRUP

Supporting Businesses: Mitre 10 Emerald, James Laws Photography, Peanut Company of Australia, Emerald Show Society and Roses & Beans



2018 Dinner Committee


2018 Association Executive

Thank you to James Laws who provided all of these photos of our guests.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s