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Sustainability – key for SA’s young Agriculture Award winners

The future of farming in South Australia is looking bright, with two of the State’s young leaders in Agriculture recognised for their efforts in sustainability.

At the 2023 Spirit of Excellence in Agriculture Awards Dinner, on September 22, fourth-generation Saddleworth Farmer, Emma Faint, took out the $10,000 Sustainable Agriculture Scholarship for her work in Soil Management, while Lourens Coetzee, from Kaesler Wines in the Barossa Valley, was awarded this year’s $5,000 Rural Youth Bursary, to help reach his goal of showing the importance and benefits of farming sustainably to help on his path becoming an industry leader in farming sustainably.

The Agricultural Bureau of South Australia awards are aimed at providing farmers, aged 18 to 40, with the opportunity to improve personal and professional skills that will benefit the industry, the individual in their own business or employment and the sustainability of natural resources that underpin primary production.

Agriculture Bureau of South Australian Board Member for Barossa & Light, Corbin Schuster, announces the 2023 Sustainable Agriculture Scholarship Winner, Emma Faint.

Chair of the Ag Bureau, Janet Ridgway described scholarship award-winner, Emma Faint, as the spirit of progress and sustainability that is driving the future of South Australian agriculture.

“For Emma there is always another way of doing things. She has the energy and a curiosity to learn, and this drives her to experiment and apply her learnings to her own farm and share with her networks in the community.”

Emma has a keen interest in regenerative agriculture, particularly soil biology and its management in crop and pasture production. She has undertaken several courses in farming and soil management and is actively involved in her local women’s agricultural group, research trials and Landscape Board field days and workshops.
The Scholarship will enable Emma to enrol in specialised courses on soil biology and nutrition management and visit farms already implementing biological soil management. She hopes to apply this knowledge to paddock trials on her family farm and promote the findings through her networks in the local community.

For former Urrbrae High School student, Lourens Coetzee, the $5,000 Youth Bursary, sponsored by Primary Industries and Regions SA (PIRSA), will enable him to complete his Bachelor of Viticulture and travel to Chateau Maris in France to experience first-hand, a winery embracing sustainable viticulture.

“Before I started implementing sustainable practices myself, I didn’t know that there was anything wrong with some traditional farming practices,” he said.
I have realised that there needs to be major changes in the way that we farm today and I want to become an industry leader by showing the importance and benefits of farming sustainably. Preservation is key, I believe.”

Janete Ridgway said Lourens’ passion is exactly what we need in South Australian agriculture.
“Focussing on a drive to sustainability and commitment to learning, he will undoubtedly make a lasting impact on the industry.”

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