Horticulture Awards for Excellence recognise inspiring industry achievements

Leading lights of the Australian horticulture industry have been recognised at the Horticulture Awards for Excellence 2024, presented in front of more than 1,500 delegates at the sold-out Hort Connections Gala Dinner in Melbourne last night.

The annual Horticulture Awards for Excellence are awarded to leading growers and industry members for exceptional achievements and innovations across multiple categories, and are widely regarded as the industry’s most prestigious honours.

Ten horticulture industry leaders and pioneers were recognised in this year’s Horticulture Awards for Excellence, and the group included growers, researchers, technology providers, educators and more.

“Each of the winners of this year’s Horticulture Awards for Excellence have made major contributions to the Australian horticulture industry, and they provide clear examples of the innovation and dedication that drives this industry forward,” said AUSVEG CEO Michael Coote.

“For the leadership and value they bring to the Australian horticulture industry, I thank and congratulate all of our winners, as well as the strong field of nominees in this year’s awards.”

Horticulture Awards for Excellence 2024 winners

  • Syngenta Grower of the Year: Rocky Lamattina & Sons – VIC
  • Corteva Agriscience Young Grower of the Year: Zeke Zalsman, Zaldeesh Farms – WA
  • Bayer Researcher of the Year: Doris Blaesing, RMCG – VIC
  • Butler Market Gardens Environmental & Sustainability: End Food Waste, Australian Banana Growers Council and Melons Australia – National
  • UPL Tech & Innovation: RapidAim – QLD
  • Muirs Community Stewardship Award: Veg Education – VIC
  • Hort Innovation Exporter of the Year Award: Nutrano Produce Group – NSW
  • Boomaroo Nurseries Women in Horticulture: Bree Watson, Bundaberg Fruit & Vegetable Growers – QLD
  • VISY Industry Impact: Ian Layden (Gatton Smart Farm Ag Tech Showcase), QDAF – QLD
  • Seeka Marketer of the Year Award: Perfection Fresh – NSW

For more information about the Horticulture Awards for Excellence 2024, please visit

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