Former Queensland Farmers’ Federation (QFF) President Stuart Armitage was awarded the Peter Kenny Medal for his outstanding and ongoing contribution to the Queensland agriculture sector at the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries’ AgFutures 2020 virtual forum last week.
He continues to hold a leadership position in Queensland’s agricultural sector, assisting the various industries to address issues as they arise and driving innovation on his own farm, in order to provide both knowledge and opportunities for all.
Stuart served two terms as QFF President before retiring on 14 November 2019. However, Stuart has continued to represent the agricultural community of Queensland through positions on seven different boards and committees, including serving as Chair of the Paradise Dam Industry Forum and as a Commissioner for Queensland’s GasFields Commission.
Stuart is also Patron for ‘Are You Bogged Mate?’, a charity addressing the complex and detrimental mental health impacts in regional and farming communities. His openness and willingness to talk about the issues, has raised awareness not just in Queensland but nationally, while the charity delivers services on the ground to make a real and lasting difference to lives.
In addition to his leadership roles, for the past 40 years Stuart has been farming at Cecil Plains on a 570ha flood irrigated family operation growing a range of commodities including cotton and grain.
Stuart has ensured his farm is a beacon for innovation, working with a team including local agronomists and researchers from Griffith University to undertake soil carbon and nutrient analysis to determine new knowledge in the relationship between fertiliser application and crop needs.
He also has replaced his on-farm water meters to include a telemetry option and is working with Telstra, the Murray Darling Basin Authority and QFF to develop and demonstrate sound technological practice.
Off-farm, Stuart has always been able to identify innovative solutions to benefit farmers and was instrumental in the industry-led voluntary Condamine Alluvium Water Buybacks. This included the recovery of 40,400ML of nominal groundwater entitlement within the Central Condamine Alluvium aquifers to ensure sustainability into the future.
Queensland’s agricultural sector is far stronger for Stuart’s leadership and, as such, he is well deserving of the recognition of his significant and ongoing contribution.