NSW Farmer of the Year, and the Young Farmer of the Year were announced at a gala luncheon in Sydney on Wednesday, with the awards from Department of Primary Industries and NSW Farmers part of the Farm Writers' Association of NSW annual Christmas get-together.
Dairy farmer Renae Connell has been named the Young Farmer of the Year.
A timely shift to Jersey capable of producing A2 milk from a traditional Holstein herd has helped Ms Connell deliver a profit at a time when the dairy industry remains in crisis.
Milking 160 head on 123 usable hectares near Dorrigo, this young industry leader is paying back loans in a drought year utilising a pasture-based system supplemented with on-farm grown grass silage.
"Dairy is not an easy career path," admits Ms Connell, "But we are looking at new ways of getting the best return from our cows s owe can pass on the enterprise to the next generation."
The Farmer of the Year is Chris Hall, Wallendbeen.
A professional background has helped the third generation cherry producer to approach his horticultural enterprise from a clever angle.
Mr Hall used to run a managed investment scheme, and brings from that experience a love of spread sheets.
There has been attention paid to soil health, microbes and cover crops between orchard rows to boost size and flavour.
Cover crops between rows of trees offer a promising future, and Mr Hall says areas of the orchard with richer soil produce sweeter cherries.