The final week of the online Great South West Dairy Awards has seen Matt and Alli Reid announced as winners of the prestigious Dairy Farm Business Management Award.
Also announced was the induction of Phillip Harris and Christopher O'Keefe onto the Western Victorian Dairy Industry honour board.
The Reids moved to their Carlisle River, Vic, farm in 2003 and have since built the business up to 650 hectares, milking 700 Holstein and crossbred cows.
The judges were particularly impressed with Mr and Mrs Reid's vision to be an 'employer of choice' and their focus on creating a workplace culture that 'allows people to be who they want to be', along with their sustainable business system centred on the three pillars of Planet, People and Profit.
"Winning this award is less about the recognition from our peers or the wider community and more about reward for our team," Mrs Reid said.
"For them to know we are doing our best not only in business management but people and safety management too.
"It's definitely about the broader community, we value each and every person who contributes to our business; our family, our employees, our advisers, our bankers and service providers - and have always regarded our journey as a team effort.
"We appreciate the guidance received and the principles instilled in 'the know how' of what it means to do a good job.
"We would like to thank WestVic Dairy for celebrating our industry, dairy has seen some difficult times over the years, but overall, we wouldn't wish to be anywhere else."
Josh and Lilli Philp, Garvoc, Vic, were the Fonterra Australia sponsored runners-up in the category.
Alongside their strong business management skills, the judges noted they are a 'highly motivated young couple whose belief in the industry is infectious'.
Mr Harris from Larpent, Vic, and Mr O'Keefe, Warrnambool, Vic, were inducted to the Western Victorian Dairy Industry honour board following their outstanding contribution to the dairy industry over many years.
Mr Harris has had a huge impact on the Colac district dairy industry and more broadly across the south-west, he has always been a modern and progressive dairy farmer, who has willingly shared his knowledge.
His ability to encourage others to develop their skills and expertise has created a launching pad for many, providing young farmers with support as they have established themselves in their own careers.
Along with building a successful dairy farm business at Winslow, Mr O'Keefe has also served the dairy community through a 40-year involvement with United Dairyfarmers of Victoria.
"I feel it a great honour and privilege to be inducted onto the Honour Board, beside the great legends that have preceded me," Mr O'Keefe said.
WestVic Dairy's Regional Manager, Lindsay Ferguson, is happy with how the digital format for the awards was received.
"We have seen fantastic engagement, with thousands of people following the awards on our Facebook page," he said.
"I would like to thank everyone who has made this event possible, particularly our great sponsors, finalists, judges and all those that took the time to apply or nominate.
"Congratulations to all the winners and runners-up, it has been enjoyable to see the calibre of those involved in our industry over the past few weeks, and to acknowledge and celebrate those that are excelling in our region."
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