A group of ten winners from across the value chain received awards at Hort Connections Gala Dinner 

Leaders of the Australian horticulture industry have been recognised at the Horticulture Awards for Excellence 2024, presented in front of a crowd of more than 1,500 at the Hort Connections Gala Dinner which closed the event in Melbourne on 5 June.

The annual Horticulture Awards for Excellence are awarded to leading growers and industry members for exceptional achievements and innovations across multiple categories. 

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 chief executive 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.” 

The Horticulture Awards for Excellence 2024 winners were: 

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