Leadership recognition for tomato grower

By Country News

Moama tomato farmer and Nuffield International chief executive officer Jim Geltch has taken out the 2018 Rabobank Leadership Award, recognising the role he has played in developing upcoming leaders in the Australian and New Zealand food, beverage and agribusiness sectors.

Presenting the award on October 11, Rabobank Australia and New Zealand group managing director Peter Knoblanche said in his work leading Nuffield, Mr Geltch was making one of the most fundamentally important contributions to leadership in the food and agribusiness sector.

‘‘Jim is one of the great unsung heroes of the sector, whose enormous contribution to agriculture and the food and agribusiness industries is truly deserving of recognition,’’ Mr Knoblanche said.

‘‘Not only is he an extremely accomplished leader in his own right, he has had a huge impact on the sector and done great good by fostering and developing leadership in others.

‘‘Through his own leadership of the Nuffield organisation, Jim has played, and continues to play, an invaluable role in the future growth and prosperity of the sector, by facilitating the development and engagement of the talented young people in our agricultural and agribusiness industries.’’

Mr Knoblanche said it was particularly impressive that Mr Geltch had contributed so much to developing others in the sector, while simultaneously operating, with his family, an operation growing 30000tonnes annually of tomatoes.

Also a Nuffield Scholar in his own right, Mr Geltch was awarded his scholarship in 1986 to explore farmer education, advances in irrigation technology and computer-based crop modelling in Europe and Israel.

In 2001, he was awarded the Order of Australia for service to primary industry in the field of irrigated agriculture and promotion of agricultural research and education.

Accepting his award by video, Mr Geltch said one of the most rewarding aspects of his role heading Nuffield was witnessing the growth and development of the young people coming through the scholarship program, and the impact it was making.