Growing up as a farmer’s daughter and now as an active farmer for ten years, one thing I absolutely know for sure is there are not many farmers out there who rest on their laurels.
Farmers have always been innovative, driven and experimental. I grew up seeing these qualities made a farmer who they were, always wanting to improve, whether it is water efficiency, yields, soil conditions or equipment - the list goes on. What makes me proud to call myself a farmer is that we share our knowledge, our failings and our successes with neighbours, so that as a collective we continue to set the benchmark for being the world leaders in food and fibre production.
One of those trail blazers, who has continuously experimented and willingly shared his findings, is Harry Kooloos. Harry is set to move to greener pastures, so to speak, swapping his property in Mayrung for a house in town.
As a youngish farmer, I think it is important to recognise the contribution farmers like Harry have made to the industry. Without the hard work, engineering and risks (calculated of course!) taken to help develop this region we would not be as well placed as we are.
Harry has been instrumental in developing irrigation layouts that allow farmers to easily switch from growing a cereal to a rice crop or vice versa. He has experimented with different rice growing techniques and layouts to reduce waterlogging, improve efficiency and drainage, soil moisture and weed control to name a few.
Farmers like Harry are pioneers and their desire to leave the land in a better condition than how they found it should be commended. They are always thinking about ways to improve and how things can be done better.
So hats off to Harry, thank you for your contribution, and it’s time for a well earned break.