Graduate of Excellence 2013

Mr Rob Egerton-Warburton (FM94) -
Kojonup, Western Australia

About the winner

A seventh generation farmer from Kojonup Western Australia, Rob farms with wife, Jennifer, and daughters, Lucinda and Zara. Rob has always had a passion for farming, particularly within the sheep industry and natural resource management. With an annual rainfall of 550mm the farm business produces wheat, canola, barley, sheep, wool and meat.

Rob and Jennifer have diversified with innovations inside these industries and also developed 'Lucinda's Everlastings', and 'Zara's Golden Everlastings', involving the production of commercial wildflower seed for retail markets.

Rob’s passion has gone beyond the farm gate, participating on various boards and committees that address his concerns and provide him with the opportunity to have input and offer direction and change.

Rob’s career highlights include

Cropping

  • Initial years of farming Rob chaired a cropping group to help incorporate research bodies such as CSIRO.
  • WA Sustainable Grazing on Saline Lands – researching productivity and environmental factors on saline land. This was part of a National Program that was initiated in WA and supported a network of 60 grower groups from Geraldton to Jerdacuttup researching productivity and environmental factors on saline land. Throughout the five years, innovations and processes instigated through the WA Board were transposed from West to East. A significant aspect of this included the highly successful regionally run 'grower-researcher forums' which Rob conceived.
  • 2006 researched and pioneered the idea for the use of grazing cereals, and conducted on-property trials.
  • 2009 he conceived and instigated the idea behind ‘Southern DIRT', a regional body providing information for farmers in high rainfall areas in the Great Southern. It is now a productive and self-funded regional agency, employing three staff, and potentially servicing 2,300 farming members covering eight shires across the Great Southern area.

Sheep

  • 1994 – current – Meriontech Board
  • 2007- current - National board of the Sheep CRC
  • 2011 – current – chair of the Sheep Leadership Council

Awards

  • 2009 – finalist in the Great Southern Development Commission’s Medal for Excellence in Natural Resource Management
  • 2009 - Winner of the Western Australian Natural Resource management Primary Producer Award
  • 2010 - A National Finalist in the Landcare Primary Producer of the Year Award in Canberra
  • 2010 – Nuffield Scholar – incorporated an international study of mixed farming systems and livestock to gain a broader and more comprehensive view of industries in Australian agriculture Finalist Farmer of the Year

Throughout Rob's farming career, he has shown an industrious ability to convey the right positive message to farmers and peers, and as such is constantly asked to speak at meetings, appearing regularly in rural state-wide papers and radio programs like the ABC's Country Hour.

He contributes to a monthly blog for the ABC portal and enjoys writing a regular monthly column in the British 'Farmer's Weekly' providing insights from an Australian Farmer's perspective to the international community.

Innovation and new ideas are at the forefront of Rob's farming practices, hosting field-days and workshops to demonstrate methods of time efficiency and improved production. 

For more information contact

Susie Rouffignac
Foundation Office on 03 5247 2919 or email
foundation@marcusoldham.vic.edu.au