Mon. Jul 15th, 2024

Moree Agronomist Kate Lumber is up against the nation’s best young achievers in her field, as she heads to Cotton Australia’s major awards event in August.

Ms Lumber has been named a finalist for the Young Cotton Achiever of the Year award.

“I am absolutely humbled by the nomination and to be named a finalist is a massive achieved, both personally and professionally exciting,” she said.

The 29-year-old has dedicated eight years of her career to the cotton industry, both in Moree and across the Liverpool Plains, and currently works as an agronomist with Poole Ag Consulting. A career she is proud to have built from the ground up after taking a chance on a summer job.

“I fell into Cotton completely by chance, I took a job bug checking in my first year of Uni and absolutely love it.” 

“Within two weeks I said I think this is the job I want to do,” Ms Lumber said.

With her feet firmly in the field, Kate Lumber found her calling.

“It’s one of those jobs that if you love being outside and you enjoy science and people, it’s a really good mix of the lot.”

This award recognises young people excelling in their career, reaching goals and giving back to their industry and community. A check list Ms Lumber ticks on all fronts.

And the highlights of her career aren’t always the big yields.

“The business growth we have been able to maintain and achieve is something I am really proud of.”

Getting Kate to talk about herself is one thing, but when it comes to talking cotton her passion and knowledge takes over and it is easy to see how she secured her place as a finalist.

After a fluctuating landscape across the North West over the years, Lumber is happy to report the industry is on a high.

“The cotton industry is in a boom cycle, and when the dams a full and we have water, we are growing cotton and when they are not, we don’t grow any.”

“So we are very much in the high of that cycle off the back of a few wet years and full dams, so we had a full production year for the Gwydir this year and we will be going into another one come September.”

“We are looking forward to another big summer which will be great.”

It won’t be an easy run to the podium with Kate up against two equally impressive contenders for the title in Jacob Thuijs from St George and Emma Bond from the Gold Coast.

“I am really keen to learn a bit more about what [Jacob] is doing, and I have met Emma before, she is an absolute firecracker so she will be a hard one to go up against,” Ms Lumber said.

“She is in her own lane there and doing amazing things for the industry, especially on the textiles end.”

Kate will head to Toowoomba for the prestigious Australian Cotton Industry Awards on August 3.

Other local names to follow on the evening are:

  • David Tudgey from Breeza, near Gunnedah, who is up for the Bayer Grower of the Year Award
  • Dr Guna Nachimuthu from Narrabri who is a finalist for the Cotton Seed Distributors Researcher of the Year Award
  • Wee Waa’s Stacey Vogel who will be presenting the Cotton Landcare Tech Innovations project team, who is also up for the Cotton Seed Distributors Researcher of the Year Award.

The finalists for the 2023 Cotton Industry Awards include:

Bayer Grower of the Year Award
• Dave Tudgey (Breeza)
• Ron Harris (Hay)
• Johannes Roellgen (Brookstead)

AgriRisk High Achiever of the Year Award
• Ian Burnett (Emerald)
• Daniel Skerman (Dalby)
• Thomas Popp RMI (Goondiwindi)

CRDC Chris Lehmann Young Cotton Achiever of the Year Award
• Emma Bond (Gold Coast)
• Kate Lumber (Moree)
• Jacob Thuijs (St George)

Cotton Seed Distributors Researcher of the Year Award
• Jamie Hopkinson (Toowoomba)
• Stacey Vogel representing the Cotton Landcare Tech Innovations project team.
• Guna Nachimuthu (Narrabri)

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