Moyne Shire choses two woolgrowers as annual environmental award winners

Stock & Land
6 Jun 2019

ANOTHER AWARD: David and Susan Rowbottom, pictured with Paolo Zegna, have added an environmental award to their fifth Vellus Aureum trophy.

ANOTHER AWARD: David and Susan Rowbottom, pictured with Paolo Zegna, have added an environmental award to their fifth Vellus Aureum trophy.

Prominent western Victorian wool growers have been awarded Moyne Shire's annual Environmental Sustainability Awards.

The shire celebrated World Environment Day by announcing James and Nicole Finnigan, Kia Ora Merinos James and Nicole Finnigan, Winslow, and David and Susan Rowbottom, St Helens, had won this year's awards.

Moyne Shire mayor, councillor Mick Wolfe presented the Short-term Award (for work completed within the past two years) and the Long-term Award (for contribution over a number of years).

The Short-term Award was presented to Kia Ora for its focus on sustainable and ethical farming practises.

"Some of the key elements to James and Nicole's management include, improving water quality, not using inorganic fertilizers, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and selective breeding of livestock for flystrike and worm resistance," Cr Wolfe said.

"They also have a policy of 100 per cent recycling or reuse and have eliminated environmentally damaging practises such as the use of plastic silage wrap."

In 2018, Kia Ora Merino achieved accreditation under the global Responsible Wool Standard, one of only 70 farms in Australia.

The Long-term Award was presented to David and Susan Rowbottom, also Merino farmers, for their ongoing commitment to protecting the St Helens Flora Reserve, near Yambuk.

WOOL AND ENVIRONMENT: David and Susan Rowbottom have been voluntary custodians of the St Helen's Reserve since 1975.

WOOL AND ENVIRONMENT: David and Susan Rowbottom have been voluntary custodians of the St Helen's Reserve since 1975.

"David and Susan have been voluntary custodians of the reserve since 1975, preventing the last known breeding population of the Southern Brown Bandicoot in Moyne Shire becoming extinct," Cr Wolfe said.

"They have also saved rare gliders and native flora from extinction through their work, including advocating government for protection of the reserve, maintaining firebreaks, treating weeds and implementing fox control measures.

"David and Susan are true environmental crusaders, and this award is our way of thanking them for their commitment and contribution over five decades."

This year, the Rowbottoms also won the Vellus Aureum trophy for the fifth time in six years. 

The trophy recognises the best sheep wool in the world and they came out on top with a 10.2 micron Rowensville Merino fleece,

Nominations for Moyne's annual awards are assessed on a projects improvement to the environment, community involvement, and the level of inspiration it can provide to improve environmental management across the shire.