Conargo Shire farmer Richard Sleigh received the inaugural Bill Herminston Memorial Landcare Award on Australia Day.By Cass Savellis
Local farmer Richard Sleigh’s commitment to natural resource management earned him the Conargo Shire Bill Hermiston Memorial Landcare Award on Australia Day.
The award, which was previously known as the Environmental Award, was this year re-named in honour of Mr Hermiston, who died last year.
Mr Hermiston, who was also a long-time Conargo Shire councillor, was a leader for environmental change within the shire.
Conargo councillor Don Henderson presented the award to Mr Sleigh on Saturday on behalf of the Hermiston family.
Mr Hermiston’s wife Elwyn and son Andrew were in the audience at the Pretty Pine Recreation Reserve to witness the presentation of the inaugural memorial award on Saturday.
In announcing the winner, Cr Henderson recognised Mr Sleigh’s efforts as not just beneficial to his own farming, but also to the community.
‘‘This award is very well deserved as Richard was an early adaptor in recognising that a balance between production and environment was necessary for the long term sustainability of both his farming business and the environment,’’ he said.
‘‘For 15 years he has given freely of his time as chair of the Yanco Creek & Tributaries Advisory Council (YACTAC), where he pushed the development of the Yanco & Creek Tributaries Natural Resource Management Plan.
‘‘This development led to $500,000 in government funding.
‘‘Through his efforts as the chair of YACTAC, Water for Rivers agreed to fund an Environmental Flow Study that is soon due out in draft.
‘‘Richard has consistently championed the benefits of having environment and production in harmony for the benefit of both.’’
The award was re-named in recognition of the contributions that Mr Hermiston made to sustainable farming and good farming practice.
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