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Victorian organic grower receives Women in Horticulture award

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Lisa Brassington of Peninsula Fresh Organics in Victoria has received the prestigious Women in Horticulture award at Hort Connections 2017, in recognition of her passion for promoting the diverse role of women in the industry and her ongoing contribution to the organic sector.

For the first time, the award was presented at the 2017 Women in Horticulture event, which was held at the InterContinental Adelaide. The award and the event are supported by Steritech, a leader in sterilisation and decontamination services for domestic and export markets.

AUSVEG Deputy Chair Belinda Adams said Lisa’s commitment to highlighting the varied and integral role of women in the horticulture industry made her a deserving recipient of the award.

“When you meet Lisa it is clear that her passion is two-fold: she is committed to sustainability and producing quality organic produce, as well as strengthening the leadership of women in horticulture and the wider agriculture industry,” Mrs Adams said.

Lisa is the Land and Quality Manager at Peninsula Fresh Organics, a certified organic market garden that began with three acres in 2009 and has grown to comprise 40 acres in Baxter on the Mornington Peninsular in Victoria and another 100 acres in Barham, New South Wales near the Murray River.

Under the guidance of owners Wayne and Tash Shields, Peninsula Fresh Organics produces a year-round supply of lettuce, leek, kale, cabbage and heirloom varieties.

“Lisa plays an integral role at Peninsula Fresh Organics, not only to ensure the produce is of the highest quality when it leaves the farm, but also to make sure their land remains sustainable,” Mrs Adams said.

“She is very active on social media and participates in a range of industry initiatives to upskill and extend her knowledge, and she encourages her peers to take advantages of similar opportunities.”

Lisa was a Victorian finalist for the 2017 Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation (RIRDC) Rural Women’s award and she participated in the National Rural Women’s Coalition sustainable farming e-learning program. Most recently, she received a scholarship from AUSVEG to undertake a Masterclass in Horticultural Business, which is essentially a mini-MBA for horticulture industry members.

Lisa is also a founding member of the organising committee for the Women on Farms Gathering 2018, which will be held on the Mornington Peninsula. This event recognises and promotes rural and regional women in their communities and encourages them to share their stories.

“Lisa is a passionate and proactive industry leader and a shining example of the fundamental role that women play in Australian horticulture, be it in key managerial roles or behind the scenes. The Women in Horticulture award is an important recognition of that fact and Lisa is a fitting recipient,” Mrs Adams.

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