Victorian organic stonefruit and vegetable grower Nathan Free has been named AusVeg Young Grower of the Year.

Nathan, of Alkira Organics, Lake Boga, claimed the titled at a prestigious award ceremony in Cairns last Saturday.

The Young Grower of the Year award is presented to a vegetable or potato farmer who demonstrates commitment to the industry, innovation, business acumen and participation in the broader vegetable industry – and Nathan certainly fulfils these criteria.

Already an accomplished producer, Nathan has demonstrated a high level of commitment to agriculture and is proof that the future of farming in Victoria is very bright.

Nathan returned to his family’s Alkira Organics business, which also trades as Duralgai Horticulture, in 2007 to oversee vegetable production and packing on-farm.

Alkira Organics gained Australian Certified Organic certification in 2011 and now supplies major supermarket chains with premium organic produce.

The 2014 AusVeg National Awards for Excellence Gala Dinner was held in Cairns on Saturday and honoured growers and other members of the Australian vegetable and potato industries for outstanding achievements in their respective fields.