34 GROW MAGAZINE – DECEMBER
This year, NT Farmers Association celebrated the retirement of Greg Owens who is one of our longest serving and most valued staff members. Greg has made an enormous contribution to the development of agriculture in the NT and in the Katherine region.
For over three decades, Greg has been actively involved in the agricultural industry in the Territory. During his time in the industry, he has taught agriculture subjects at Taminmin College, he was a horticulture extension officer with the Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries, he grew rambutans commercially and has had several roles within NT Farmers Association.
In the early 2000s, Greg joined the NT Agriculture Association, the predecessor of NT Farmers Association, as a part time project officer to assist growers with irrigation and land management practices. In this role, he delivered invaluable assistance to growers. His natural talent for teaching and extension combined with his knowledge and experience in agriculture enabled him to help grow the industry.
In 2013, Greg left his part time teaching role to commence a full time job as a Vegetable Grower Extension Officer with the newly established NT Farmers Association. He raised considerable awareness with vegetable growers regarding the importance of Integrated Pest Management (IPM). Greg’s extension work with IPM was largely focused on using less pesticides on plants and encouraging beneficial insects to kill pests. IPM results in healthier plant systems and reduced costs for farmers from not having to purchase large quantities of expensive pesticides.
In 2017, Greg was appointed as CEO of NT Farmers. During his tenure, he successfully grew the organisation and solidified its role as the peak industry body for the plant based agricultural sector.
Throughout Greg’s time at NT Farmers, he has played a critical role in supporting industry to respond to multiple potentially devastating biosecurity outbreaks such as banana freckle and citrus canker. He worked closely with government and industry to deliver responses to manage the threats while supporting growers.
Greg has been a strong advocate for growers in Katherine; he has campaigned for comprehensive research and development for growers and has been active in equitably securing water for Katherine growers.
On behalf of the NT agricultural industry, I would like to thank Greg for his tireless work to develop the agricultural industry in the Territory. Thanks to him we can enjoy some of the fruits of the industry!