Image Upload

File size must be less than 500kb

File types (jpg, png, gif)






honour-for-andrew

Weidemann honour

Weidemann honour

Passion drives farming leader Andrew Weidemann AM

By DEAN LAWSON

To suggest Rupanyup district farmer Andrew Weidemann has a passion for agriculture would be an understatement.

Mr Weidemann, 55, has lived and breathed the industry since his childhood and his love of what it means and takes to help feed the world and the lifestyle it represents is unwavering.

It is his relentless dedication to ensure broadacre farming, in particular grain production in the Wimmera, Victoria and Australia, marches forward that has won him recognition in the latest Queen’s Birthday honours.

Article continues below

Mr Weidemann, with a lengthy roll of state and national agricultural accolades and representation roles matched only by his list of community-
engagement positions, has become a Member in the General Division of the Order of Australia, AM.

He said the recognition was humbling, especially considering the scarcity of agricultural representatives in this year’s honours list.

“I suppose it’s a reflection of my family’s contribution to agriculture over a long period of time. And it is certainly not something I’m going to give up tomorrow,” he said.

Mr Weidemann and his wife Julie, and his brother Rodney and wife Andrea, work in partnership on their family farm, Sunnydale.

His interest in farming, while ‘in the genes’, goes much deeper than simply working the land to provide a living for his family.

He said he saw the industry as a regenerating legacy that generations of farmers passed on, and it was important this continued.

“I’ve certainly grown up with it. My English teacher Kerryn Smith at Murtoa High School used to get very frustrated with me because I would continually write about farming and agriculture in every essay I did,” he said.

“I look back and giggle about it and she would too.”

Mr Weidemann’s passion would take him well beyond the farm gate and into heady meeting rooms of international trade, development and debate.

He has been Grains Producers Australia chairman since 2013, had lengthy stints as a Victorian Farmers Federation representative, Birchip Cropping Group executive member and a key figure in national grains research and development.

In 2013 he even represented Australia at the World Food Prize and is now one of about 150 members of a Global Farmer Network.

“I never thought I would be chairman of a national body or even something at state level, but you kind of fall into these positions if you are passionate enough,” he said.

“And I’m passionate about research, innovation and what’s available for farmers.

“It’s about trying to make the next generation of farmers and farmer leaders better equipped for the future – about trying to make sure tomorrow’s a better place than it is today.”

Mr Weidemann said his Rupanyup upbringing and the pragmatic approach of people in the Wimmera town had helped shape his life.

“Sometimes you have to make unpopular decisions, but you make them because they are right,” he said.

“We want to try to create jobs in the Wimmera and retain as much of the youth as we can so we can keep things like footy, netball and golf clubs alive.

“We need our regions as healthy and as vibrant as possible. Our people are our wealth.”

Mr Weidemann has always put his hand up to support his community as well as his industry, having been in many volunteer sporting, firefighting and community-development leadership roles.

His influence and position in business, industry and rural life has even led to him appearing in national television commercials.

“I love to promote agriculture and what we do – it’s what I’m passionate about,” he said.

“I want to make sure people see what we do is not a hayseed job.

“It’s very sophisticated and people should be proud of the work they do to feed the world.”

Mr Weidemann’s achievements –

Grain Producers Australia

  • Chairman, since 2013.

  • Director, Southern Region, since 2011.

  • Member, GPA Implementation Steering Committee.

  • Foundation Director, 2010.

  • Grains Council Australia Director, 2009.

Victorian Farmers Federation

  • President VFF Grains Group, 2011-2013.

  • Deputy-president, Grains Group, 2008-2011.

  • VFF Gene Technology chairman, 2005-2008.

  • Former president and Secretary, Rupanyup branch.

  • Former member, Phosphine Working Group, VFF Grains Group, 2003-2006.

  • Former member, Seeds Working Group, VFF Grains Group, 2004-2007.

Birchip Cropping Group

  • Board member, 2003-2013.

  • Deputy chairman, 2007-2013.

Committee and advisory roles

  • PISC Grains National Research and Development Committee Southern representative.

  • Wheat Quality Australia Panel Selection Committee, 2012.

  • GRDC Board Selection Committee, 2011.

  • Member, Longerenong College Advisory Committee.

  • National Mouse Management Working Group.

  • Nuseed IBC for Omega 3 Production representative.

  • Nufarm Advisory Committee.

  • GTA Transport and Ports Committee and Former GTA Trade and Market Access Committee.

  • Former Victorian Grower Group Alliance committee member.

  • Former member, Our Rural Landscapes Precision Ag Advisory Steering Committee.

  • Former deputy chairman, Wimmera Farming Systems,1998-2003.

  • Former member, Advisory Committee, Longerenong College Sustainable Land Management.

  • Former inaugural committee member, First Bendigo Bank Community Bank.

  • Former AWB Advisory Committee.

Community

  • President, Rupanyup Football and Netball Club, 1998-2009, and committee member, since 1994.

  • Former 1st Lieutenant, Rupanyup CFA Fire Brigade.

  • Volunteer firefighter, Country Fire Authority Victoria.

  • Chairman, Rupanyup Community Centre Working Group.

  • Chair, Central Wimmera Community Fuel Project.

  • Former president, Rupanyup Amateur Basketball Association.

Other

  • Primary producer, Weidemann Pastoral Pty Ltd, current.

  • Australian representative, 2013 World Food Prize.

Awards and recognition

  • 2020 Young Agribusiness Achiever Award, National Australia Bank, Wimmera, 2006.

  • James Muller Conservation Farming Award, Wimmera Conservation Farming Association 2000.

  • Best Achievement in Primary Production – Weidemann Pastoral Co, Wimmera Business Awards, Wimmera Development Association Powercor, 2000.

  • Graduate, Research Horizons for Grain Leaders of the Future Course 2004, Grains Research Development Corporation.

  • Olympic Relay torch-bearer, Sydney Olympic Games 2000.

The Latest

Join Us