Trevor Ranford recognised for biosecurity efforts

Trevor Ranford receives the 2022 Australian Biosecurity Award in Canberra.

Congratulations go to Trevor Ranford, past HMASA member, who recently received a 2022 Australian Biosecurity Award in the Industry category, as well as the inaugural SA Premier’s Horticulture Award for Biosecurity reports Dianne Hall. The national award was presented in Canberra at the National Museum.

In the national award Trevor was recognised for his contribution to the management of the 2010 to 2020 national chestnut blight emergency response.

Over the course of his 45-year career, Trevor has been a passionate advocate for the industries he represents, including Chestnuts Australia Inc., the Pistachio Growers’ Association Inc., Hazelnut Growers of Australia Inc., the Australian Walnut Industry Association Inc., and Summerfruit Australia Ltd.

The Australian Biosecurity Awards are presented by the Federal Department of Agriculture, Fisheries & Forestry and recognise individuals, groups and organisations that have shown a commitment to supporting and promoting Australia’s biosecurity and the systems that underpin it.

Despite a difficult beginning and numerous challenges, Trevor was instrumental in building a stronger partnership between Agriculture Victoria and Chestnuts Australia Inc. to ensure practical outcomes for industry for the long-term management of chestnut blight.

Trevor and the chestnut industry were adamant that chestnut blight could be eradicated, despite many views that it could not.

The citation for Trevor’s award noted that his leadership has:

  • strengthened awareness of the chestnut industry and the broader community in the management of chestnut blight;
  • resulted in a sustainable and effective industry-led surveillance program that supports ongoing on-property management of chestnut blight and pest status claims; and
  • enabled the effective management of chestnut blight in a long-term, sustainable manner.

In commenting on the award, Trevor said: “While this is an individual award I did and will continue to dedicate it to ALL Australian Horticultural and Agricultural producers who are one of the ‘front lines’ of Australia Biosecurity and pest and disease management.
“Thanks to all in the chestnut industry for their hard work in managing the chestnut blight incident – one of the many biosecurity incidents I have been involved with.”

Despite the response officially ending in December 2020, Trevor advocated to secure funding from Agriculture Victoria to support further work on chestnut blight until 2023. Funding will continue to support Chestnuts Australia Inc. and the industry biosecurity officer, under Trevor’s leadership, to identify and manage chestnut blight into the future.

Trevor was also involved in the national emergency response to khapra beetle (2020 to 2022). This response was coordinated by the Australian Government and delivered across five states – a first in size and scale for an emergency plant pest response. Trevor was open to the development of a risk-based approach, which led to the establishment of a technical working group focused on national risk pathways and mitigation measures.

Trevor Ranford was nominated by Dr Rosa Crnov from Agriculture Victoria. His award was one of two presented for contribution to Industry. In total 10 awards were presented.

Trevor is a man with many hats and his work with Summerfuit Australia was recognised in the SA Premiers Horticulture Awards on May 18. He received the Biosecurity Award which was sponsored by the Department of Primary Industry and Regions SA.

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