Farm Manager for “Merrilong Pastoral Co”, Spring Ridge NSW, Nick Beer has built a reputation amongst his industry peers for his enthusiasm and commitment to knowledge transfer and implementation, as well as identifying and forging synergistic partnerships and networks across the cotton industry and greater community.
Nick started growing both irrigated and dryland cotton with Merrilong Pastoral in 2010 and quickly found it was an industry he was fascinated by. His passion for producing cotton has continued to florish. It was this enthusiasm that saw Nick early on in his career, start looking for ways of being more involved and contribute to the industry.
‘The thing that excites me most about the cotton industry is the people and the culture. The fact that there are so many young people in the industry and that people are willing to learn and share. It’s constantly evolving and is so dynamic,’ Nick said.
A future industry leader in the making, in 2016 Nick became a member of Upper Namoi Cotton Growers Association (UNCGA), taking the Vice Chairman position in 2017.
For the past two years Nick has held the role of Chairman where his peers acknowledge the outstanding job he is doing in raising the profile of the association. Nick’s strong focus is on increasing the presence of younger cotton growers and industry personal in the UNCGA.
A past Australian Future Cotton Leaders program participant, Nick said ‘I’m always happy to give my time, put up my hand, get in and have a go. I enjoy mentoring some of the younger growers in the area.’
Eager to share new ideas, Nick set about implementing the knowledge and experiences he gained during this program into his workplace, the local CGA, as well as his local community.
His enthusiasm and drive in his local CGA, as well as his self-motivation to bring the cotton industry together and create beneficial synergies are qualities that his fellow CGA members hold in high regard.
Nick has successfully sourced Cotton Research and Development Corporation (CRDC) grants through the CRDC Grassroots Program. He is also a committee member for the bi-annual Australian Cotton Conference, has facilitated a field trip to the Macquarie Valley, organises charity days, planned the annual valley field day and has also hosted information evenings across the valley about the work of the local CGA to encourage young people in the cotton industry to join.
Nick’s focus on leveraging his position as President of the UNCGA has significantly raised the profile of the organisation and highlighted its many benefits to potential new members.
Recently Nick and a fellow CGA member facilitated a field trip for growers from the Upper Namoi to visit the Macquarie Valley. He instigated the trip to give members the opportunity to expand their knowledge and skill development by visiting a number of successful cotton growers who have implemented overhead irrigation systems and improved their water efficiencies on farm.
Not only did this trip provide an opportunity for local cotton growers to learn from others, it also provided them with a social outing outside of the farm gates during what have been some challenging times, due to the current dry conditions and consecutive dry and hot summers in the Upper Namoi.
The trip also augmented the building of closer relationships between the two cotton associations, providing ongoing positive outcomes for years to come.
An emerging leader, Nick’s focus is on the longevity of the cotton industry and ensuring we maintain a sustainable industry that delivers benefits to all of its members, the broader industry and the wider community.