Andy wins the landcare award

Andy Hay is known around the NUFG traps as a bit of a legend. We think of him as one of our tribal elders.  He is the epitome of farmers from our part of the world with his dry sense of humour mixed up with a bunch of wisdom borne out of considerable experiences in both good times and bad.

Andy is the kind of guy you can rely on when you want to give things a go. When the NUFG came to him in 2003 wanting to attempt what seemed the impossible, restoration of his most saline land, he was there without hesitation. He is a long-time supporter of landcare. 

Andy in the early days of planning the Kamarooka project

At times we have become a little carried away in our monthly meetings with debates about who we are and what we represent. Are we a low rainfall forestry group interested in plantations?  Are we an agricultural industry group interested in achieving sustainable production?  Are we a landcare group interested in working together for the good of our farming communities and the ecology?  Are we a business group with an interest in making a profit from managing the land for the future? Andy's answer to these questions is that we are all of these things and more and that they are all a part of landcare.

Andy helping to survey bores at Kamarooka

Andy with Ian Rankin (NUFG Chair) showing Melbourne
University students around the Kamarooka project site

 Andy not only carefully manages the NUFG Kamarooka Project site so that we continue to enjoy the benefits of our efforts. He is one of a core group of NUFG members that turn up again and again and present to the constant stream of visitors now interested in experiencing the NUFG success in turning a saline wasteland into an oasis. He is there on each occasion telling his story of how and when the land went saline, what that meant to his family, and how that has all changed through the efforts of the NUFG community, and financial support that came from the National Landcare Program and the more recent Caring for our Country program.

Andy and Carmel at the awards ceremony 

Earlier this year (2009) we nominated Andy for a landcare award and in September at a ceremony at Government House Environment and Climate Change Minister Gavin Jennings and Governor of Victoria Professor David de Kretser, AC, announced Andy had won the DPI Sustainable Farming Award for North Central Victoria. This was a great thrill not only for Andy but for all NUFG members. 

 Good on you Andy