BOOMAROO Nurseries at Lara is The Weekly Times Coles Farmer of the Year.
The awards recognised excellence in farming throughout southeast Australia in cropping, horticulture, dairy, sheep, beef and small or hobby categories.
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Olympian Giaan Rooney, MC of the awards in Melbourne last week, was exuberant in her praise of the finalists.
"These farmers have done an incredible job and make me proud to call myself a farmer," said Rooney, who runs a 130ha cattle farm at Euroa with her husband.
Finalists were selected after appearing in The Weekly Times, FARM Magazine or on Weekly Times Now during 2012.
Boomaroo Nurseries took home the Farmer of the Year award for its 10ha farm, which produces 300 million seedlings a year and employs 170 full-time workers.
The specialist germinator of vegetable seedlings boasts more than 40,000 square metres of glasshouses across four states.
The nursery was established by three brothers who, with no experience, gave up their day jobs to try farming.
Eric, Michael and Theo Jacometti have developed a fully-automated planting system with tailor-made machinery, allowing them to produce more than 170 varieties of high quality seedlings.
"I think this is a testament to the fact we're always developing and moving forward," Eric said.
"You can't stand still or you won't make it.
"I think farming will survive and we can feed the world if we keep moving, because Australia has by far the best farmers in the world."
Frank and Andis Sorraghan, from Ladysmith, NSW, won Beef Farmer of the Year.
The couple moved into beef after an award-winning career in dairy farming.
"There are so many outstanding beef producers out there that we were very humbled and pleased to win," Frank said.
"The fact that we've come from such an extensive dairy background and have managed to be successful in beef too is something to be proud of."