‘Ag Excellence Perpetual Award’ State Register

The Ag Excellence ‘Perpetual Award’

for outstanding contribution to sustainable agriculture – launched in 2017




Length of service and commitment to the community:

In just 10 years of being in SA, Ruth Sommerville has made a substantial and long-lasting contribution to sustainable Agriculture within the state.  Her professional expertise combined with hard work and passion for her industry has resulted in outstanding achievements, particularly for the UNFS, but also for other communities within the Mid and Upper North.

Ruth has instigated, sourced funds and lead many projects that have greatly benefit the communities within these regions economically, environmentally and socially. The Upper North Farming Systems are very proud to have the opportunity to nominate Ruth for this prestigious award from Ag Ex.




Length of service and commitment to the community:

Bruce Heddle farms with his wife and daughters near Minnipa on the Upper Eyre Peninsula. He has been an active and passionate member of the Upper Eyre Peninsula community for nearly 3 decades.

His official (and always voluntary) positions include the Minnipa Research Centre Foundation, founding and long serving member of the EPARF Board, member of the Minnipa Farm Management committee, member of the SARDI/EPARF Project Research and Review committee, member of the GRDC Profit/Risk committee, member of the GRDC Regional Cropping Solutions Network for the Low Rainfall Region.

He is regularly called on by industry participants for his opinion on topical or emerging issues, and still helps shape the direction of research and extension activities.




Length of service and commitment to the community:


Sharon was a founding member of the PinG SA State Reference Group (2001) and will be with PinG SA until June 2017 when it will restructure itself into a new organization. During this time Sharon has been chair for 4 years and vice chair for two terms of two years.

National PinG

Sharon has also been on the PinG National Reference Group from 2008 until 2011 and again from2013 to 2017. During this time Sharon was vice chair for 2 years and chair for 2 years.

Ag Excellence Alliance

Sharon has also been an active member of the Ag Excellence Alliance Committee.

Local Community

As well as her industry service, when Sharon lived on the Yorke Peninsula she was a valuable member of her local community.

International Coaching Federation

Currently International Coaching Federation Australasia – Director of Australia



Length of service and commitment to the community:

Bruce Cook has played key roles in agricultural organisations and the community for more than 30 years.

Bruce was a foundation committee member of the YP Alkaline Soils Group (SYP Alkaline Soils Group) when it formed in 1999. Bruce has been active and played key roles in the Minlaton Ag Bureau, United farmers & Graziers and SAFF since the 1980’s. Bruce also assisted the early development of SANTFA writing and publishing their newsletter in their first year of operation.

Farmers from across South Australia have benefitted from Bruce’s practical approach and contribution to improving agricultural practices. Bruce and Audrey Cook’s agricultural skills and community contribution were recognized when they received an “Australian Wheat Board” “Golden Grower Award”.