In early April, Greenlife Industry Australia reluctantly farewelled Queensland and Northern New South Wales Plant Protection Officer, Celeste Cook as she relocates interstate.
Starting in September 2019 Celeste was a dedicated employee and great advocate for the National Nursery Industry Biosecurity Program, providing on-farm support to industry stakeholders in the implementation of the Australian Plant Production Standard (APPS) programs with an emphasis on plant protection and biosecurity.
Celeste engaged with industry including production nurseries, greenlife markets and growing media manufacturers from Coffs Harbour to Cairns and worked with production nurseries across the ornamental, nut, berry, forestry, fruit and vegetable supply chains forging relationships and assisting growers improve their production systems. Through grower assistance, training development, and research, development and extension, Celeste contributed to the ongoing development and implementation of the National Nursery Industry Biosecurity Program.
Celeste also drafted the first version of the NIASA Ethical Plant Production Specification which will be added to the NIASA best management practice guidelines for industry to implement and, if desired, adopt as a formal audited specification under NIASA. Additionally, Celeste took on responsibility for Hort Innovation project Improving Pest Management for the Nursery Industry and assisted the National Biosecurity Manager to administer and facilitate the smooth operation of the trial investigating the cost/benefit associated with a robust and structured crop monitoring program at a business level. Celeste was also a very enthusiastic participant in the VR Crop Monitoring training module developed by GIA using her skills to test the functionality and processes of the module for grower roll out.
Celeste has relocated to Tasmania to be closer to family and while GIA are sorry to see her leave, we wish her all the very best.
GIA are currently recruiting for the Queensland/Northern NSW Plant Protection Officer position and will keep the industry informed regarding appointment for the role.