On Wednesday 27th November, 2019 at 5:30pm – the Protected Cropping Australia (PCA) conducted its Annual General Meeting (AGM) and then straight after the meeting went on to hold a celebratory dinner for its Board, Members and Allied Trade to acknowledge the achievement of 30 years of serving the Australian greenhouse & hydroponic growers, researchers and trade.
The event was held at the Atura Hotel in Casey, Victoria and kicked off with drinks, followed by a 3-course meal with an informative guest speaker and legend of the PCA industry & Life Member, Rick Donnan.
Rick Donnan was also one of the founding members of the organisation and the very first Chairman of the then called Australian Greenhouse & Hydroponic Association (AGHA) which later became Protected Cropping Australia under the leadership of Graeme Smith. Rick Donnan gave the crowd a history of the greenhouse and hydroponic industry and explained some of the motivation behind starting the industry organisation was to protect unsuspecting investors and farmers from scammers and fly-by-night businesses just in the industry to flog dodgy systems and unrealistic yields/returns, but also, more importantly, to share valuable knowledge to first time hydroponic growers. When Rick was asked what he thought were the biggest advances to the industry over the past 30 years – Rick replied Integrated Pest Management. Rick also told the audience he felt there was a lot of potential in the vertical/indoor farming sector into the future.
The evening acknowledged how far the industry has come, but most importantly how well-placed protected cropping and hydroponic culture is to face the future. There was enormous gratitude to all the numerous people over the years that had dedicated time, effort and resources to keeping the passion alive and the organisation valued and current.
A wide range of people were in the room that had contributed a lot to the organisation over the years. Nicky Mann, the current Chairwoman of PCA thanked everyone sincerely for attending the event and for everyone’s continued commitment to making the protected cropping and hydroponic sector so exciting and innovative.