Nicky Mann honoured with highest achievement in PCA organisation

It has been 20 years ago since Nicky Mann joined the organization Protected Cropping Australia, the peak industry body representing commercial hydroponic and greenhouse growers Australia-wide. Last week she was awarded not only the PCA Outstanding Contribution Award, but also the Life Membership of Protected Cropping Australia, the highest honor one can receive in this organization. 

During the last weeks of the PCA event, four awards were announced to be handed out. "Our industry is full of inspiring people working every day to make our industry the best it can be. We celebrate the achievements of these amazing people at our conference every second year", the organization says. Nam Ly of Stoller won the Young Achiever of the Year award. The PCA Industry Development celebrated Dr Elio Jovicich for his impact on the future course of protected cropping in Australia. Andrew McIlwain of Green Camel was awarded the Grower of the Year for being, well, the grower of the year.

The Outstanding Contribution Award was handed out to Nicky - who had to carry home a second award as well. The Life Membership of Protected Cropping Australia isn't awarded regularly - it's even for awards of a special kind. Currently, only three people have been honored with it - and one of them is Nicky. 

Nicky joined the Protected Cropping Australia in 2002, right when she and her family moved from Zimbabwe to Australia. They started off their business in a small, rented greenhouse where they started growing roses on 3.000m2, something they had done previously for export to Europe.

"We then expanded to 6000m2 and after some years diversified to hydroponic blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, ginger, turmeric, and figs. When the property we were leasing was put up for sale - my husband - Wade Mann and I were so very fortunate to get incredible jobs with Family Fresh Farms.  We are so immensely lucky to work at this amazing growing facility which rivals the best in the world - especially our people", she says. 

Throughout her journey in horticulture in Australia - Nicky has served on the Board of PCA, Chaired the 2015 PCA Conference, and been the Chairwoman of PCA since 2017 - she says she has been amazingly blessed to be part of so many changes in the organization and seen it grow and develop. "I would really like to say a heartfelt thank-you to Protected Cropping Australia. The PCA is involved in loads of really worthwhile projects and I sit on many steering committees and reference groups representing growers and advocating for improvement in all areas."

In October 2021, Nicky stepped down as the Chairwoman and handed the position over to Matthew Plunkett. "An extremely driven and passionate advocate for our industry too, it was time for renewal and empowering new leaders and stakeholders. I am truly blessed to have been involved in this amazing organization and I will treasure these awards as PCA is so dear to my heart. I would like to thank everyone who has been a part of my journey as they say "it's always a team effort!"", Nicky says. "I'm so grateful to my supportive husband - Wade Mann, and the incredible business led by Master Grower, Patrick de Craen, that has allowed me the time to dedicate to the industry.  Lastly, thank you to the people who make up the industry - you are all truly amazing and I'm honored to know you, work alongside you, and have represented you through PCA. Thank you!" 

For more information:
Protected Cropping Australia 

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