COBARGO stalwart Jim Salway has been awarded a rare honour for his commitment to dairy farming.
Mr Salway, 70, was the 2014 recipient of the Lex Bunn Dairy Industry Achievement Award.
Mr Salway joins a special group of past winners, including Semex Australia general manager Jim Conroy and Australian Guernseys president Lyndon Cleggett.
The award was presented to Mr Salway at the recent International Dairy Week (IDW) in Tatura, Victoria.
Mr Salway received the honour alongside his wife Madge and son Steven.
He believes he is the first farmer in NSW to receive the award.
“It was amazing, I didn’t have a clue about it,” Mr Salway said.
“I think the reason I got recognised was since we started [exhibiting at IDW] in 1998, we have been quite successful there.”
Mr Salway said Mr Bunn was a driving force behind IDW, the third biggest dairy show in the world.
“International Dairy Week would never have happened without Lex,” he said.
Jim Conroy was the inaugural recipient of the Lex Bunn award in 2002.
Mr Conroy said Mr Bunn was a “great showman and participant”, as well as a mentor for young exhibitors coming into the industry.
The Lex Bunn award is closely modelled on a similar honour at the World Dairy Expo, held annually in the US.
Mr Conroy said the criteria for the honour included heavy involvement in shows, promoting dairy cattle and assistance to young breeders.
He said Mr Salway was a worthy winner.
“Jim has been heavily involved and has encouraged others,” Mr Conroy said.
“He comes from an isolated area, whereby it has taken a real effort on his part.
“To get acknowledged by your peers as a leader and example to others is a great honour.
“The award is not designed to promote individuals to do more, it’s a recognition of what the recipient has done.”
As part of the award protocol, Mr Salway will now join the judging panel in 2015.
Mr Salway is a third generation farmer who has dedicated a “lifetime” to his work.
However, he said the time has now arrived to “step aside a bit, a big bit.”
Steven has taken over the reins and exhibited two cows at International Dairy Week.
Mr Salway said his main role for IDW was “taking young blokes up from the Valley, blokes like Tom Pearce and Rocky Allen”.
Mr Salway said he was proud to be recognised for his contribution to dairy farming.
“You’ve got to put in to get something back,” he said.