They pioneered the process of producing sugar cane mulch and now South East Queensland cane growers, the Keith family, have been recognised for their innovation.
The family, who own Rocky Point Mulching, have taken out the Australian Farmer of the Year title for 2016.
The Australian Farmer of the Year award was announced as part of a ceremony held at Parliament House in Canberra last week and caps a busy year for the third-generation family owned and operated business, Rocky Point Mulching.
The business focuses on environmental sustainability, renewable resources and recovery development.
Starting out as humble sugar cane farmers, the Keith family diversified farming practices to include the production of organic, recycled garden mulch.
This flagship product, sugar cane mulch, is the go-to organic garden mulch for Australian home gardeners.
The previous alternative in sugar cane farming was the burning of the leaf which was considered a waste product.
This new process of keeping the leaf reduces impact on the environment and increases the value of the crop.
This significantly adds to the viability of the sugar cane farming industry, with over one million bags produced and sold annually.
Early 2016 saw the commencement of a new division, Rocky Point Recycling, an urban resource recovery business, salvaging waste timbers to create garden mulches thus reducing landfill.
Rocky Point Mulching is constantly innovating with product updates, improvements and certifications to the home and professional gardening range under the Rocky Point Mulching brand.
This brand now covers a full range of feeder and decorative mulches, along with potting mixes, garden soils, sands and animal bedding.
From the early days of sugar cane farming under the watchful eye of Alexander and Phyllis Keith, the Rocky Point Mulching farming enterprise has always been owned and operated by family members.
Today, 13 members of the family work full-time within the business.
Hosted by Kondinin Group and ABC Rural, the Australian Farmer of the Year is awarded to those farming individuals and families who demonstrate innovation, professionalism and a determination to succeed.