Hall Australian Al The Almond Board of Australia recognises that occasionally we should stop to consider the contribution people make to our industry. This industry has developed and come a long way over the last fifty years, and many people have contributed to these changes. Importantly, many of course continue to do so. Industry needs these people, needs their vision, their courage, their support. Without them it will neither develop as quickly nor as well. Providing direction, pushing the boundaries, taking calculated risks and trying new techniques, technology and even new varieties Tom Martin 2014 Inductee
was later replicated by Flory and included on every sweeper model since, to developing a self-propelled sprayer, and more recently a prototype in-line analyser for objectively and efficiently assessing the quality of processed almonds. Tom has been actively involved in the oversight and management of hulling and shelling facilities with Laragon where he has been a Director since 1978 and Managing Director since 1986. Tom was also a Director of the Co-operative Almond Producers Ltd. from 1977 until 1990, and Almondco Australia Ltd. from 1995-1996, and has been a Director of Nut Producers Australia since 2002. Tom’s experience with Lindsay Point Almonds Pty Ltd., a private unlisted company of growers and investors, provided a model of an enterprise based almond orchard. This was pivotal to future expansion of the orchard area in the Riverland. In 1987, Tom and Paul together with Tony Read, reviewed the lessons learnt from the Lindsay Point development and commenced plans for a major orchard project that developed into Jubilee Almonds, established at Waikerie in 1988. Paul went on to become Managing Director with the support of Tom. Following the success of Jubilee Almonds, Tom led the development of Century Orchards at Loxton where he became Managing Director and more recently a Horticultural Director. Planting at Century Orchards began in 1999 and by 2001, the production area was 500ha of almonds and 100ha of wine grapes. In 1999, after a successful partnership, Tom and Paul separated their business relationship to facilitate family succession
Born in 1947, Tom Martin is a third generation almond grower and eldest son of the late Ross and Rosa Martin. Tom was born and raised on a mixed farm in Willunga, South Australia, farming almonds and sheep. Tom attended school in Willunga before attending Prince Alfred College in Adelaide for Year 12. Tom had a passion for engineering but realised he was not suited to academia and opted for a career in farming. In 1965, Tom joined his parents and grandparents farming 100 acres of almonds in addition to the other mixed enterprises. His passion for practical engineering and tinkering was encouraged by his father and remains an ongoing source of satisfaction. In 1978, his parents sold the Willunga property to enable Tom and Jan to move to Lindsay Point, where they purchased 100 acres and joined his brother Paul who had established plantings in 1973. Tom’s inventive nature has characterised his involvement in almonds from increasing the throughput of the Drewery cracker at the Willunga farm, to developing a mono boom shaker that did 60km/hr in reverse, to the hydraulic foot control of a sweeper head that Tom married Jan in 1971 and they have three children: Stuart, Andrew (Drew) and Shelley.
and he purchased a 1200ha property at Murtho. This led to the development of Omega Orchards with almond plantings expanding to 135ha, and is now owned by son Drew. Tom has a strong commitment to bettering the industry for all its participants and has served on many industry bodies. Tom served on the Australian Almond Improvement Society (AAIS) which aimed to support the continual improvement and expansion of the industry, largely through the use of improved plant material. Tom remembers this as an exciting period of advancement for the industry. Tom has also served on the Australian Almond Growers Association (AAGA), the representative body established in 1995 to deal with the broadening issues facing the industry. Once the Almond Board of Australia took over from the Association, Tom has remained an active participant in assisting the industry move forward and is a member of the ABA’s Almond Processing Committee. Tom has also represented the interests of irrigators. He realised the need for a strong and united voice and has been involved with South Australian Murray Irrigators and more recently as the ABA representative on the National Irrigators Council. This has assisted the development of projects and policies to ensure the efficiency and viability of Australian irrigated agriculture. Tom is approaching his 50th harvest and has greatly contributed to the Australian almond industry.