The Awards co-hosts will delay the announcement of the 2020 award winners until next year, due to the impact of COVID-19.
Aspermont and Kondinin Group Publishing director, Simon Tarmo, said the move to postpone the Awards was not made lightly and had the highest regard for the Awards in mind.
"The Australian Farmer of the Year Awards not only celebrate incredible achievements in agriculture, but also bring high achievers together to learn from each other, share ideas and build strong networks to assist the future sustainability of our industry," Tarmo said.
"The Awards aim to build capacity and leadership in agriculture and to do that appropriately it's really important to have everyone in the same room… and COVID-19 has made that near impossible this year.
"By delaying our announcement until 2021, we can ensure we do right by our winners and judges—who have done an amazing job processing all of the nominations—and also our sponsors and industry supporters, who help make the Awards a reality."
This is the first time in the Awards' decade-long history that the event has had to be postponed.
All stages of judging have been completed, having taken place during July and August this year. Finalists and winners are yet to be notified.
The new date of the 2020 Awards announcement event will be confirmed in early 2021.
In relation to the next edition of the Awards, which are scheduled to open in mid-2021 and be announced in October 2021, co-hosts Kondinin Group and ABC Rural have decided not to proceed, and will instead focus on the 2022 edition.
"Given the delays to the 2020 Awards, it makes sense to start afresh in 2022 rather than try to rush through a 2021 edition in the second half of the year," Tarmo said.
"But rest assured— the Australian Farmer of the Year Awards remain a crucial aspect of Kondinin Group's activities and are fundamental to celebrating and encouraging excellence in Australian farming.
"And as soon as we can acknowledge our 2020 Award recipients appropriately, we will certainly be doing so."
Kondinin Group thanks all sponsors and industry supporters, who have stood behind the Awards during this challenging year. The 2020 Awards are supported by Platinum Sponsors WFI; Award Sponsors McDonalds, AgriFutures, Corteva Agriscience, Telstra and New Holland; Industry Supporters the National Farmers' Federation, AgSafe, Goldacres and Blundstone; Leadership Program supporter the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources; and Media Partner RM William's OUTback.
For more information on the Awards, please visit www.farmeroftheyear.com.au