Appropriately, Simon receives the 2018 Award for Excellence in Diversification, sponsored by Decipher.
Simon is the Director of Princess Royal Station, a family-owned and operated mixed-farming enterprise based in Burra, South Australia.
Simon and his family crop about 12,000ha of their 30,000ha properties, as well as two stations in the Flinders Rangers running an Angus breeding herd, and background cattle for feedlotting.
He has been in the livestock industry his entire life and through hard work, skill and dedication, Simon is now recognised as a key figure in the SA cattle scene. This is partly due Simon's ingenuity and ability to implement successful diversification strategies to drive his farming enterprise.
Under his guidance, the business now sustains a large portion of the fodder, grain and hay storage, freight requirements, livestock breeding and trading, plant and machinery, and project management needs internally.
"We have vertically integrated many operations through our supply chain to give ourselves a competitive advantage," Simon said.
"Our large-scale cropping enterprise produces mainly fodder and feed grains which helps to supply the livestock demands. We purchased five prime movers which cart cattle to and from destinations, limiting the businesses reliance on contractors and allowing greater control of schedules and animal welfare.
"There are an additional four trucks that are used to cart commodity, fodder, harvest production, machinery, fertilizer and manure. Our feedlot is an EU-accredited facility which has allowed the business to enter new markets and focus on quality and consistency of the product turned out, including European Union High Quality Beef Production and organic beef production.
"And we also dabble in organic red wine with our boutique label, Burra Creek Wines."
In addition to this, the business operates earthmoving equipment, has introduced cropping program diversification, uses live export quarantine services, offers lamb fattening/trading during summer and spring, provides spelling yard services and executes commission buying services.
Simon has directed the business through various growth phases, including the purchase of several properties in the region to increase the businesses cropping enterprise, the construction of the Princess Royal Feedlot and now, its expansion.
"I believe vision, timing, strategy and growth are all key to business success, as well as developing and maintaining key relationships with customers who also believe in Princess Royal Station's future," Simon said.
Mark Gubbins, a SA cattle and sheep breeder, said that Simon had a keen eye for an opportunity and had been hugely successful in making strategic decisions at the right times.
"You've got to be a certain breed to take those opportunities and risks, and I think that sets Simon apart."
"I also admire when businesses start to involve the next generation and what Simon is doing, with his three children and their integration into the business, is pretty special."
Wayne Hiller, Decipher's Business Manager and sponsor of the Award for Excellence in Diversification, said that Simon's management of Princess Royal Station was outstanding and worthy of national recognition.
"Simon's understanding of his business has enabled him to be innovative with his approach to its management, and you can see that with his ownership of his supply chain."