WA’s only director on the Hort Innovation board has thrown his hat into the ring for a second term in a bid to ensure the powerhouse sector has representation from the west. Carnarvon banana grower Michael Nixon first joined the national organisation in 2020 and has since served as the only WA-based director on the nine-person board. He is one of four candidates running for three vacant board positions on the board, which helps to guide the research and development cooperation for Australia’s horticulture industry. Also in the running are incumbent Victoria Taylor, of New South Wales, and newcomers Ian Halliday — an experienced non-executive director — and Australian Fresh Produce Alliance chair John Said. The four are battling for three positions, with Mr Nixon and Ms Taylor’s spots up for grabs. Mr Nixon is the only person from WA to put his hand up this time around, with his time on the board adding to his long association with Australian agriculture — after growing up on a family farming cattle, sheep and wheat. Mr Nixon has been involved in a whole range of community organisations, such as being the past chair for both the Gascoyne Food Council and AusVeg. He previously served as a committee member for the local Fruit Fly Committee and a board member for the Sweet Banana Co-op for six years. Hort Innovation chair Julie Baird said each candidate had been shortlisted by the organisation’s director nomination committee during a rigorous selection process and was nominated based on their relevant skills and experience. “With the value of Australian horticulture projected to increase, equipping growers with the necessary knowledge and tools is of critical importance,” Ms Bird said. Hort Innovation voting members will vote online, by telephone and in-person in Brisbane at the AGM on November 24. Mr Nixon was contacted for comment.