WA pastoral industry stalwart recognised by PGA
Ashley Dowden was a young buck, running an aerial mustering business when he stepped up to the Pastoralists and Graziers Association’s executive in 1991.
He was spurred into action, and found himself travelling hundreds of kilometres away to attend meetings in Perth.
But he also found a collection of lifelong friends, and the camaraderie so important while living in remote WA.
Almost three decades on and Mr Dowden was last Friday bestowed the PGA’s achievement award for 2019.
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The award, sponsored by Hancock Agriculture, recognised Mr Dowden for his contribution to both the PGA and the State’s $8.6 billion agricultural industry.
The owner of Challa Station, near Mt Magnet, Mr Dowden said it was important to fight for rural and regional issues, and the PGA had given him a voice to do just that.
In accepting the award Mr Dowden blushed and said he understood “why his wife (Debbie) really wanted to come” to the PGA gala dinner last Friday night.
“In all honesty, this was the last thing I expected ... really and truly,” he said.
A fifth-generation pastoralist, Mr Dowden’s family have long been members of the PGA.
Mr Dowden said PGA president Tony Seabrook, who received the award last year, had encouraged him to actively rejoin the PGA five years ago after “a bit of a recess”.
In recent times, he has brought a pastoral slant to PGA’s conversations and a staunch advocate in the fight against wild dogs.
In announcing the award, Hancock Agriculture general manager George Scott said Mr Dowden was committed to his industry.
The Dowdens run about 1000 Santa Gertrudis cattle at Challa, for live export and selling at the Muchea saleyards.
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