Tributes are flowing for a northern Midlands farmer who was killed in a climbing accident in the Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park on Friday.
- Michael Chilvers died after falling while climbing with friends near Cradle Mountain
- He has been remembered as a pioneering farmer who championed innovation
- Mr Chilvers was also the Tasmanian chair of the Australia China Business Council
Tasmania Police said Michael Chilvers was climbing Mount Geryon, 150 kilometres north-west of Hobart, with three other people, when he “fell from a significant height,” believed to be in excess of 50 metres.
This weekend Mr Chilvers would have celebrated his 50th birthday.
Today, Tasmanian agriculture is mourning the loss of the much-loved father of two.
He is being remembered as a “ripper” bloke by the many industries he was a part of.
John Bennett worked alongside Mr Chilvers at the Grains Research and Development Corporation.
“Our foremost thoughts at the moment are with Fiona and his two children Charlotte and Felix, and his greater family,” Mr Bennett said.
Mr Chilvers ran a large mixed farm at Nile and was known to push the boundaries with new grain crops and business opportunities.
He was one of Tasmania’s largest grain growers.
“His knowledge has been exceptional and that’s just not based on things he’s learnt, he’s actually had first-hand experience in growing crops in that rainfall zone.”
Mr Chilvers was also the Tasmanian chair of the Australia China Business Council, and chair of TAP AgriCo, a Tasmania-based stock feed, grain storage and logistics company.
Former managing director David Skipper said his farming experience in that role was invaluable.
“He was very innovative in terms of what he wanted to achieve.
“Just very, very keen on getting the knowledge and the data to be able to produce more for less, effectively.
Mr Chilvers was also a big advocate for expanding the state’s irrigation development. and joined the Tasmanian Irrigation board in 2015.
“He was a voice for the farmer and a voice for the irrigator and has been a very strong contributor to the board in setting the strategic direction of TI ever since then,” said chair of Tas Irrigation, Sam Hogg.
“He was a user of our irrigation water and was a member of a couple of the schemes, and so his input to us as a board was very real and very true.
“There are so many people around Tasmania who were touched with Michael’s enthusiasm for life, adventure, fun and hard work.
“And we’re really going to miss him on the Tas Irrigation board.”