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Cropping luminaries recognised in Australia Day honours + VIDEO

Grain Central January 29, 2018

AUSTRALIAN National University (ANU) plant scientist, professor Graham Farquhar, has been named Senior Australian of the Year in the annual Australia Day awards, joining a small but distinguished list of agriculturalists to feature in this year’s honours.

Graham Farquhar. (Photo: ANU)

Professor Farquhar, from the ANU Research School of Biology at the College of Science, received the title in recognition of his work in understanding and mitigating the effects of climate change on crops and developing strains of water-efficient wheat.

A leading expert on the process of photosynthesis, his opinions are sought after around the world (see “Wheat and Climate Change” video below).

The official Australia Day 2018 Honours List recognised the service of a number of leaders in the agricultural and cropping sectors, including:

Officer (AO) in the general division of the Order of Australia

Professor David Richard COVENTRY, Adelaide, South Australia:

  • For distinguished service to primary industry, particularly to sustainable agricultural production, as an academic and researcher, and through the facilitation of training programs and scholarships in developing countries.
  • University of Adelaide Department Head, School of Agriculture, Food and Wine, 1996-2003.
  • Professor of Sustainable Agricultural Production, 1996-2011.
  • Program Manager, Division of Soils, CSIRO, 1994-1996.
  • Involvement in international agricultural projects organised by the Australian Centre for
  • International Agricultural Research including in India, Tibet and Iraq.
  • Department of Agriculture Victoria, Director, Rutherglen Research Institute, 1987-1994.

Mr Maurice Aldo CROTTI, North Adelaide, SA:

  • Maurice Crotti

    For distinguished service to business and the food manufacturing sector, to export marketing organisations and economic development programs in South Australia, and to the arts.

  • San Remo Macaroni Co Pty Ltd co-chairman and co-chief executive officer, since 2015.
  • South Australian Export Council member, 2003-2005.
  • Australian Wheat Board (now Cargill Australia) member, 1992-1995.
  • Australian Durum Wheat Farmers supporter.

Member (AM) in the general division of the Order of Australia

Dr John Williams MEAGHER, Camberwell, Victoria:

  • For significant service to agriculture, particularly to the wheat and potato industries as a consultant, researcher and administrator, and to the community.
  • Victorian Department of Agriculture, Division of Plant Research and Development chief, 1976-1987. Director, 1975. Principal plant pathologist, 1974-1975.
  • Victorian Plant Research Institute senior plant pathologist, 1956-1974.
  • International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (Kenya) deputy chairman, 1995-1997.
  • Australian Institute of Agricultural Science and Technology president, Victorian Branch, 1990-1992.
  • Member of Australian Wheat Industry Research Council, 1976-1986; Australian Barley Industry Research Council, 1981-1986; Wheat Industry Research Committee Victoria, 1976-1989; Barley Industry Research Committee Victoria, 1981-1989.
  • Australian Institute of Agricultural Science and Technology fellow, 1989.

Mr Christopher Leslie RUSSELL, North Turramurra, NSW:

  • Chris Russell

    For significant service to agricultural science and technology through advisory, developmental and research roles, and as a mentor and innovator.

  • Agriculture Institute Australia chairman, Ethics Committee, since 2005. National president, 1997-2001.
  • University of Sydney Faculty of Agriculture Dean’s Alumni Steering Committee founding member, 2008-2014.
  • Australian Harvestore Products Pty Ltd technical director and principal, 1983-2017.
  • Australasian Register of Agricultural Consultants past president; chair, 1990-1996.
  • Judge, ‘New Inventors’ TV Series, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, 2005-2011.

Dr Reginald Raymond STORRIER, Crace, ACT:

  • For significant service to agriculture specialising in soil science, to education as an academic and administrator, and to the Catholic Church in Australia.
  • Australian Society of Soil Science (now Soil Science Australia) federal executive member, 1976-1978. Committee Member, 1970-1989.
  • Australian Institute of Agricultural Science (now Australian Institute of Agriculture) fellow, since 1988. National Secretary, 1992-1993.
  • Riverina-Murray Institute of Higher Education (now Charles Sturt University), School of Agriculture dean 1982-1990 and appointed, Professor of Agriculture, 1990.
  • Riverina College of Advanced Education, School of Agriculture principal lecturer, 1976.
  • Wagga Agricultural College principal lecturer, 1973-1975; senior lecturer, 1971-1973.
  • Wagga Wagga Agricultural Research Institute, Soil Nitrogen Fertility senior research officer, 1959-1970.

Medal (OAM) in the general division of the Order of Australia

Mr Neville John THOMPSON, Temora, NSW:

  • For service to agriculture, and to the community of Temora.
  • Owner of farming property, ‘Marnoo’, since 1980 and manager since 1970. Owned by family since 1908.
  • Hosted field days in crop and pasture production plus business management procedures for agricultural colleges, TAFE Colleges, High Schools.
  • Agricultural Bureau of Temora inaugural president, 1974.
  • Regional Council of Agricultural Bureau for Southern Region president, 1975. Council of Agricultural Bureau of NSW executive council member.
  • Temora Silo Committee president, 1970s.
  • Charles Sturt University agricultural advisory committee member, Wagga Wagga.
  • Barley Industry Liaison Committee member, 1983-1984.
  • Judging Panel ‘Farm Inventor of the Year’, Henty Field Day, 1983.
  • Judging Panel, National Landcare Awards, 1992.
  • Member, Field Judging Panel, Crisco Canola Awards.


Video: Dr Graham Farquhar’s 2014 presentation on “Wheat and Climate Change” at the 2014 Borlaug Summit on Wheat for Food Security in Mexico:


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