SUMMER grains research specialist, Loretta Serafin, was recognised for her contribution to the northern grains industry last night as the winner of the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) 2019 Seed of Light award.
The Tamworth-based lead summer grains researcher with the New South Wales Department of Primary Industries (DPI) northern cropping systems team has become well known over two decades for her pivotal work in summer crop agronomy.
Presenting the award at the GRDC Research Update in Goondiwindi, GRDC northern region panel chair John Minogue said Ms Serafin was widely acknowledged for her ability to translate complex research into practical language for growers.
“Loretta has had a major impact on summer crop agronomy research, particularly in northern NSW, and is well-respected for her ability to fine-tune research questions in a way that provides practical answers to growers,” he said.
“She also understands growers need the latest, relevant research information delivered in a way that allows them to make informed decisions and apply the learnings on-farm.
“It is this dynamic approach to both research and communication that has earned her this award.”
Ms Serafin said she would continue working on summer grains agronomy into the future, maintaining a strong focus on her core role of communicating research outcomes to growers.
“I am most proud of the quality of the work we do. The team at Tamworth has been great at that,” she said.
“I have had the privilege of working with an excellent team at NSW DPI Tamworth, as well being very fortunate to have had the opportunity to have trials with a large number of supportive growers and advisors over the last 20 years.
“As always the people you work with really make the difference and I cannot thank them enough.”
Ms Serafin has a Bachelor of Applied Science in Systems Agriculture from the University of Western Sydney and a Diploma in Education from the University of New England.
She started her career with NSW DPI in 1999 and has worked in the Moree, Gunnedah and Tamworth districts. She has also served as a member of the GRDC northern panel.
Since taking on the role of research agronomist her work has centred on research and extension across a range of broadacre crops, with a particular focus on sunflower and sorghum in northern NSW.
Her career highlights to date include being awarded the Young Agronomist Award at the Australian Agronomy Conference in 2012. She has also been a major contributor to the NSW DPI summer crop production guide and co-wrote the ‘Sunflower production guidelines for the northern grains region’.
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