Northern award winner + Goondiwindi GRDC Update PICS

Liz Wells, March 6, 2019

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.

GRDC northern panel chair, John Minogue, presents NSW DPI summer grains researcher, Loretta Serafin, with the 2019 GRDC 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’.


Goondiwindi GRDC Research Update Gallery

Syngenta field biologist, Jo Gentle, Toowoomba, and Total Ag Services agronomist, Ardina Jackson, Warialda, at the GRDC Research Update in Goondiwindi.

Agromex Consulting’s Greg Giblett, Liverpool Plains, NSW, and Agronomy Focus agronomist, Quenten Knight, Esperance, WA.

Rory Kerlin, Goondiwindi, and George Clark, Bungunya.

Adama Queensland market development manager, Jonathan McDonald, Mountain Creek, and MCA consultant, Ed Offner, Chinchilla.

Kalyx Australia agronomists, Michael Van Drie, Narrabri, Libby Carrett, Narrabri, Geoff Coates, Narrabri, and Kara Dal-Cin, Toowoomba.

Bayer northern NSW commercial sales representative, Greg Hunt, Orange, Landmark agronomist, Casey Onus, Moree, and Incitec Pivot Fertiliser regional business manager for north west NSW, Nick Fell.

SeedNet regional manager, Jon Thelander, Toowoomba, CCA Pulse Check officer, Bruce Crosby, Moree, chat with farmers, Kendall and Kate Dowley, Tabulam.

Seed Exchange managing director, John Shepherd, Gold Coast, and Acres Rural Supplies agronomist, Harry Schubert, Rolleston.

Queensland Department of Agriculture and Forestry development extension officers at Biloela, Linda Stolz (left), Shallan Herrig (second right), and Ruby Nelson (right) with QDAF agricultural economist, Lara Landsberg (second left), Rockhampton.


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  1. Bruce Crosby, March 6, 2019

    Excellent two days at GRDC Update in Goondiwindi.
    One of the best information events I have been to.

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