Long-serving wheat breeder awarded Farrer Memorial Medal

Grain Central, September 24, 2020

THE 2020 Farrer Memorial Medal has been awarded to Dr Lindsay O’Brien for his contribution to wheat breeding and cereal chemistry research that has improved Australia’s cereal production.

NSW Department of Primary Industries deputy director general agriculture, Kate Lorimer-Ward, presented the Farrer Memorial Medal to Dr O’Brien at a ceremony at Narrabri in north west NSW.

“Dr O’Brien’s research has made a significant impact to plant breeding, breeding methodology, cereal chemistry and cropping systems to advance national and international farming systems,” Ms Lorimer-Ward said.

“In 1988 his research included a tour to Turkey, Bulgaria, Romania, Yugoslavia, France and the United Kingdom to collect germplasm for use in Australian wheat breeding programmes.

“Dr O’Brien was a Member of the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC), NSW Committee from 1991-1995 and responsible for funding of grains research in NSW.

“In 2011-2012 he was responsible for the Review of Cereal Rust research in Australia and the Review of Crown Rot research.

“Dr O’Brien has been a leading breeder of new wheat varieties, including the senior breeding advisor to LongReach Plant Breeders, which has released 28 new varieties since 2002.”

Farrer trustee Geoffrey Mason, Farrer Memorial Medal recipient, Lindsay O’Brien, NSW DPI deputy director general agriculture, Kate Lorimer-Ward, and the University of Sydney professor Alex McBratney.

Ms Lorimer-Ward said Dr O’Brien had held many professional roles during his long and distinguished career and was currently a Member of the Council of the Australasian Grain Science Association Inc and Secretary of the Wheat Breeding Society of Australia Inc.

“In 2017 Dr O’Brien received the Wheat Breeding Society of Australian Inc. Triticum Award for Excellence in Wheat Improvement,” she said.

Dr O’Brien’s Farrer Memorial Oration is titled “Wheat Breeders Make It Happen”.

The Farrer Memorial Medal is awarded annually to perpetuate the memory of William James Farrer, a plant breeder, in recognition of distinguished service in agricultural science in Australia in the fields of research, education or administration.

Source: NSW DPI



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