The 2020 Farrer Memorial Medal has been awarded to Dr Lindsay O’Brien for his valuable 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 in Narrabri and congratulated him on receiving this prestigious award.
“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.”
Ms Lorimer-Ward said Dr O’Brien has held many professional roles during his long and distinguished career and is 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,” Ms Lorimer Ward 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.
More information about the Farrer Memorial Medal is available on the NSW DPI website.
Source: NSW DPI
Photo caption: (L_R) Mr Geoffrey Mason, AM; Dr Lindsay O’Brien, Kate Lorimer-Ward, Professor Alex McBratney