Sherlock farmer and grains researcher Kath Cooper has received an award in acknowledgement of her contribution to sustainable agriculture.
The David Roget Mallee Sustainable Farming Excellence Award was created to remember and celebrate the significant contributions made by the late Dr David Roget, a former CSIRO research scientist. It acknowledges his enduring legacy and contribution to sustainable agriculture.
The award is open to applicants from the three states in which Mallee Sustainable Farming operates – NSW, SA and Vic.
MSF chairman Ian Hastings will present the 2017 award to Dr Cooper on Wednesday at the Murray Bridge update.
Dr Cooper had a research career at the University of Adelaide for more than 20 years and she has continued her research since becoming a full-time farmer in 2004.
She manages a graingrowing farm business with her partner where they specialise in the production and supply of triticale seed.
The property is operated using sustainable farming methods, including no-till and minimum-till, minimal burning, using triticale cover on sand hills to prevent wind erosion, and growing break crops of legumes when the season allows.
Dr Cooper has produced a good range of varieties adapted to the Mallee Sustainable Farming region, and has ensured the continuous availability of affordable, pure seed, in order to diversify cropping regimes, and improve the economic, environmental and social sustainability of farming systems within this region.
“Kath is highly regarded within the farming industry for her huge contribution to the development, adoption, research and marketing support of triticale in particular, and also cereal rye,” Mr Hastings said.
He said these two crops are mostly overlooked for funding support, promotion and acknowledgement, but are nevertheless extremely valuable for dryland farming systems, if sufficiently hardy, productive and market-suitable varieties are made available.
The cereal rye and triticale varieties that have resulted from Dr Cooper’s research continue to contribute to improving the economic returns for farmers within the Mallee Sustainable Farming region.
Dr Cooper will receive the David Roget Award Perpetual Trophy and a cash prize of $1000.