SA rural trailblazers recognised

SA rural trailblazers recognised


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A viticulturist, an agricultural lecturer and a field days secretary are among dozens of South Australians to be included on the 2019 Queen's Birthday Honours List.

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A viticulturist, an agricultural lecturer and a field days secretary are among dozens of South Australians to be included on the 2019 Queen's Birthday Honours List.

New Member of the Order of Australia Peter Dry was always destined to have a career in the wine industry, having discovered 15 years into his career that one of his great-great-grandfathers was a grapegrower in the Barossa Valley.

"I happened to visit the property by chance where he planted a block of Shiraz in 1887, and that block is still there today," Mr Dry said.

Growing up in Adelaide, Mr Dry said he was always interested in growing plants, which led to him studying a Bachelor of Agricultural Science at the University of Adelaide.

A lecturer in his final year, viticulturist Bryan Coombe, inspired Mr Dry to become involved in the industry, and remained as an important mentor during his career.

Upon leaving university, Mr Dry joined the Department of Agriculture as a research officer, before becoming a lecturer at Roseworthy Agricultural College in 1975.

I am proud of my roots in the Southern Flinders and have many fond memories of the people and landscapes of the area. - DEREK BYERLEE

Mr Dry lectured at the University of Adelaide from 1991 until 2008, although he still gives guest lectures.

He said teaching the next generation of viticulturists, including his son Nick and daughter-in-law Clare, remained a highlight of his career.

Since 2008, Mr Dry has been involved in consulting work with the Australian Wine Research Institute.

Lecturing is also a passion of Order of Australia medal recipient Derek Byerlee.

Hailing from a sheep and wheat farm near Eurelia, Mr Byerlee teaches food and agriculture at Georgetown University in Washington DC, United States, following more than 20 years of travelling the world aiming to use his agricultural knowledge to improve the lives of those living in poorer countries.

"Working with these excellent students gives me a sense of optimism about the future of the world," he said.

Mr Byerlee said he felt lucky to be brought up in SA, and aims to visit home once a year.

"I am proud of my roots in the Southern Flinders and have many fond memories of the people and landscapes of the area," he said.

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Fellow Order of Australia medal recipient Tim Grieger said he was "shocked, overwhelmed and humbled to received the award, which recognised his service to the agricultural show sector.

Specifically, Mr Grieger has been a tireless contributor to the running of the Riverland Field Days which he became involved in as secretary in 1999, after nearly three decades in local government across the state.

"I was looking for a new direction in life, and this opportunity came along, and with my past experience I knew I could apply myself to that," he said.

Mr Grieger said he thoroughly enjoys working with the committee.

"It's a fantastic team to be with - I laud them every chance I get," he said.

He also cites the on-site Function Pavillion, completed in April 2018, as one of the highlights of his time on the committee.

In addition, Mr Grieger has been the Summerfruit SA executive officer since 2007.

"It's an opportunity to work with many issues affecting the industry," he said.

Mr Grieger is passionate about contributing to the wider Riverland region, and is on various boards in the area.

"This region is an amazing place to be, it's resilient, the people are amazing, and I'm just proud to be part of it," he said.

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