Crop chemical expert passes

Crop chemical expert passes

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MEMORABLE CONTRIBUTOR: John Both, pictured at Inverbrackie, has passed away. He was widely known for his passion for the agricultural industry, his willingness to share his knowledge, and his sense of humour.

MEMORABLE CONTRIBUTOR: John Both, pictured at Inverbrackie, has passed away. He was widely known for his passion for the agricultural industry, his willingness to share his knowledge, and his sense of humour.

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The agriculture industry has paused to remember widely-known and well-respected John Both, who was a key figure in the crop chemicals sector for more than three decades.

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The agriculture industry has paused to remember widely-known and well-respected John Both, who was a key figure in the crop chemicals sector for more than three decades.

Mr Both passed away on May 19, 2019, at the age of 65.

Hailing from a grazing property near Springton, agriculture ran in the veins of Mr Both, who entered the industry in 1973 after completing a Diploma in Agriculture Technology at Roseworthy Agricultural College.

His first job was with the SA Department of Agriculture, where he was editor of the Journal of Agriculture. He held the position for two years before moving to Kadina as district agronomist, remaining there until 1986.

Taking on an opportunity to share his skills on a wider scale, Mr Both spent time working with Tafe, running on-farm training programs.

In 1990, Mr Both joined Nufarm as Yorke Peninsula and Mid North territory manager. The job involved working with researchers, agronomists, growers, resellers and private consultants, with Mr Both quickly becoming known for his willingness to give time to others.

Mr Both remained with Nufarm for 27 years, and held positions including state product development manager, state manager, and finally the company's SA-based research and development officer, a position he held for 17 years before retiring in 2007.

He just never said no to anyone who wanted to learn or engage with him. - RUSSELL MEADE

Mr Both trained many private consultants, and was known as the "go-to" man for information about crop chemicals, particularly herbicides, with independent agronomic consultant Allan Mayfield lauding Mr Both's knowledge of herbicides as "almost encyclopedic".

Mr Both was also heavily involved in the Crop Science Society of SA from the early 1990s, including a stint as president from 2010-2012.

He was awarded life membership last year.

Long-time friend and colleague Russell Meade described Mr Both as a "completely selfless man, devoid of any ego", who always had time to help others.

"He just never said no to anyone who wanted to learn or engage with him," Mr Meade said.

"He was truly loved by so many for his honesty, his depth of understanding of Nufarm and competitor products, particularly herbicides, his good humour and his absolutely selfless attention to task and detail."

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