SA graingrower and consultant Bill Long has been awarded the 2020 Southern Region Seed of Light Award at the GRDC Grains Research Update in Adelaide this week.
The Seed of Light Award, voted upon by the GRDC Southern Region Panel, acknowledges outstanding effort in the extension of outcomes from GRDC grains research investments.
GRDC Southern Region Panel member Michael Chilvers said Mr Long's contribution to the grains industry had been "immense".
"Bill is a passionate grains industry stalwart - you would be hard pressed to find someone more dedicated to advancing our industry," he said.
"Bill is the consummate communicator. He understands his audience, he is engaging and he delivers information with authority. When Bill speaks, people listen. And when people listen, you can influence positive change."
Having graduated from Roseworthy College with an agricultural science degree in 1986, Mr Long started his career with the Department of Agriculture as a research officer and then spent time with fertiliser and chemical companies in different parts of SA, before starting his own consultancy business in 1996.
Based at Auburn in the Mid North and with grain properties on the Lower Eyre Peninsula, he is the principal consultant with Ag Consulting Co - an advisory, training and agricultural research business which Bill and his wife Jeanette established to provide agronomic and business management advice to growers across SA and beyond.
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Ag Consulting Co also conducts research programs on behalf of public and private organisations, such as the GRDC, SA Grain Industry Trust and National Landcare programs, as well as grain, fertiliser and chemical companies.
Mr Long's advisory business has also worked with many family farm businesses, providing agronomic advice, training and research.
In his role as a farm consultant, Mr Long regularly delivers information to farming and advisory communities throughout the nation at field days, discussion groups, meetings and through rural media outlets.
He was a founding committee member and consulting agronomist of the Yorke Peninsula Alkaline Soils Group, and continues to conduct research programs on behalf of the group.
Mr Long was also instrumental in the development of and was on the founding committee of the SA Ag Excellence Alliance, an initiative set up in 2005 to help increase the viability of farmers through leadership and the development of effective linkages between grower groups and key stakeholders.
After a period of absence, he rejoined the Ag Ex committee in 2008 to develop the National Grain and Graze 2 program (of which the GRDC was a co-investor) and was chairman from 2011 until 2013, during which time he forged strong connections with the newly-established Natural Resource Management regional network.
"He is a role model for the next generation of agricultural consultants," Mr Chilvers said.
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