Trio of Australian soil health experts nominated for prestigious new award

Landcare Australia

Trio of Australian soil health experts nominated for prestigious new award

Wednesday 28 July: Three leading experts in soil health have been selected as finalists for the inaugural 2020 General Jeffery Soil Health Award.
The Award recognises an individual’s work to champion, improve and/or educate others in soil health and is dedicated to Australia’s first National Soils Advocate, the late Major General the Honourable Michael Jeffery, AC, AO (Mil), CVO, MC (Retd).
The 2020 winner will be announced at the virtual National Landcare Awards, on the evening of Thursday 5 August 2021, during the National Landcare Conference.
The finalists are:
Lynette Abbott from Western Australia: Emeritus Professor at The University of Western Australia, Lynette’s career spans four decades. Known for her pioneering research on soil fungi in agriculture and disturbed natural environments, she is acknowledged as a world leader in this field. Her research has addressed fungal interactions with plants and implications for fertilizer management and soil amendments. She has shared her extensive knowledge with students, and by establishing the innovative ‘Know your Soil Biology’ workshops for farmers, she is providing hands-on activities on the benefits of soil biota for soil health/quality. Professor Abbott is also currently consolidating soil health knowledge through a project in the Australian Government Smart Farms program.
Brian Hughes from South Australia: Primary Industries and Regions SA-Rural Solutions SA Principal Consultant, Brian has been involved in determining the extent of soil acidification and the rate at which acid soils are developing in areas that were inherently non-acidic. Brian has worked as a soil conservation officer, soils officer, soils and land management consultant since 1982. He has an extensive knowledge of South Australian soils, their distribution, properties and management in agriculture. He is recognised for promoting the adoption of treatment options for acid soils.
Robert Quirk from New South Wales: A farmer, sustainable agriculture educator, researcher and advocate, Robert’s cane farm is located on the coastal flood plain of the Tweed River in northern NSW. Through years of observation, study, experimentation and collaboration, he has developed management practices to reduce the impacts of, and constraints to, improving soil health in cane fields that have resulted in quantifiable improvements in soil characteristics. Robert has shared his experience widely. Collaborating with three universities over the last twenty years, he has developed best practice for sustainably growing sugar cane in acid sulphate soils and has increased soil organic carbon content on his property from two to six per cent.
The General Jeffery Soil Health Award was established, and is supported by, the Office of the National Soils Advocate within the Australian Government Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, and is administered by Landcare Australia.
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