TAMWORTH-based Loretta Serafin has won the coveted Young Agronomist Award at the 16th Australian Agronomy Conference 2012 in Armidale.
Department of Primary Industries director general Richard Sheldrake said Loretta was an outstanding young agronomist with DPI and had a major impact with farmers, particularly in the north west of NSW.
"She began as an agronomist-in-training with DPI in 1999 and has since been a district agronomist at Moree, Gunnedah and Tamworth," he said.
"Loretta's passion for ensuring farmers have valued advice on the latest research developments - to be profitable and maintain their resource base - has been rewarded with this accolade from her peers.
"I congratulate Loretta on her achievements and look forward to her continued contribution to the State's primary industries. I also congratulate James Hunt from CSIRO in Canberra who has been acknowledged with the same award."
In addition to Loretta's dealings with farmers and coordination of staff, she is a well-published author of agricultural publications for producers.
She is the joint author of the annual summer crop production guide and joint author of "Sunflower production guidelines for the northern grains region".
Loretta is recognised nationally for her work on cropping systems and summer crop production, particularly sorghum and sunflowers. She is also a past convenor of the 2008 Grassland Society of NSW annual state conference.
Loretta's award was presented at the 16th biennial conference of the Australian Society of Agronomy hosted by the University of New England and Department of Primary Industries at Armidale.
The award recognises outstanding young agronomists aged 35 and under who have achieved excellence in research and/or the application of science on crops and pastures.
Loretta was nominated for the award by her colleagues who regard her contribution to the grains industry extremely highly.
Previous winners of the award include Dr Lindsay Bell (CSIRO Ecosystem Sciences) and Dr Graeme Doole (University of Western Australia) in 2010; Jason Brand (Department of Primary Industries, Victoria) and Barry Haskins (NSW DPI) in 2008; and Andrew Whitlock (Department of Primary Industries, Victoria) in 2006.
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