SALRC 2023 award winners announced for excellence in southern Australian livestock industries

The Southern Australia Livestock Research Council (SALRC) has announced the 2023 award winners across the southern Australian livestock industries. The awards were developed to recognise, reward and celebrate excellence in the contributions of individuals to research, development, extension, communication and practical application of innovation on farm, to improve the profitability, productivity and sustainability of the Southern Australian red meat and livestock industries.

SALRC 2023 Award recipients are:

  • Producer – David (Seth) Cooper (Sheep producer, Jamestown, SA)
  • Scientist / Researcher – Associate Professor Matthew Harrison (Systems Modelling Team Leader, Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture, University of Tasmania, Launceston Tasmania)
  • Communication / Extension – Deborah Scammell (Consultant, Talking Livestock, Sevenhill, South Australia)
  • Young Achiever – Sarah Baker (Development Officer, Pasture Systems, NSW Department of Primary Industries, Tamworth)

In announcing the award recipients, SALRC Chair Ian Rogan said “we had a strong response when the call for nominations were announced back in May this year. The awards have been established by SALRC to enable recognition of excellence in innovation amongst livestock producers and those providing research and advisory services for livestock producers across NSW, Victoria, Tasmania and South Australia.”

In receiving his award, Seth Cooper, Producer Award recipient responded withI am humbled and grateful to have received this award from SALRC. SALRC is instrumental providing region specific direction for R&D for the red meat industry, and ensures appropriate extension work leads to adoption of R&D outcomes.  These awards highlight the importance of R&D, extension and adoption to an industry that is a major contributor to the Australian economy. To be recognised as contributing in a way that is aligned with the principles of SALRC is extremely rewarding.”

In responding to his award as SALRC 2023 Scientist / Researcher, Assoc Prof Matthew Harrison said “In many ways, this award evidences the beneficial impact of our work on the livestock sector. My team are lucky enough to work in a demand-driven way, where farmers and industry tell us what their problems are, and we co-design plausible solutions with them. We focus on the transdisciplinary effects potential farming systems solutions may have on productivity, profitability, environmental stewardship and social licence to operate, to ensure that beneficial impacts in one dimension are not maladaptive in another (e.g. a change that improves profit does not also increase greenhouse gas emissions). Much of our current work focuses on helping producers reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve carbon storage in a profitable and sustainable way, from tools for improving carbon storage to new practices that reduce enteric methane emissions. This Award suggests that the fruits of our labours are benefitting the livestock sector. Thanks to SALRC for recognising the efforts of my team with this Award, to MLA and AWI for funding our research, and to industry for working with us to ensure that the technologies and practices we generate are fit-for-purpose.”

The Communication / Extension 2023 Award recipient Deborah Scammell said “I’m honoured to be nominated and to win this award. I feel lucky to work in such a great industry with a diverse range of challenging and enjoyable work. To be recognised for my contribution was unexpected but appreciated and thanks again to SALRC for their contribution to the industry”.

Sarah Baker, Young Achiever Award recipient responded that she was “thankful to all the people who have supported me in my career to help me get to where I’ve got to. Also it is lovely to have my work recognised by the industry.”

The Awards were presented at the SALRC Council dinner on Tuesday 10 October 2023 in Wagga Wagga. SALRC will continue to identify and recognise outstanding contributors to the red meat and livestock industries again in future.

SALRC is an independent, incorporated association and one of three national research Councils setup to provide recommendations on Research, Development & Adoption (RD&A) priorities and planning for grass-fed beef and sheepmeat producers throughout Australia.

SALRC Awards presentation at Wagga Wagga NSW, 10 October 2023 – Picture L-R – Mike Stephens (SALRC Executive Officer), Ian Rogan (SALRC Chair), Sarah Baker (Young Achiever Award recipient), Deborah Scammell (Communications/Extension Award recipient), Assoc Prof Matthew Harrison (Scientist/Researcher Award recipient), David (Seth) Cooper (Producer Award recipient)