(From left) GRDC board deputy chair Kim Halbert with GRDC western region Seed of Light award winner Garren Knell, of ConsultAg, and GRDC Western Panel chair Peter Roberts at the Grains Research Update, Perth.
PHOTO: Cox Inall
An agronomist known for his enthusiasm and willingness to step up to the ‘next level’ in the industry is the winner of the 2016 GRDC western region Seed of Light award.
ConsultAg agronomist Garren Knell was presented with the award – given annually to an individual who makes a significant contribution to communicating the outcomes of grains research – at the GRDC Grains Research Update in Perth in February.
GRDC Western Panel chair Peter Roberts said that Mr Knell, based in Narrogin, Western Australia, had consistently demonstrated a willingness to become involved in extracurricular activities for the benefit of the broader grains industry in WA and Australia.
“A consistent theme of his participation in these various activities is his focus on assessing and communicating the on-farm effects of implementing research outcomes,” Mr Roberts said.
Mr Knell’s recent industry contributions have included being a member of the GRDC National Frost Initiative steering committee, initiating successful GRDC pre-seeding frost workshops and working alongside the Department of Agriculture and Food, WA (DAFWA), to conduct crucial oat agronomy research.
“In addition, Garren is a director of Australian Quinoa, which aims to keep developing a viable quinoa industry in Australia,” he said.
“Garren has also shown a willingness to employ young graduates to work alongside him at ConsultAg, helping to boost much-needed industry capacity in the WA grains sector.”
Mr Roberts said it was a credit to Mr Knell that he had won the Seed of Light award, given the high calibre of many people working in the WA grains sector.
Mr Knell, who has an honours degree in agricultural science from the University of Western Australia, has specialised in agronomy consulting since 1999 when he joined ConsultAg.
Prior to this, he worked with DAFWA at Lake Grace and Northam.
Previous GRDC western region Seed of Light winners include Blakely Paynter, Ben Biddulph, Jeremy Lemon, Owen Grieve, Geoff Fosbery, Stephen Powles, Bill Bowden, Peter Newman, Peter Mangano, Bill Crabtree, Cameron Weeks, Peter Nelson, Ros Jettner, Vanessa Stewart, Rob Loughman and Fran Hoyle.
Seed of Light Award
Leading plant breeder to head up the GRDC
Weeds research partnership gets to work