Steven Simpfendorfer is a familiar face within the Australian grains industry.
With more than 20 years’ experience in cereal disease research, management and extension, he’s one of Australia’s leading authorities on disease in northern grains crops and plays a key role in delivering practical management solutions to growers through his role as a research scientist with NSW Department of Primary Industries at Tamworth.
His outstanding industry contribution won accolades from the Australian research community today when he was presented with the inaugural Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) Recognising and Rewarding Excellence Award at the Commonwealth Bank AgQuip field days in Gunnedah.
The award is aimed at extending the professional networks and collaborative research opportunities of key Australian research scientists for the benefit of the wider grains industry.
In presenting the award, GRDC Northern Panel chairman James Clark said Dr Simpfendorfer’s dedication to furthering the industry’s knowledge and understanding of key cereal diseases, including crown rot, would help sustain crop yield potential and profitability into the future.
“The Australian grains industry is extremely lucky to have skilled professionals like Steven Simpfendorfer who dedicate significant time and effort – both professionally and personally - to tackling production challenges posed by the region’s major cereal crop diseases,” Mr Clark said.
“He’s been a leading figure in communicating research needs and priority areas for investment, involved in all the major disease research trial work in the northern region since 2001 and importantly, helped communicate the importance and relevance of this work to advisers and growers.”
DPI plant systems director Alison Bowman said Dr Simpfendorfer planned to direct the award towards increasing the international exposure of integrated cereal disease management research in the northern grains region conducted by DPI, with co-funding from GRDC.
“We congratulate Dr Simpfendorfer and endorse his plans to develop knowledge-sharing and skills development opportunities within the Australian grains industry through local and international collaboration,” Dr Bowman said.
“DPI supports Dr Simpfendorfer’s vision in recognising the importance of succession planning to maintain plant pathology capacity for the grains industry across all GRDC regions.”
Dr Simpfendorfer said he hoped to develop strong international connections to attract industry focused staff, particularly doctoral and post-doctoral positions, to work in the Tamworth region.
“A reciprocal arrangement with international groups to exchange staff will foster the transfer of ideas, knowledge and skills, and strengthen our global links,” Dr Simpfendorfer said.
Caption: Steven Simpfendorfer (NSW DPI) with Northern Panel Chair James Clark.
James Clark, GRDC Northern Panel Chair
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Sarah Jeffrey, Senior Consultant Cox Inall Communications