Farrer Memorial Trust

The Farrer Memorial Trust was established to perpetuate the memory of William James Farrer, Plant Breeder, and has a long standing tradition since 1936 of providing encouragement and inspiration to those engaged in agricultural science in cropping fields.  

This is done through presentation of the annual Farrer Memorial Medal and student scholarships.
Image of William James Farrer

Professor Richard Trethowan announced as the 2022 Farrer Memorial Medal winner

Prof Richard Trethowan in Wheat Field

Chair of the Farrer Memorial Trust and NSW DPI Director General Scott Hansen has announced Professor Richard Trethowan as the recipient of the 2022 Farrer Memorial Medal.

“Professor Trethowan’s contribution to wheat genetic improvement have and continue to benefit the Australian and global industry while his contribution to the education and guidance of students and early career researchers in Australia and around the world is significant.

“His research benefits not only NSW and Australia but has made real impacts to the global pursuit of food security,” said Mr Hansen.

Professor Trethowan will receive the 2022 Farrer Memorial Medal at an event hosted by The University of Sydney on Thursday 16 November, where he will also deliver the traditional winner’s oration.

Congratulations to Professor Trethowan on this well-deserved award.

Farrer Memorial International Travelling Scholarships

The Farrer Memorial Trust was established in 1911 to perpetuate the memory of William James Farrer and to encourage and inspire agricultural scientists. Initially it awarded scholarships for ’study or research in agricultural problems’. Later it included the delivery of an annual oration and the presentation of the Farrer Memorial Medal to a distinguished agricultural scientist for service rendered in the fields of research, education, or administration.  Scholarships are now designed to support international travel and/or other learning and development by postgraduate students enrolled for a PhD on any aspect of agricultural cropping research. As a guide, travelling scholarships will normally be awarded up to the value $7,500.

Applications for the 2024 Farrer Memorial International Travelling Scholarships are now CLOSED. Nominations will reopen in 2025

Scholarship Criteria

  1. Postgraduate student enrolled for a PhD on any aspect of field crop research; and
  2. Citizen or permanent resident of Australia.

The Scholarships are designed to support international travel to include attendance at an international conference at which a paper or poster is being presented.

As a guide, scholarships will normally be awarded up to the value $7,500.

It is essential that applicants justify why support for travel or other learning and development is being sought, the likely benefits and a budget explanation for the level of funds requested. Applicants are able to visit relevant research centres as part of their itinerary.

Applicants should include a curriculum vitae, details of the travel (including and itinerary) or learning developments, details of any papers/poster to be presented at a research or conference event and a supporting statement from their supervisor.  A detailed report on the use of the scholarship funding is to be submitted to the Trust on completion of the travel or learning.

Applications to include:

  • Application form, completed and signed
  • Applicant’s CV
  • Detailed itinerary or plan of travel and/or educational development
  • Covering letter from the Dean of Faculty
  • Supporting statement from a supervisor

Donations to the Trust

The Farrer Memorial Trust welcomes donations from those with a commitment to the Australian rural industry to help it fund:

  • the Farrer Memorial Travelling Scholarships
  • the Farrer Memorial Research Scholarship postgraduate award for study or research in agriculture
  • the annual award of the Farrer Medal.

The Trust is required by an Act of Parliament to fund these activities totally from investment income, and not from capital. Escalating costs, however, are making it difficult to keep the awards at an acceptable level and continue the medal presentations.

Cheques in favour of the Farrer Memorial Trust may be sent to the Secretary, Farrer Memorial Trust, GPO Box 5477, Sydney NSW 2001.

For more information about donating to the Farrer Memorial Trust, contact the Secretary.

Trustees of the Farrer Memorial Trust

  • Director General, Department of Primary Industries, and Chairman, Farrer Memorial Trust
  • Ms K Lorimer-Ward, Deputy Director General, Agriculture NSW, Department of Primary Industries
  • Professor A McBratney, Dean, Faculty of Agriculture and Environment, University of Sydney
  • Dr JC Radcliffe, AM.

Non-Official Trustees

  • Geoffrey Mason, AM
  • Rohan Wilson
  • David Davidson


Vicki Priest, Manager - Programs, Boards & Committees


(02) 6391 3023
0436 454 533


Ms Vicki Priest
Farrer Memorial Trust
105 Prince Street



Annual Reports

Older annual reports for the Farrer Memorial Trust can be found on the DPI web publication archive.