Soil expert worthy recipient of 2005 Farrer Memorial Medal

Farrer Memorial Trust Chairman, Barry Buffier, today announced NSW Department of Natural Resources chief scientist, Dr John Williams, as the recipient of the prestigious 2005 Farrer Memorial Medal.

‘The 2005 Farrer Memorial Medal recognises the significant impact of Dr Williams’ work in agricultural science, particularly soil physics, for which he has become an international authority,’ Mr Buffier said.

‘Dr Williams joins a select group of distinguished scientists from around Australia in becoming a recipient of the Farrer Memorial Medal.

‘He is widely known for his research efforts in the development of legume-based pastures and cropping systems for the semi-arid topics, based on a sound understanding of soil health.

‘Dr Williams’ knowledge of hydrological behaviour of Australian soils is unparalleled and he is renowned for pioneering the quantitative relationships between soil texture and the parameters that model water retention.’

Mr Buffier said Dr Williams work has helped boost the viability of agricultural systems, mainly in northern Australia.

‘Dr Williams’ has held several senior scientist positions within the CSIRO including Chief, CSIRO Land and Water; Deputy Chief, CSIRO Division of Soils; and was a member Standing Committee on Agriculture Working Party on Sustainable Agriculture.’

Mr Buffier said the Farrer Memorial Medal was established in 1911 to perpetuate the Memory of William Farrer and to encourage and inspire agricultural scientists.

The medal is awarded annually to a person who has provided distinguished service in agricultural science in the areas of research, education, extension or administration.

Dr Williams will receive the Farrer Memorial Medal on November 8 at the University of Sydney to coincide with the Centre for Salinity Assessment and Management Fourth Annual Symposium.

Media contact: Brett Fifield on 02 6391 3311 or 0427 029 511.