Summer crop researcher Loretta Serafin has received the Grains Research and Development Corporation's Seed of Light award at the Grains Research Update in Goondiwindi.
Presenting the award, GRDC northern panel chairman John Minogue said Ms Serafin had impacted summer crop agronomy research, and is well-respected for her ability to provide practical answers to growers.
“It is this dynamic approach to research and communication that has earned her this award," he said.
A member of the Department of Primary Industries northern cropping systems team, Ms Serafin's research has explored a range of broadacre crops, with a focus on sunflower and sorghum agronomy.
Ms Serafin said she was honoured to receive the coveted award.
“A key part of my position with NSW DPI is linking agronomists, advisers, agribusiness professionals and researchers to foster better communication and ensure research investments are responding to regional needs," she said.
“I get genuine job satisfaction from knowing growers are getting the information and knowledge they need on-farm to answer the questions and concerns they have about production constraints.”
Ms Serafin said she plans to continue working on summer grains agronomy into the future.
“I have had the privilege of working with an excellent team at NSW DPI Tamworth, as well being very fortunate to have had the opportunity to have trials with a large number of supportive growers and advisors over the last 20 years,” she said.
“As always the people you work with really make the difference and I cannot thank them enough.”
Ms Serafin has worked for the NSW DPI since 1999, based in the Moree, Gunnedah and Tamworth districts.
Her career highlights include being awarded the Young Agronomist Award at the Australian Agronomy Conference in 2012 and serving on the GRDC Northern Panel.
Ms Serafin has been a major contributor to the NSW DPI summer crop production guide and co-wrote the ‘Sunflower production guidelines for the northern grains region’.
She currently leads research into optimising the performance of summer grains in northern NSW and is undertaking a PhD in the field of sorghum agronomy.