Agronomist sees the light

Countryman
GRDC deputy chairman Kim Halbert, with GRDC western region Seed of Light award winner Garren Knell, of ConsultAg, and GRDC Western Regional Panel chairman Peter Roberts at the Grains Research Updates in Perth.
Camera IconGRDC deputy chairman Kim Halbert, with GRDC western region Seed of Light award winner Garren Knell, of ConsultAg, and GRDC Western Regional Panel chairman Peter Roberts at the Grains Research Updates in Perth. Credit: Countryman

ConsultAg agronomist Garren Knell was awarded the Seed of Light accolade at the Grains Research updates in Perth this week.

Mr Knell, based in Narrogin, is widely known for his enthusiasm and willingness to step up to the “next level” in the industry.

GRDC Western Regional Panel chairman Peter Roberts said Mr Knell had a strong rapport with growers, and not just his clients, who were spread over a wide area in WA’s southern grainbelt.

“Over and above the agronomy services he provides for his clients, Garren has consistently demonstrated he is willing to step up and become involved in extracurricular activities for the benefit of the broader grains industry in WA and Australia,” Mr Roberts said.

“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 that Mr Knell’s recent industry contributions 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 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 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.

Before this, he worked with DAFWA at Lake Grace and Northam.

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 currently working in the WA grains sector.

While at Lake Grace, Mr Knell played a major role in developing the agency’s response to the severe 1998 frost event in WA.

The prestigous Seed of Light award is presented annually to someone who makes a significant contribution to communicating the outcomes of grains research.

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.

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