2019 Science and Innovation Awards

2019 Science and Innovation Awards
for Young People in Agriculture Fisheries and Forestry 

Grant applications now open!


Applications are now open for the 2019 Science and Innovation Awards.  If you’re 18-35, this is your chance to apply for a grant of up to $22,000 (inc GST) to fund your project on an innovative or emerging scientific issue that will benefit Australia’s primary industries.

There’s 13 industry award categories available in the 2019 round – cotton; dairy; eggs and poultry (layers); established, new and emerging rural industries; fisheries and aquaculture; forest and wood products; grains; health and biosecurity; meat and livestock; pork; red meat processing; viticulture and oenology; and wool.

Applications close on Friday 12 October 2018. The Award winners will be publicly recognised as part of the ABARES Outlook 2019 conference in Canberra in March 2019.

Since they were launched in 2001, the Science and Innovation Awards have helped more than 230 young researchers, innovators and scientists turn their ideas into reality through more than $3.7 million in grant funding. Be a part of the 2019 round and apply today!

Winners of the industry category Science Awards are then invited to apply for the Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources’ Award, which provides additional funding for an extended research project.


Interested in applying for a 2019 Science and Innovation Award grant? To be eligible you must:

  1. be between the ages of 18 and 35 (inclusive) on Friday 12 October 2018.
  2. be Australian citizens or permanent residents (proof required) by the closing date.
  3. be working, employed or studying in an agriculture, fisheries or forestry related industry (including food and sustainable natural resource management). Proof such as a letter of employment, scholarship or pay slip may be requested.
  4. not be employed by a sponsoring organisation in the award category they are applying for, and not have an immediate family member (eg a sibling or parent) who is employed by a sponsoring organisation in their selected award category.
  5. not be employed by an Australian Government agency classified as a Non-Corporate Commonwealth Entity under the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013.


  • Employees of entities that are classified as Corporate Commonwealth entities are eligible for the Awards.
  • Employees of entities classified as Non Corporate Commonwealth entities are ineligible for the Awards.
  • Corporate Commonwealth entities are legally separate from the Commonwealth, whereas non-Corporate Commonwealth entities are part of the Commonwealth (see PGPA Act, Section 11).
  • For advice on the entities and how your employer is classified, visit the Department of Finance’s website.

If you are unsure about your eligibility, please contact the Science Awards team at scienceawards@agriculture.gov.au.

WLA Scholarships available for women in agriculture

Opportunities remain available for women in the Australian Agriculture sector to access up to $8,000 in scholarship funding to assist them to participate in a number of the country’s premier women’s development programs. The initiative is part of a nationwide push to support and elevate women leaders throughout the Agriculture sector.

To ensure equitable distribution of scholarships throughout the sector, it is appropriate that the information is disseminated by a respected organisations and associations in collaboration with Women and Leadership Australia. As part of this process, the Grassland Society of NSW wishes to make these opportunities known to members who may be eligible – we urge you to apply before scholarship funding is exhausted.

Scholarships are available to women at three key management levels:

  • Experienced senior and executive leaders are eligible to apply for an $8,000 scholarship to assist their participation in the Advanced Leadership Program.
  • Mid-level managers are eligible to apply for a $4,000 scholarship to assist their participation in the Executive Ready Program.

Please note: WLA programs are highly exclusive developmental experiences and admission into these programs requires successful application. Annual intakes are limited.

To make a scholarship enquiry, please fill out the Expression of Interest form here.  Following submission of your expression of interest form a WLA scholarship advisor will make contact to provide further information.

Should you wish to discuss the initiative in more detail please contact Ian Johnson at Women and Leadership Australia’s Head Office on 03 9270 9016 or via ijohnson@wla.edu.au

2014 Feed Quality Competition

The NSW Hay and Silage Feed Quality Awards are also back in 2014.

Conditions of entry and an entry form can be found within the Vol29_No1 Newsletter on pages 12 and 13 as well as at the link below.

The aim of these awards is to promote the benefits of high quality hay and silage to all farmers with emphasis on the importance of feed quality in animal production and how to achieve feed quality in conserved forages.  Awards will be based on feed quality analysis results from the NSW DPI Feed Quality Service with emphasis on metabolisable energy and crude protein.

Entries close on 4th July 2014.  Awards will be presented at the NSW Grasslands Society Annual Conference to be held in Inverell 22-24 July 2014.

For further information phone (02) 6938 1957 (lab) or (02) 4939 8948.

Click here to Download the 2014 Entry Form

Letter from President

11 June 2013


Dear Members

This note is to keep you up to date with several developments in the Society relating to the remainder of this year.

1.    The annual subscription will rise from $50.00 to $60.00 as from 1 July 2013. As many of you will know, our subscriptions have not altered for several years as we attempt to keep costs down. Costs however do trend up, rather than the other direction, and for this reason we have reluctantly made the decision to increase our annual sub. Our Society subscription is cheaper than comparable societies in Australia and overseas and I believe that at $60.00 per year, it represents excellent value. The sub covers four newsletters each year, a very informative members only internet site, the conference proceedings and the opportunity to attend local activities at a reduced cost compared with non-members.

2.    As we have advised in previous newsletters, there will be no annual Grassland Society conference this year. The reason for making this decision is to give the International Grassland Congress to be held in Sydney in September a clear run to attract sponsors and attendees. Details of this important event appeared in the previous newsletter (volume 28, number 1, 2013) with registration information available here.

In place of the conference, a series of pasture update meetings will take place across NSW, thanks to funds provided by MLA. Dates and venues are yet to be finalised as they are to some degree dependant on completion of the DPI restructure. At the time of writing this letter, we are unsure of the availability of relevant people, able to take part in these meetings.

On more general matters, I trust seasonal conditions are improved for all members, with recent welcome rain and the opportunity to sow crop and pasture.

We encourage letters to the editor on most topics, so if you have any thoughts you would like to air through this newsletter, I am sure our editor would like to hear from you.

With best wishes to all members


Mick Duncan

The Grassland Society of NSW

New CliMate app

For those members using iPhones, this new app may be of interest:

Australian CliMate is a suite of climate analysis tools for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch devices. The App allows you to interrogate climate records (over the last 60 yrs) to ask a number of questions relating to rainfall, temperature, radiation, as well as derived variables such as heat sums, soil water and soil nitrate.

It is designed for decision makers who use past climate statistics, forecasts and knowledge of system status (e.g. soil water, heat sum) to better manage their business.

See here for more info: https://itunes.apple.com/au/app/australian-climate/id582572607?mt=8 or download from iTunes.

Does not appear to be available for Android so this one is just for iPhone or iPad for now but well worth a look if you use either of those.

2013 Pasture Varieties Book now available

The latest edition of the Pastures Varieties book is now available both as a pdf download or flip book format for online reading.

Pasture Varieties used in NSW 2010-2011

Joint publication by NSW Dept Primary Industries and Grassland Society of NSW

Click here to download the file in pdf format (14MB file)

Pasture Varieties 2012-2013

From the Presidents Desk – July ’12

I begin on a sad note, acknowledging the deaths of two of our long serving members, Haydn Lloyd Davies in April and more recently Drew Wright in May. Our sympathies go to Haydn’s and Drew’s families. Haydn and Drew were great supporters of the Society, both serving in executive capacities and instrumental in getting the Society started over 25 years ago. They maintained their support and interest until poor health  intervened.

The Society owes much to these two scientists for their foresight, vision and dedication to agriculture as researchers and communicators. In addition, their friendship and good company will long be remembered by many of us who had the good fortune to be associated with them. Tributes to Haydn and Drew appear in this issue. Many thanks to John Ayres, John Read and Malcolm Campbell for these contributions.

Preparations for our conference to be held in Wagga on July, 24th – 26th are nearing completion with most members having received a registration form. These are also available from our internet site. The conference program will provide something of interest and inspiration to all attendees. The convenor, Nathan Ferguson, has put in a tremendous effort to attract top speakers on a range of topics that cover soil fertility, grazing management, alternative fertilisers, perennial pasture options and a session on omega – 6 fatty acid effects on lambing gender. In addition, the ever popular bus tours will give attendees the opportunity to see, first hand, successful and enterprising pasture and crop
strategies in the Wagga district.

An interesting extra feature of the conference is a “ Q and A “ facilitated by Phil Graham, exploring the aspirations of our younger farmers. This promises to be a great opportunity to look ahead with motivated farmers discussing their hopes for a bright future. I strongly encourage all our members to attend the conference and ask you to invite non member friends and neighbours to come along to see for themselves the benefits of Society membership.

Mick Duncan – President (Grassland Society of NSW)

2012 NSW Hay and Silage Awards

2012 NSW Hay and Silage Awards to recognise top quality

The NSW Grassland Society and NSW DPI are organising Hay and Silage Feed Quality Awards in 2012 to recognise producers who are making the best quality hay and silage in NSW.

While it has been a difficult season in some areas there have been reports of excellent quality silage and hay being made across NSW. These awards aim to focus attention on feed quality and encourage all producers to better understand the importance of quality when they make and feed hay or silage.

Entries will open in April when producers can start sending samples to the NSW Feed Quality Service in Wagga Wagga. The awards will be presented at the NSW Grassland Association annual conference which is to be held in Wagga Wagga 24 to 26 July 2012.

Organisers hope all producers will take advantage of the discounts being offered by the Feed Quality Service to analyse hay and silage samples submitted as part of the awards program. To add further interest major sponsors Integrated Packaging, New Holland and Pioneer will provide $5000 worth of prizes for winners to be announced at the Grassland conference.

Entry forms will be available from the beginning of April from NSW DPI and NSW Grassland Society websites and officers, sponsors and from the NSW Feed Quality Service Wagga Wagga or click the link below to download the form directly:

2012 Feed Quality Awards Entry Form

Entries close 6th July 2012.

Grants for Serrated Tussock projects

Applications now open for 2012-13 Community Action Grants 

The Australian Government is seeking applications for 
2012-13 Community Action Grants from local community groups to help them take action to conserve and protect their local environment. 

As in previous rounds, local community, farming and Indigenous groups can apply for a grant between $5,000 and $20,000 (GST exclusive) to fund projects that encourage active participation and build the skills and knowledge of the community to protect and restore our environment and natural resources. Projects may include hosting a local field day, developing natural resource management plans, educating land owners in sustainable agriculture techniques and on-ground works. 

Community Action Grant applications are subject to a competitive assessment process. Applications will be assessed based on alignment to Caring for our Country priorities, community engagement, project feasibility and value for money. All successful applicants must finish their project by 30 June 2013. 

For more information on eligibility and to submit a Community Action Grants application, visit the 
http://www.nrm.gov.au/“>Caring for our Country website or telephone 1800 552 008.

Applications close at 5pm (AEDT), on Tuesday 27 March 2012.

Programs that focus on the management of serrated tussock are eligible under this program as outlined in the Business Plan:

Reducing the impact of vertebrate pest animals and/or Weeds of National Significance

The target is to reduce the impacts of vertebrate pest animals and/or Weeds of National Significance to maintain or improve biodiversity and productivity outcomes in Australian Government priority areas, including on buffer zones and agricultural land.

Activities should focus on helping communities integrate action on all weeds and pests, including the identification of impediments and solutions to their effective control under different land uses to help protect biodiversity in priority areas. Their impact will be reduced more effectively through collaborative activities that control outlier infestations, strengthen containment lines and/or bring core infestations under management control, or eradicate where feasible, to reduce the risk of new infestations.

Investment scope

The Government is calling for invasive species applications that help communities to:

  • implement long-term solutions to the effective control of Weeds of National Significance and animal pests that threaten priority biodiversity areas across different land uses, including on agricultural land
  • control outlier infestations and/or strengthen containment lines of Weeds of National Significance where an adverse impact on biodiversity or other important environmental and/or productivity assets can be demonstrated
  • address the impact of vertebrate pests and/or Weeds of National Significance on nationally threatened species and communities occurring in World Heritage areas and critical aquatic habitats (including buffer zones), noting that pests that have already received significant funding under previous rounds of Caring for our Country will not be a priority for funding in 2012/13 (camels, cane toads, rodents on off-shore islands excluding Lord Howe Island and foxes in Tasmania)
  • contribute to the goals of relevant national strategies including Australia’s Biodiversity Conservation Strategy 2010–2030, the Australian Pest Animal Strategy and the Australian Weeds Strategy including subsidiary species level strategic plans for Weeds of National Significance
  • specifically address the objectives and actions of the relevant Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 threat abatement plans and, where appropriate, any other relevant jurisdictional management plans
  • use technically feasible, recognised, permitted and effective control methods for the area being managed
  • comply with all relevant codes of practice and standard operating procedures for humane pest animal control including those available fromwww.dpi.nsw.gov.au/agriculture/pests-weeds/vertebrate-pests/codes/humane-pest-animal-control.

It is likely that applications under this target will also link to outcomes under other targets, including Ramsar wetlands, coastal environments and critical aquatic habitats, World Heritage areas and/or sustainable farm practices targets.

At a local level Community Action Grants are also available to help communities manage threats from invasive species. For more information see how we invest

Graduate Certificate in Precision Agriculture

Australia’s first and only Graduate Certificate in Precision Agriculture will be offered by the University of New England, commencing in January 2012.

This study program is the fruit of more than 30 years’ combined experience within the University’s Precision Agriculture Research Group, Australia’s largest group working on the development and application of precision agriculture technologies in a variety of industries – including broadacre cropping, horticulture, viticulture, and livestock systems.

Students will gain knowledge and hands-on experience with current and emerging precision agriculture technologies like EM38 soil sensors, GNSS survey equipment, ground-based optical plant canopy sensors, airborne optical sensors, livestock tracking technologies, the ‘Pastures from Space’ program, and both farm-specific and generic geographical information systems.

This industry-informed course involves the completion of four semester-long units. The two core units, “Precision Agriculture” and “Introduction to Geographical Information Systems”, cover  global navigation satellite systems (GNSS) and their application; handling spatial data and the practical use of geographic information systems (GIS); the application of remote sensing to agricultural landscapes; soil, vegetation and yield variability and the sensors used to measure it; livestock tracking and pasture management systems; the economics of precision agriculture; and issues associated with the adoption of new technologies.

The Grad Cert Precision Ag course is available for study both on and off campus, and can be completed part-time over one or two years. The Grad Cert Precision Ag course is open to graduates who hold a bachelor degree; or non-graduates that can demonstrate adequate qualifications and/or industry relevant experience.

To apply or get more information:    une.edu.au/precisionag

Contact Dr Mark Trotter (mtrotter@une.edu.au) or Prof David Lamb (dlamb@une.edu.au)

ALSO Keep abreast of the latest developments in PA R&D with the Precision Agriculture Research Group Facebook page: www.facebook.com/precision.agriculture