July 24, 2013
Cropping and sheep farmers from Cowra will benefit from the appointment of two new staff at the Department of Primary Industries’ (DPI) Cowra Agricultural Research and Advisory Station.
DPI Deputy Director General, Agriculture NSW, Michael Bullen, said the appointments of a Research and Development Cropping Agronomist and a Development Officer Sheep Performance will reinforce Cowra’s contribution to the Central West’s farming sector.
“I am pleased to announce Colin McMaster has been appointed as the Research and Development Cropping Agronomist, Cowra,” Mr Bullen said.
“Col has great practical experience, he’s been with DPI for eight years and will ensure the Department’s highly relevant research and development is delivered to farmers in the region.
“Mr McMaster was previously based at DPI in Forbes working as a District Agronomist and prior to that at Parkes as a Farming Systems Agronomist and Healthy Soils, Healthy Landscapes Project Officer.
“I’m really looking forward to working from Cowra and developing a highly relevant trial program that has strong application within southern NSW growers and advisers,” Mr McMasters said.
“Much of my experience has been in working on soils, water-use efficiency and nutrition of dryland cropping systems.
“As part of my new role I will be focusing on research projects that include investigating the nutrient responses of field pea, chick pea and barley. This work is supported by the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC).
“I’m also part of the Variety Specific Agronomy Package project team in southern NSW, which is developing agronomic packages for the new varieties of wheat and canola coming on the market”
Mr Bullen said DPI has also appointed a new Sheep Development Officer who will be based at Cowra.
“I am pleased to announce Tracy Lamb has been appointed Development Officer, Sheep Performance at Cowra which will support DPI’s sheep research and development program,” he said.
“Tracy grew up locally at nearby Canowindra and she has valuable experience in the agricultural sector, including more than seven years with DPI at Cowra as a Technical Officer focusing on sheep production and meat science.”
Ms Lamb said she will be working to deliver products and key programs to the sheep industry.
“I am really looking forward to working closely with sheep industry stakeholders and ensuring they have access to the latest information,” Ms Lamb said.
“I will also be working with producers and abattoirs to improve technology and information systems.
“As part of my role, I will also be working closely with the Local Land Services livestock officer.”
DPI’s Cowra Agricultural Research and Advisory Station has been providing agricultural advice to the community for almost 110 years, when William Farrer, who is regarded as the Father of the Australian wheat industry, established an experimental farm to conduct wheat breeding trials.
Today principal areas of research at Cowra include meat science and meat sheep genetics as well as agronomy research.