A former Cattleman’s Union of Australia and Property Rights Australia president, a world authority on cattle genetics and the national president of the Country Womans’ Association of Australia were among the recipients of Queens Birthday honours announced earlier this week.
Founding member and past president of the CU, Cattle Council of Australia representative and former PRA president John Purcell’s service to the Australian cattle industry was recognised with an Order of Australia Medal.
Mr Purcell and his wife Mary drew their property “Yatton” near Marlborough in a ballot in 1960 and developed it over the past 52 years while also devoting large amounts of time to representing the cattle industry on regional, state and national issues.
The national president of the CWA, Heather Wieland, has also been recognised with an Order of Australia Medal for her service to rural and remote communities.
Mrs Wieland, from Gladstone in Queensland, joined the CWA in 1984, and was a state president in Queensland before becoming national president of the association in 2009.
NSW Department of Primary Industries’ (NSW DPI) animal genetics research leader, Dr Paul Arthur, was awarded a Public Service Medal in Monday's announcements.
NSW DPI Deputy Director General, Michael Bullen, said Dr Arthur has had an outstanding public service in the field of animal breeding and genetics.
“Dr Arthur is based at the Elizabeth Macarthur Agricultural Institute (EMAI) near Camden and is a world authority on the genetics of feed efficiency which contributes to reduced emissions of greenhouse gases by cattle,” Mr Bullen said.
“His publication in 2001 on genetic parameters for feed efficiency – which he co-authored with colleagues from NSW DPI – is still on the prestigious list of Top 50 most-frequently cited papers published by the international Journal of Animal Science.”
Dr Arthur migrated to Australia in 1991 and started with the NSW Agriculture beef research team at Grafton, then moved to Trangie where his research on feed efficiency in beef cattle with his NSW DPI teammates, including Dr Rob Herd at Armidale, gained international prominence.
The focus of the research is now on reducing greenhouse emissions by cattle, by a strong team of NSW DPI staff at Trangie, Armidale and EMAI.
Dr Arthur has recently emphasised the need to accelerate the rate of genetic progress in animal and plant breeding schemes over the next five decades.
“Agricultural production faces many challenges, including the potential impact of climate change and diminishing water and energy resources, in feeding a global population expected to double in the next 50 years,” he said
Dr Arthur has written more than 200 scientific publications and is a frequent speaker at international workshops and conferences, and has been called on to evaluate research projects and programs in many countries, most recently his native Ghana.