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RD&E young gun receives GRDC Southern Region 2020 Emerging Leader Award

Soils researcher Dr Sarah Noack was recently presented with the GRDC Southern Region 2020 Emerging Leader Award by GRDC Southern Region Panel member Michael Chilvers, of Tasmania.
Photo: GRDC

Sarah Noack's soil work has led to her being the GRDC's Southern Region 2020 Emerging Leader.

One of the grains industry's rising stars has been recognised for her leadership and commitment to advancing the sector.

Dr Sarah Noack was presented with the GRDC Southern Region 2020 Emerging Leader Award at the recent GRDC Grains Research Update in Adelaide.

The annual award - voted upon by the GRDC Southern Region Panel - acknowledges, encourages and rewards young emerging leaders of the grains industry in South Australia, Victoria and Tasmania.

In presenting the award, GRDC Southern Region Panel member Michael Chilvers, of Tasmania, said Dr Noack - the research and extension manager for the Hart Field-Site Group in the Mid North - represented the bright future of the Australian grains industry.

"She may be young in years, but Sarah has already established herself as a leading identity in our industry," he said.

"In fact, there would be very few people in this room who have not come across Sarah."

Soils researcher Dr Sarah Noack was recently presented with the GRDC Southern Region 2020 Emerging Leader Award by GRDC Southern Region Panel member Michael Chilvers, of Tasmania.

Soils researcher Dr Sarah Noack was recently presented with the GRDC Southern Region 2020 Emerging Leader Award by GRDC Southern Region Panel member Michael Chilvers, of Tasmania. Photo: GRDC

Passion for grain

"Many of you may remember when Sarah first spoke at this very event back in 2012 when she was a GRDC-supported University of Adelaide student who was researching the value of phosphorus in crop stubble," Mr Chilvers said.

"I've been told that during that presentation she impressed everyone with her confidence, wisdom and enthusiasm."

"The then GRDC Southern Panel chair David Shannon saw a future star in Sarah. His judgement was spot on and, since then, Sarah has gone from strength to strength."

Dr Noack, who is a member of the GRDC's Southern Regional Cropping Solutions Network, spent just over five years at the University of Adelaide, where she completed her PhD with the soil science group.

Her thesis focused on identifying the different forms of phosphorus in crop residues using solution 31P nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. This research was supported by the University of Adelaide and the GRDC.

Research work

While based at the University's Waite campus, Dr Noack was also engaged as a demonstrator for a range of first, second and third year soils and geology courses. And, while there, she authored a number of papers and publications.

Since March 2013, she has been the research and extension manager at the Hart Field-Site Group.

Hart is SA's premier cropping field site and the farming systems group is influential and dynamic - managed by growers and industry professionals to provide independent research that is timely, relevant and unbiased.

The group's field trials are focused on varieties, agronomy, weeds and herbicides, nutrition and cropping systems.

"Sarah's role at Hart is significant," Mr Chilvers said.

"She is charged with overseeing trials and research on an enormous scale.

"Sarah is articulate, professional and personable. She is very effective at extending information and has an incredible grasp of the issues and constraints that are important to our growers.

"She is a role model to other young, aspiring grains industry professionals. We know that the future of our industry is in good hands with people of Sarah's calibre leading the way.

"We hope this award will assist Sarah along her career path and that it will also help her in identifying new paths to profitability for our grain growers."

Aim of the award program

Mr Chilvers said the Emerging Leader Award was a financial scholarship that could be used for travel or another agreed activity to further the skills or expertise of the recipient.

"The award is designed to encourage the emerging leader to establish linkages that leverage international knowledge and opportunities to assist the Australian grains industry to address gaps in research and skills," he said.

"The award fosters networking opportunities and the development of linkages with leading researchers from around the globe."

More information: Sarah Noack, Hart Field-Site Group, 0420 218 420

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