Kevin Moore has had his finger on the pulse of Australian agriculture for over 50 years, and was recognised for his dedication with an award presented to the senior plant pathologist at AgQuip on Wednesday.
Dr Moore, who has worked out of the Tamworth DPI office since 1980, is regarded as a world leader in integrated disease management strategies, and has played a pivotal role in establishing and nurturing the lucrative NSW pulse industry.
"The award is for living long enough to serve 53 years with the department," Dr Moore said.
"It was an honour, and very humbling, to be recognised."
In northern NSW chickpea crops have become far more valuable than cereal crops on the back of a huge export market to the sub-continent. In 2016 chickpeas reached over $1000 a ton compared to wheat at $300, "and those high prices have been maintained since."
Dr Moore's rapid development of integrated disease management strategies to assist growers to respond to a national outbreak of ascochyta blight in 1998 was critical to ensuring the industry's continued viability, and on Wednesday NSW DPI deputy director Kate Lorimer-Ward praised the pathologist for his passion and commitment.
"Dr Moore has made exceptional contributions in developing crop disease management strategies, diagnostics and extension in crop protection throughout Australasia," she said.
"His applied research, knowledge, enthusiasm and dedication to plant pathology has played a pivotal role in establishing and nurturing the lucrative NSW pulse industry."
Dr Moore has received numerous other accolades for his work, including the 2002 GRDC Seed of Light, Lester Burgess Award for Diagnostics and Extension by the Australasian Plant Pathology Society Management Committee, a Pulse Australia award for outstanding service, and the Brownhill Cup, as part of the chickpea breeding team.