When a significant mouse plague hit many of Australia's grain growing regions in 2021, growers were guided and assured by the knowledge and advice of CSIRO researcher and mouse expert Steve Henry.
Now, Mr Henry's research and tireless commitment to helping growers improve their management practices has been formally recognised, as he was awarded the GRDC northern region 2022 Seed of Light Award at the GRDC Grains Research Update in Wagga Wagga.
The Seed of Light Award was established in 1999 and has been presented annually to an individual who has made a significant contribution to communicating the importance and relevance of research outcomes to the wider grains industry.
GRDC Northern Panel chair John Minogue said Mr Henry's leadership, knowledge and the dedication he has for communicating updates to growers during stressful periods like a mouse plague made him the obvious choice for the 2022 northern Seed of Light Award.
"Steve has cemented himself as a trusted, informed member of the grains industry, who communicates in a way that everybody can understand," Mr Minogue said.
"During the most recent mouse plague, Steve spent numerous hours on the phone to radio journalists, speaking at field days and developing communication pieces that highlighted management strategies growers could put in place to reduce mouse numbers."
Mr Henry has worked as a CSIRO research officer for just under 30 years and has always been interested in minimising the impact of introduced pest species on the grains industry.
As a former farmer himself, Mr Henry has acquired the ability to communicate often complex research in a way that growers can relate to.
Mr Henry said receiving the Seed of Light Award was a huge honour and encouraged him to continue doing his part to inform growers, advisers and rural communities on how to proactively manage and prevent mouse outbreaks.
"This is such wonderful recognition, I was truly blown away and feel so motivated to continue doing this work for rural communities," he said.