Past winners

David Roget Award for Excellence Hall of Fame

The Award has been created to remember and celebrate the significant contributions made by the late David Roget.

The Award will be presented to an individual, business or group who has made a significant contribution to dryland farming production systems in the Mallee Sustainable Farming Inc. (MSF) region.


Jack Desbiolles

Jack Desbiolles presenting at an MSF field day

Jack Desbiolles discussing the management of non-wetting sands at an MSF field day.

Jack Desbiolles

We are thrilled to announce that Dr. Jack Desbiolles, the Agricultural Research Engineer at Mallee Sustainable Farming, is the 2023 recipient of the David Roget Award for Excellence. The prestigious award was presented to Jack on May 19th, Friday, during a virtual GRDC workshop in the presence of his colleagues and peers.

Jack was nominated for his outstanding service to the agricultural industry by the farming community, and his work has had a tremendous impact on Mallee farming. His contribution to supporting the adoption of no-till and sustainable soil amelioration practices in the MSF region has resulted in pivotal changes in profitability. Jack is known for his innovative engineering solutions, including a deep-slotting point with back-swept shallow wings, bent leg openers, and the high work rate plough.

Despite his many achievements, Jack remains dedicated to the farming community. He firmly believes in the power of collaboration between farmers, advisers, researchers, machinery manufacturers, and input suppliers, and he works tirelessly to achieve the common goal of conservation farming.


Robin Schaefer

Robin was presented with the prestigious award

Robin Schaefer

Mallee Sustainable Farming is proud to announce Loxton, South Australia, farmer Robin Schaefer the 2022 winner of the David Roget Award for Excellence.

Robin was presented with the prestigious award at the recent MSF Mallee Research Update held at the Karoonda Football Clubrooms, by CSIRO Research Scientist and MSF Specialist Director, Dr Therese McBeath.

Robin has had a long history with MSF, as one of the founding Directors and his nomination was received from a NSW member demonstrating the far-reaching impact of his contributions and achievements.

“Robin has always been considered an innovative farmer and has been instrumental with his enthusiasm and participation in the grains industry has given many presentations and featured in many case studies and feature articles, hosted groups to his properties, staged countless field trials and encouraged youth in agriculture.

“Robin and David, amongst many others, worked together to establish MSF for all Mallee farmers which has left an enduring legacy of improved farming systems 25 years on”, said Tanja Morgan, Executive Officer of Mallee Sustainable Farming.


Jason Brand

MSF - Awards

Jason Brand, Senior Researcher with Agriculture Victoria, as the 2021 winner.

Jason Brand

Mallee Sustainable Farming is proud to announce Jason Brand, Senior Researcher with Agriculture Victoria, as the 2021 winner of the David Roget award for Excellence. 

Lachie Sutton, Executive Officer, Mallee Sustainable Farming presented the David Roget Award to Jason Brand at the Mildura Mallee Research Update on February 3 2021. 

“Jason Brand leads the Southern Pulse Agronomy Program and is heavily involved in extension services to growers across the region and delivers field days and other initiatives in an informative and practical way. He has been recognised as approaching this extension work in a balanced way and has developed management packages to help farmers achieve optimal results with what are now key cornerstones of modern farming systems,” said Lachie Sutton, Executive Officer, MSF.


Malcolm Lynch

2020 Lake Cullulleriane Awards

Malcolm Lynch 2020 Lake Cullulleriane Awards

Malcolm Lynch

At Mallee Sustainable Farming we believe Malcolm Lynch is an excellent candidate for the award given that he has diversified and strengthened his mixed farming enterprise during a time of extreme challenge, whilst maintaining a strong focus on conservation farming principles. Malcolm was one of three nominees for the award this year and was selected unanimously by the selection committee for his investment in innovative solutions to diversify and strengthen his mixed farming enterprise, his commitment to good grazing management and soil stewardship, and his positive mindset and mentoring of others in his community during the recent challenging seasons.


Fred Maynard

Fred is a highly regarded farmer and winner in 2019

Fred Maynard

Fred is a highly regarded farmer who has always been known as an innovator, keen to adopt new methods to increase production on the farm such as trying new pulses and grains and continually making and modifying machinery.

Fred has done a huge amount of work growing break crops as early as the late 70’s and early 80’s. Fred was a pioneer of this in the Mallee and worked with the district agronomist to help promote good rotations.

Fred has been granted many awards and was always very keen to be involved in trials and a member of a variety of associations.

Mallee Sustainable Farming Inc. believed that he was an excellent candidate for the David Roget Award in that he is the sort of farmer that David Roget would have had the robust discussions with about how to best understand what is driving the systems, what needed to be measured and understood, and how we keep everything practical and useable for the farm.


Allen Buckley

Allen winner in 2018

Allen Buckley

Allen is a well know farmer and has championed the integration of livestock into the cropping system.

Allen has been involved with Mallee Sustainable Farming since 1997 when, with GRDC support, a tri-state foundation meeting was held to establish a conservation farming project in the Mallee.

Allen’s property Glenrae near Waikerie was the first MSF South Australian core trial site. The popular dryland farming annual Waikerie Field Day was held at Glenrae for many years and saw many visitors through the gates. This is also where farmers would gather annually to learn and be challenged and where the ground swell would begin to change farming systems across the Mallee for the better.

Allen has actively encouraged research into the best management practices for Mallee dryland farmers and in addition to MSF, many organisations have benefitted from Allen’s generosity with his property for conducting trials and demonstrations.

Allen was MSF Chairman from 2004 to 2005 and was bestowed with Life Membership in 2008 for his outstanding contribution to Mallee Sustainable Farming Inc.


Dr Kath Cooper

Dr Cooper Winner in 2017

Dr Kath Cooper

Dr. Cooper had a research career at the University of Adelaide for over twenty years and she has continued her research since becoming a full-time farmer.

She manages a grain growing farm business where they specialise in the production and supply of triticale seed. The property is operated using sustainable farming methods, including no-till and minimum-till, minimal burning, using triticale cover on sand hills to prevent wind erosion, and growing break crops of legumes when season allows.

Dr Cooper has ensured the continuous availability of affordable, pure seed, in order to diversify cropping regimes, and improve the economic, environmental and social sustainability of farming systems within this region.

Mallee Sustainable Farming Inc. granted the David Roget Award to Dr Cooper for her huge contribution to the development, adoption, research and marketing support of triticale, and cereal Rye as these two crops are mostly overlooked and are nevertheless extremely valuable for dryland farming systems.


Danny Conlan


Danny the 2016 Winner

Danny Conlan

After growing up on a farm at Nandaly, Danny spent years developing his agronomist skills and has been instrumental in the development of cropping systems in the region. Danny is a trusted agricultural advisor in the Victorian and South Australian Mallee specialising in crop and pasture agronomy and has extensive broad acre cropping expertise and experience.

Mallee Sustainable Farming Inc. granted Danny the David Roget award as he has played a significant role in supporting Mallee Farmers to concentrate on getting the important things right to make enormous gains in production and sustainability including; adoption of minimum and no-till systems to reduce soil erosion, introduction of variable rate technology to ensure fertiliser and other farming inputs are targeted to crop requirements.


Michael Moodie

David Roget Award - Michael Moodie

David Roget Award – Michael Moodie

Michael Moodie

Michael Moodie was the inaugural winner of the David Roget award in 2015. Michael was recognised for his ability to summarise R&D outcomes into messages that are easily digested by advisers and farmers which is vital for the rapid uptake of relevant R&D by farm businesses.

He has had a major impact on the development of more profitable and productive farm businesses in the Mallee region as well as other low rainfall regions in southern Australia by identifying the underlying causes to the problem and developing strategies or research activities to tackle them.

His breadth of knowledge and ability to look beyond the day to day problems of farming and focus energies on the bigger picture, in the pursuit of major gains has been a real asset. Michael’s sound background in commercial farming, consulting and extension principles has had a major and positive impact on the translation of research activities into messages farmers can use and adopt.

Michael has been involved on a number of significant projects in recent times to inform improved farming in the Mallee, most notably the Low Rainfall Crop Sequencing work, demonstrating the advantage and influencing the increased use of break crops in the Mallee.

Do you know someone who deserves this award?

The Award welcomes applicants that either self-nominate or nominations made by third parties on behalf of applicants.