Proudly announcing our 2023 Crawford Fund Medal recipient, Tony Fischer

March 12, 2024

The 2023 Crawford Fund Medal has been awarded to internationally renowned wheat scientist Dr Tony Fischer FAIAST FTSE AM.

The medal recognises those who have made a considerable and continued contribution to international agricultural research through the Crawford Fund’s programs and related activities.

“Recognising those who make an enduring contribution to food security is incredibly important to us, as often such commitment and perseverance goes unheralded,” said the Fund’s CEO, Dr Colin Chartres.

“From my time with the Crawford Fund, I know people are the foundation of the Fund’s success, with our activities and programs built upon those passionate about making a difference globally. So I am so pleased to be making this announcement in my last week at the Crawford Fund. Few Australians have made such a significant contribution to global wheat production as Dr Tony Fischer,” said Colin.

Dr Tony Fischer, pictured here with Norman Borlaug, will be presented with the 2023 Crawford Fund Medal at the Crawford Fund’s 2024 Annual Conference in August.

Tony’s career started as a Research Agronomist in Wagga in the 1960s and went on to dizzying heights – working with Nobel Prize Laureate Dr Norman Borlaug, leading CIMMYT’s global wheat program, contributing to Australia’s impact in international agricultural research through various roles with ACIAR, CSIRO, the Crawford Fund and ANU. Tony has continually demonstrated scientific excellence to deliver development impact globally. 

“Tony has over 140 refereed publications on crop agronomy, physiology, breeding, Australian and global wheat yield prospects, and general agricultural development. This is complemented by more than 40 non-refereed publications – testimony to his scientific acumen and leadership in this field,” said Colin. We know that Tony is particularly proud of his book published by ACIAR, Crop yields and global food security: will yield increase continue to feed the world? which is still topical 10 years after publication, free on the web, and now has over 1000 citations on G Scholar.

“Tony remains highly engaged in Australia and globally to enable the greatest impact to be achieved through his contribution to wheat breeding and associated agronomy.”

“A key part of Tony’s ongoing legacy is his commitment to building the next generation of scholars engaged in international agricultural research – whether that be Australian student awardees, conference scholars or a vast range of Australian international students from around the globe.”

“Congratulations to Tony on his enduring impact and wonderful legacy!” concluded Colin.

The list of Crawford Fund Medal recipients reads like a ‘who’s who’ of impact in agriculture for development and includes:

Dr Brian Keating
Professor Lindsay Falvey FTSE FAIAS
Dr Bob Clements AO
Dr Meryl Williams FTSE
Assoc. Prof. Robyn Alders AO
Professor Emeritus Robert (Bob) Gilkes
Professor Lester Burgess
Dr John Schiller

Our heartfelt thanks goes to them all!