Drum Roll – Crawford Fund Medals – 2020 and 2021

September 1, 2021

The Crawford Fund’s success is based on people who are seeking to make an enduring contribution to global food security. Their commitment and perseverance, often over long periods, mark the Fund out as a unique contributor. Many of these people go unnoticed and their contributions unheralded. To fill this gap, the Fund awards the Crawford Fund medal to recognise people who have made a considerable and continued contribution to international agricultural research through our programs and related activities.

We have the pleasure of announcing the Crawford Fund Medallists for both 2020 and 2021. The winners will be presented with their medals at our annual conference dinner on 13 December 2021, with both winners making special presentations in the coming year.

Our 2020 Crawford Fund Medal will be presented to Dr Brian Keating for his “enduring significant contribution to international agricultural research via development of crop models and training programs, work on smallholder agricultural systems in Sub-Saharan Africa, and a more recent role in advising and supporting a number of CGIAR Centres and Programs.”  Brian is currently Adjunct Professor at the University of Queensland in association with the Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation. His full medal citation is here.

Brian with farmer collaborators from the ACIAR-CSIRO Australian Dryland Project in Machakos, Kenya

“Brian has played a leading national and international role in advocating the critical importance of food security for smallholder farmers and to development processes in general. The Crawford Fund strongly supports such advocacy, particularly given our long-held focus on raising awareness of the benefits to Australia and developing countries of agricultural research for food and nutrition security,” said Dr Colin Chartres, the Fund’s CEO.

Our 2021 Crawford Fund Medal will be presented to Dr TJ Higgins for his “national and international leadership of agricultural biotechnology research and its application to improved food security via the development of insect resistant cowpeas.” TJ is an Honorary Fellow at CSIRO Agriculture and Food – his full citation is here.

TJ with a cowpea trial in Zaria, Nigeria

“In addition to active membership of our ACT Committee and involvement in training of African GM regulators, supported by the Fund, TJ’s individual leadership of research to develop insect resistant genetically modified Btcowpeas has delivered results that are expected to increase yields by 20% and reduce chemical insecticide sprays from seven to two each season – a tremendous impact,” noted Colin.

Both medallists will be making separate orations on a topic of their choosing to highlight some of the global agricultural challenges, research issues and solutions with which they have been associated in their careers.

Brian and TJ are in very good company with our former Crawford Fund medal winners.