Dr Rob Dixon wins NABRC medal for science

21 August 2019

Dr Rob Dixon’s internationally recognised expertise in ruminant nutrition and his significant contribution to northern Australian production systems has earned him the 2019 North Australian Beef Research Council (NABRC) Medal for Science.

Dr Dixon, a Senior Research Fellow at the Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation, a University of Queensland research institute supported by the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, has made a significant contribution to managing the impacts of cattle grazing the extensive rangelands of northern Australia.

NABRC chairman Dr Lee Fitzpatrick said Dr Dixon easily met the essential criteria for a NABRC medal in that he was a leader in his research field and has resided in north Australia for the past 26 years, formerly at Swans Lagoon in the Burdekin and at Rockhampton.

“Rob is widely recognised as a leader in the field of ruminant nutrition and his focus has always been to use this knowledge to develop better practical solutions for industry problems,” Dr Fitzpatrick said.

“He has had a major influence on R&D in the northern beef industry for more than four decades, due to his willingness to undertake research in challenging areas and to mentor and assist younger researchers to engage with industry and extension officers and producers.

“Rob’s extensive research experience in temperate Australia, North America and South America gave him a broad perspective of grazing cattle nutrition and production systems. In his most recent area of research, Rob led a multi-disciplinary team of UQ and DAF scientists in a large project investigating phosphorus nutrition in heifer and breeder cattle. This research has changed our understanding of how phosphorus nutrition can be managed in breeder herds in the seasonally dry tropics. 

NABRC medal winners 2019 (left to right): Dr Robert Dixon, Ross Peatling, Ben McGlynn and Joe Rolfe.

“His commitment to the industry is further evident by the fact he is a regular presenter at field days, workshops, Beef Week seminars, discussions with RBRC’s, and at national and international conferences.”

Dr Dixon was one of four industry figures recognised by the North Australia Beef Research Council (NABRC) at its awards dinner in Brisbane last night (Tuesday 20 August 2019).

Highly respected cattleman and industry innovator Ross Peatling of ‘Alexandria Station’ on the Barkly Tableland was awarded the 2019 NABRC Producer Medal; Ben McGlynn, manager of Rocklands Station, received the 2019 NABRC Young Achiever Medal; and Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries' extension officer, Joe Rolfe, based in Mareeba, was awarded the 2019 NABRC Communicator/Extension Medal.

“The NABRC Medals are designed to highlight the achievements of people who have achieved excellence in the fields of production, research and development and communication in North Australia, and Ross, Ben and Joe are extremely worthy recipients,” Dr Fitzpatrick said.

“In the case of Ross and Ben, they have been leaders in adopting new practices on their properties. Their dedication and leadership, together with that of Joe, have helped encourage others to improve their enterprise and to engage with the research community and apply new knowledge and methods to their businesses.”

NABRC is an alliance of beef producers, research, development and extension providers and funders operating across the Northern Territory, Queensland, and the Pilbara/Kimberly regions of Western Australia.

It provides a forum to identify priority issues facing the north Australian beef industry, it establishes strategic and project-based partnerships, and promotes priority issues for addressing by the RD&E providers. 

The dinner was a highlight of the three-day Northern Beef Research Update Conference held in Brisbane, where more than 360 producers, researchers and industry figures have gathered. The full conference program is available at https://www.nbruc2019.com/

NABRC media contact: Janine King, 0419 735 542 or QAAFI Communications: Margaret Puls 0419 578 356.

Read articles published in Beef Central by Jon Condon on 21 August 2019, Former Alexandria manager wins NABRC producer medal. and Queensland Country Life on 21 August 2019, NAPCO's Ross Peatling takes out prestigious beef innovation award