The diversity of the crowd at a celebration held in honour of Charles Sturt University Emeritus Professor Jim Pratley this week shows the impact he has had on agriculture, research and education.
Professor Pratley was awarded a Member of the Order of Australia in an official ceremony at Government House in Sydney earlier this month but local farmers, politicians, former students and colleagues couldn't let the occasion pass without raising a toast of their own.
Professor Pratley who is currently the plant systems research pathway leader at the Graham Centre for Agricultural Innovation was recognised for his service to agricultural science through roles as an educator, researcher and adviser.
Professor Pratley was the foundation Dean of the CSU Faculty of Science and Agriculture from 1990 to 2006 and co-founder of the Australian Council of Deans of Agriculture. His research on conservation farming, herbicide resistance, weed science and self-weeding crops has contributed to the development of new farming practices.
In 2013 he completed at Ministerial Review of agricultural education and training in NSW, leading to mandatory agriculture components in the state's school curriculum.