Nominated in a very strong field of very worthy candidates, Ian was supported by family and friends along with Dr Ed Barrett-Lennard, Principal Research Officer with the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development and Dr Hayley Norman (CSIRO Livestock Industries). Both Ed and Hayley hold Ian's research and practical application of salt land pasture in the highest regard and take that knowledge into the work they are doing, particularly Dr Hayley Norman who is a world authority on salt land agriculture and works in the Middle East on behalf of the CSIRO.
Ian continues to inspire and motivate many who have followed his years of work in particular, younger farmers who are dealing with salt land issues and seeing the results from his research and hands on experience. His leadership in this area is acknowledged by not only the work he has done with the Gillamii Centre, but the collaborative work he has been involved in throughout the state and beyond.
Ian has lived on his family farm since the late 1950's and after seeing areas become unproductive through rising groundwater and salt, he made the decision the rehabilitate rather than abandon this land. Over time, he has managed to reclaim salt land by pioneering and establishing slat tolerant plant species with have lowered the water table and provided not only a successful and sustainable business but a healthy farm ecosystem.
Congratulations Ian on behalf of the farming and wider community of the Shire of Cranbrook and the Great Southern Region.
A note from Ian Walsh-
I would like to send a big thankyou to all those in the community who supported me in both attending the Great Southern Development Commissions Medal presentation dinner and the calls of congratulations following the presentation.
It was indeed an honour to win the Medal for natual resource management amongst a field of such worthy finalists. The medal comes with a $5000 monetary component which will go towards the Gillamii Centres "Increasing Productivity and Marginal Landscapes" project.