AgBiTech Technical Specialist wins cotton industry award

August 2013

AgBiTech Technical Specialist, Sophie Gulliver, is the 2013 recipient of the Australian Cotton Industry’s Chris Lehmann Trust Young Achiever of the Year award.

Sophie received one of five awards presented at the 10th annual Australian Cotton Industry Award ceremony in Narrabri on August 7th.

The Awards recognise excellence and achievement in Australia’s cotton industry throughout the supply chain, from growers and ginners to product suppliers, consultants, agronomists and researchers.

Nominated for the award by Crop Consultants of Australia, Sophie said she felt extremely honoured and privileged to receive the Young Achiever award.

“It was a huge surprise, especially considering the calibre of the other nominees,” she said.

“I’m relatively new to the cotton industry so to be recognised in this way bolsters my enthusiasm to provide the best service possible to the industry as well as to continue to learn as much as I can.

“I’m passionate about integrated pest management and entomology, so I see this as my future, I can’t see myself working in any other field let alone another job than with AgBiTech.

“Australia leads the way in sustainable agriculture and I want to ensure that our cotton growers have access to an increasing range of tools that allow them to continue to grow profitable cotton crops for as long as possible.”

Sophie developed an interest in entomology while completing an Agricultural Science degree at Sydney University. After graduating in 2009, with First Class Honours and the University Medal, Sophie began working in the agricultural sector.

In 2011, Sophie joined AgBiTech as its Technical Specialist. Her role involves providing technical, extension and sales support for the company's targeted biological insect control solutions. In addition, Sophie also manages the company’s research and development program.

Sophie manages several AgBiTech cotton projects, including an industry-funded, collaborative research project with the University of New England on the product, Magnet.

AgBiTech is also working with the Gateway Schools to Agribusiness program, and Sophie has developed the “Caterpillar Classroom” initiative. Slated to roll out to schools in 2014, the initiative will see AgBiTech distribute Heliothis rearing kits and provide online technical support and a discussion forum for participating teachers and students.

AgBiTech Chief Executive Officer, Anthony Hawes, said he was delighted that Sophie won the 2013 Cotton Industry Young Achiever award.

“AgBiTech is committed to the Australian cotton industry and we believe in employing talented young people like Sophie as well as supporting them and providing them with every opportunity for success,” said Mr Hawes.

“Our philosophy is founded on the belief that by helping individuals like Sophie to succeed we will benefit the cotton industry as a whole,” he said.

The Young Achiever award included a $5000 travel bursary, which Sophie will use to attend the 9thBrazilian Cotton Congress in September.

Sophie talks in more depth about her work for AgBiTech in an interview for the Cotton Industry.