Dr Anthony Kachenko wins Kendle Wilkinson horticulture award

Selwyn Snell (HAL Chairman), Jon Durham (Graham Gregory Award 2013), Robbie Commens (HAL Young Leader 2013), Anthony Kachenko (Kendle Wilkinson Award 2013) and Senator Ann Ruston

Selwyn Snell (HAL Chairman), Jon Durham (HAL Graham Gregory Award 2013), Robbie Commens (HAL Young Leader 2013), Anthony Kachenko (HAL Kendle Wilkinson Award 2013) and Senator Ann Ruston

Nursery & Garden Industry Australia’s (NGIA) Research and Market Development Manager, Dr Anthony Kachenko, received the 2013 Kendle Wilkinson award in Sydney last week. The Horticulture Australia Limited (HAL) award recognises an outstanding young scientist working in the horticultural sector who has demonstrated commitment to bridging the gap between science and farm best practice.

Since joining NGIA in 2008, Anthony has overseen and directed the industry’s research and development program, the development of the nursery industry farm management system (FMS), and has worked closely with growers about the benefits of best practice including the development of practical grower resources, tools, guides and workshops.

In 2012, Dr Kachenko was invited to Ragu, Chile to present on Australian nursery industry research and best practice programs at the International Symposium on Plant Propagation. More recently, he finalised a licence agreement between NGIA and the New Zealand nursery industry which will see the Australian best practice and environmental management programs adopted by New Zealand production nurseries. At present, Dr Kachenko has been working with a number of stakeholders to draft an Australian Standard for Specifying Trees for Landscape Use.

According to Dr Kachenko, the future for the nursery industry looks bright with many opportunities. “To meet the needs of global population growth, we need to think about creating sustainable cities and connecting plants to people,” he said. “Decision makers need to recognise the importance of foliage in addition to food and fibre for sustainable development and sustainable cities – we need to focus on food, fibre and foliage.”

“I am determined to grow the awareness of plants in our lives through the very exciting 202020 Vision that will see 20 per cent more green space in our communities by 2020. I urge all of industry to back this exciting campaign and spread the word about the benefits of plants in our lives.”

In accepting the award, Dr Kachenko thanked NGIA CEO Mr Robert Prince, past and present NGIA Board Directors, HAL, industry representatives and growers for support and friendship over the years. He looks forward to working for the industry in the years ahead.

The award is named honour of Kendle Wilkinson, a highly-regarded HAL Portfolio Manager, Industry Services Manager and research scientist who passed away in 2012.