Dr Jim Yates taught Agronomy in the School of Agricultural Science for a quarter of a century during the formative years of the School in the University of Tasmania.
Born in St Helens in England in 1924, Jim’s family migrated to Western Australia to a small rural property near Manjimup, south of Bunbury, which was then part of a group settlement scheme. Following service as a pilot in the RAAF during World War II, Jim studied Agricultural Science at the UWA Institute of Agriculture and went on to complete a PhD there on Seed-Setting in Subterranean Clover.
He worked for several years with CSIRO in the then Division of Tropical Pastures in southern Queensland, assessing the value of introduced grasses and legumes for grazing. In 1964 on accepting a role as Senior Lecturer in Agronomy at UTAS he embarked on a long and successful career in agricultural education in Tasmania, including eight years as Dean of the then Faculty of Agricultural Science. During this time he became well known for his work on pasture development in the Central Highlands of Tasmania. His Cressy courses, where students spent three weeks in the shearer’s quarters at the Cressy Research Station, were highly anticipated and helped greatly both in furthering staff/student relationships and in melding the agricultural science students into cohesive groups often leading to enduring friendships.
Awarded to the student determined to be the highest achiever in the Agronomy unit (KLA331) based on studies undertaken in a degree in the agricultural sciences. The prize will be only awarded in alternate years when KLA331 is offered and, in the view of the awarding committee, in its absolute discretion, that a student of sufficient merit is available.