Professor Derrick Moot has won the Ray Brougham Trophy from the New Zealand Grassland Association. This is the society's top award for contribution to the grassland sector.
Professor Moot has been instrumental in the economic, social and environmental transformation of pastoral farms in the dry eastern regions of New Zealand. He is nationally and internationally recognised as an expert in legume physiology and production, and particularly lucerne management. His outstanding research career and communications skills have underpinned widespread on-farm adoption of research results.
Early in his career Professor Moot recognised that the greatest predicted impact of climate change was likely to be on pastoral farmers in the summer dry regions of New Zealand. Consequently, he commenced a research programme in 1996 with the aim to create an adaptation strategy to create resilient farm systems in the most vulnerable regions of the country.
Professor Moot drove his applied agricultural research through a highly successful post graduate programme. The combined output of over 70 post graduate students has resulted in 190+ peer-reviewed scientific papers.
He has received a tertiary teaching award from NZQA in 2004 and has had various Lincoln University awards. Professor Moot feels that a notable achievement was when he adorned the front cover of the “Country-wide” magazine as a legume legend.
He was also featured as one of their inaugural “prime movers” in New Zealand agriculture in 2010. He has established a dryland pastures website, and created the Beef+LambNZ text service that offers timely advice and answers for over 700 farmers weekly. He has been actively engaged in technology transfer with over 200 speaking engagements in the last six years.
The focus of his science has been transferred to other corners of New Zealand from Central Otago to Hawkes Bay. Professor Moot's success in teaching has been recognised twice by teaching excellence awards from Lincoln. He teaches at all levels, from diploma to postgraduate level, and is consistently praised for his skill in imparting hard scientific knowledge to a wide range of audiences; from the ‘muddy boots' actual farmers, to PhD students, to agricultural managers.