Martin's cover image


Year of Award: 1995 Award State: Tasmania Agriculture > Meat And Dairy
The Gallaugher Bequest Churchill Fellowship to study factors affecting the eating quality of beef and the genetic traits which determine meat quality - USA

My Fellowship in 1995 coincided with a renewed interest in mountaineering so whilst benefitting enormously from the learning this fellowship allowed I was also able to pursue this side interest. The Mt Ireh Estate owned by my family has built on the learning gained during my Fellowship and readily shared our expertise with others as well as welcoming theirs given to us.

In America while completing my Fellowship program I visited the Rocky Mountains in Colorado, spending several days climbing two 4000-metre peaks, Mt Lincoln and the Mount of the Holy Cross. Subsequent journeys have taken me to the Himalayas, the Chinese Karakoram, the Kazakhstan/Chinese border and on several expeditions to the Central Karakoram in northern Pakistan. An expedition to northern India in 1999 culminated in exploring a glacier complex in the Zaskar mountains. We could find no reference to prior visitation. Skiing the glaciers from 5500 metres was an exhilarating and memorable experience.

In 2001 my wife Susan and I joined an Aurora expedition to the Antarctic and South Georgia, to make a crossing of the island in the footsteps of Sir Ernest Shackleton. Despite poor conditions and high wind our party of seven successfully completed the crossing, albeit in circumstances very different to Shackleton’s men.

Susan and I have continued developing our home property, Mount Ireh at Longford – particularly our water resources and irrigation infrastructure moving over from wool and beef to high-value crops and prime lambs. Pivot irrigators have proven to be real game changers. Land and river care issues at home and in our local community have also been addressed by fencing out remnant bush and controlling riparian erosion in a large river (the South Esk). Our efforts and those of our neighbours were rewarded with a national Land Care award in 2006.

Our three children Freyr, Alexis and Piers have given us five beautiful grandchildren, four of whom live interstate. We share school holidays, teaching them to ski and swim and canoe, and to appreciate the farm, nature and adventure. With the lack of snow on Ben Lomond, we travel to New Zealand to ski, rekindling my attachment to the ‘Long White Cloud’ and Lincoln University where I spent four years in the 1960s.

The New Zealand capacity to innovate and adapt their agriculture to changing and challenging conditions and markets is admirable, and makes them world leaders in grassland production.

A number of years ago we bought a ‘shack’ on Tasmania’s beautiful East Coast. With retirement beckoning and Piers taking over the management of Mount Ireh, we look forward to more time enjoying the peace and beauty of Great Oyster Bay and engaging with our grandchildren. 

Excerpt from “Bringing Knowledge Home” published by the Churchill Fellows Association of Tasmania (2016) 

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