Farrer Memorial Trust
The Farrer Memorial Trust was established in 1911 in Australia in memory of William Farrer. The trust initially provided study scholarships to Agricultural Scientists, in 1941 the Trust became responsible for the presentation of the Farrer Memorial Oration and awarding the Farrer Medal.
William Farrer and the Farrer Memorial Trust
William Farrer was a surveyor who turned his hand to farming in 1886 near where Canberra now stands. Initially he planted grape vines but the conditions were not suitable, he then decided to plant wheat. Due to weather conditions his first two harvests where damaged by rust, this spurred Farrer to develop strains that were resistant to rust. In 1900 he was successful with a variety he named Federation after the imminent Federation of Australia. Farrer died suddenly in 1906 a committee was created to raise funds needed to establish a Memorial Trust. On 16 October 1911 the Trust received the funds with a set of instructions, the instructions enabled the Trust to provide research grants and scholarships to further Agricultural Science in Australia.
In 1935 Frank Gallagher formed a committee to create Farrer Memorial Oration, this was to be given by a person with an agricultural background. The first oration was by Tasmanian farmer and Australian Prime Minister Joseph Lyons at the Star Theatre, Queanbeyan, on 3 April 1936 the birthday of William Farrer. At the end of the oration children from the Queanbeyan Intermediate High School presented Lyons with a silver medallion, this medallion is on display at Adolph Basser Library, Canberra. In 1941 Gallagher handed over the organisation of the Farrer Memorial Oration to the Farrer Memorial Trust.
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