WA's reputation for having high calibre researchers in the pig industry was reaffirmed recently when Agriculture Department research officer Darryl D'Souza was presented with the Ted Batterham Memorial Award.
The highly prestigious award, presented at the Australasian Pig Science Conference in Adelaide, was made in recognition of Dr D'Souza's commitment and achievements in science and the pig industry.
The award is presented every two years and is generally aimed at younger researchers within five years of completing their PhDs.
Dr D'Souza completed his phD in Melbourne on pre and post slaughter factors affecting pork quality, which also led to a novel way of using dietary magnesium to reduce stress in animals and improve meat quality.
Since then he has been directly responsible for a number of pig research studies with his most recent work focused on trying to improve marbling of pigs in order to improve eating quality.
His industry roles include technical advisor to WA's main processors as well as a major role in the development of several pork alliances.
Dr D'Souza said the major challenge for the Australian pig industry was to increase pork consumption on the domestic market.
He said he was completely "gobsmacked" to receive the award.
His award included a framed certificate and a cash prize, which was to be used to stimulate and develop innovation and initiative in the pig industry.
Dr D'Souza, who joined the Department in 1998, said he intended to use the prize money to attend an international meat science conference in Rome next year, followed by a visit to the Danish Meat Research Institute.