Alfred “Alf” Hannaford MBE (1890-1969) was a South Australian agricultural innovator and inventor of farming machinery.
Hannaford’s career as an inventor began when, at the age of 24 working on his family farm near Riverton, he successfully created a wet-wheat pickling machine which dipped seed in copper sulphate solution to help prevent smut in wheat.
In the next decade Hannaford gave up farming to work on inventing and manufacturing machines for seed pickling and grading. In1925 he founded the firm Alf Hannaford & Co which developed a strong reputation for technological and business innovation.
By the 1950’s, over 85% of the 16 million acres of crops sown annually in Australia were sown with seed that had passed through Hannaford machines.
Passionate about improving the quality and yields of cereal and pasture crops, Hannaford worked closely with staff at the Waite Agricultural Research Institute over many years. In 1967 he made a gift to the University of Adelaide of $2,500 for the construction of a field laboratory for plant pathology at the Waite.
When he died in 1969, Hannaford left his residuary estate of approximately $372,000 to the University for research at the Waite Agricultural Research Institute, specifically relating to the improvement of pastures and grain.
The bequest has been used to support:
• The Hannaford Research Fellow
A fellowship for research on the improvement of pastures and/or the development of quantity and quality in grain.
• Hannaford Workshops
Research workshops held in Adelaide during the presence of a Hannaford Research Fellow.
• Hannaford Lectures and Seminars
A lecture series where notable and high calibre presenters from around the globe give public lectures and/or conduct public seminars on appropriate subjects. Past lectures have included international scientists of the calibre of the United Kingdom's Dr R L M Synge, Nobel Laureate, FRS.
Hannaford's gift was recognised by the University in 1995 when the building originally erected to house the plant pathology laboratory at the Waite was named in his honour.
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