A brief profile of Kevin Reed

Kevin and Rhonda Reed

Kevin grew up in Caulfield and after studying Agricultural Science at the University settled in South Western Victoria.

He worked in pasture research with the Department of Agriculture for 41 years – with positions at Burnley Gardens, Glenormiston, Werribee and Hamilton. He helped calibrate soil tests to inform farmers’ use of fertilisers.

Post-graduate training in animal production systems was completed at CSIRO, Canberra and at Trinity College and the Agricultural Institute, Ireland. His work focused on soil/plant/animal interactions. Advisory duties and research aimed to enhance farmers’ efficiency. Kevin’s team were granted research funds from the Wool, Dairy, Meat, Grains and Pasture Seed Industry Corporations – and from fertiliser and seed companies. ‘We especially considered the legume component of pasture (e.g. clovers and lucerne) that has the highest feed value but also converts atmospheric nitrogen to plant-available nitrate via select bacteria that colonise the roots of legumes. And we sought to understand what suppresses animal intake of pasture, especially mycotoxins produced by microscopic fungi that inhabit common grasses and limit animal production – by interfering with intake, reproduction and milk production’.

After retiring from the Department, Kevin worked as a consultant, especially on ameliorating the effects of toxins and phytoestrogens, and continued to contribute to the scientific literature.

He is an Associate Editor of an international   science journal which, he says, help to keep him close to current agricultural research.

Kevin and Rhonda had three children and a grandchild.

They enjoy the bayside beaches and the high country and are involved in parish activities; Kevin is a member of the St Vincent de Paul Society, the Australian Institute of Agriculture, the Australian Grassland Association, St Kilda F.C. and Ancestry.com; he enjoys family, swimming, travel and reading.