Tony Fischer came from a wheat–sheep farm in southern New South Wales (NSW).
He completed degrees in Agricultural Science at the University of Melbourne and a PhD at the University of California, Davis, USA.
He worked as a crop agronomist and physiologist for the NSW Department of Agriculture and at CSIRO, and in the same capacity at CIMMYT, Mexico, where later he was Wheat Program Director (1988–95). Finally he was program manager for crops and soils at ACIAR and is now an Honorary Fellow at CSIRO Agriculture, also in Canberra.
He has published widely and served on several International Center Boards of Trustees as well as the Board of GRDC.
Recipient of many awards for contributions to crop science, including Fellowships of the Agriculture Institute of Australia, the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering, and the American Crop Science and Agronomy Societies, in 2007 he was elected a Member of the Order of Australia.