Growing support for agriculture
A group of passionate South Australians is behind an initiative to boost the number of academically talented students choosing agriculture as a career, in the hope that they will become potential future leaders of the industry.
Established in 2004, the Roseworthy Campus and Student Fund (RC&SF) has grown steadily to oversee four scholarships. This year the fund kick-started a drive to build financial support for students studying Agriculture by increasing the number of available scholarships.
Along with the immense support provided through the Cowan Trust, which offers six Roseworthy accommodation scholarships annually, the co-patrons of the RC&SF felt that more could be done through a personal approach to prominent industry figures.
John Crosby, RC&SF Patron, brought together a number of key individuals from his network of industry leaders and, as a result, the Agribusiness Leaders Scholarship for Excellence was created. The scholarship will grant $10,000 during 2012 to an outstanding recipient who has demonstrated leadership skills.
"Agriculture is facing the challenge of increasing production to feed the demands of a more prosperous and better fed population with little or no increase in the available area of good agricultural land," John said.
"The agribusiness sector in total will need to attract those individuals with the ability to lead the advances in science and technology that will produce this increase in available food and associated products."
Chairman of the RC&SF, Mr Ray Taylor, who was recognised with the 2011 ROCA Award of Merit for his commitment to the industry, is just one example of those who have achieved a lot for the agricultural sector, and is now supporting the new generation to continue the work of improving Australia's food supply.
Other industry heavy-weights have thrown their support behind the drive, with a group of five donors now pledging to support the scholarship for five years.
In addition, Mr Greg Campbell, CEO of S. Kidman and Co, has collaborated with another two companies from the feedlot industry to initiate the Lower Murray Lot Feeders Scholarship to be offered to an Honours student, with a focus on animal nutrition.
Global agribusiness company Viterra has also offered to support two additional scholarships for three years in the area of agronomy, also commencing in 2012.
"The Agribusiness Leaders Scholarship for Excellence is our initiative to attract the best individuals who may be making a decision about which direction to focus on in their studies," John said. ■
Story by Connie Dutton
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