Showcasing grains career opportunities for uni students

Author: | Date: 01 May 2019

image of Josh Squibb
Young agronomist Josh Squibb will be one of the keynote speakers at the first university graduate and tertiary student forum being held as part of the 2019 Summer Grains Conference on the Gold Coast in July. Mr Squibb works for Elders, servicing Australia’s largest food producer, Mulgowie Farming Company, in south east Queensland. Photo SUPPLIED

Young agronomists will share their experiences of getting started in the grains industry during a career information and networking forum for graduate agronomists and tertiary students as part of the 2019 Summer Grains Conference.

The forum is a new addition to the three-day conference, which is being held on the Gold Coast in July.

Conference organiser Maree Crawford said the forum was designed to offer university students enrolled in agriculture, science and environment with advice and insights into career opportunities in the grains sector, as well as a platform to network with potential employers.

“For the first time, the Australian Summer Grains Conference is running a forum on July 8-9 that will bring students from universities across eastern Australia together to hear from successful young agronomists, as well as grains industry employers,” Ms Crawford said.

“We felt there was an opportunity to provide some ‘real life’ examples of what their future in agriculture might look like, as well as opportunities to broaden their industry exposure and make connections with potential employers.”

Keynote addresses at the forum will be presented by agronomists Emma Ayliffe and Josh Squibb.

Ms Ayliffe has been working as an agronomist for less than a decade and has progressed from a retail agronomist to a private consultant. She started with agribusiness company, Elders, before becoming a joint owner of an agronomic and research business, Summit Ag, which operates in the Riverina and Central Western New South Wales.

Mr Squibb is a 24-year-old agronomist who originates from Tasmania and now works for Elders in south east Queensland, servicing Australia’s largest food producer, Mulgowie Farming Company. He consults to both dryland and irrigated growers across horticulture, grains and pasture.

Ms Crawford said university students and graduate agronomists were invited to apply for a limited number of positions at the forum.

“University students studying agriculture, science and environment are eligible to apply, with successful applicants provided with conference admission for the two days, plus a night’s accommodation and meals,” Ms Crawford said.

“This is really about informing and empowering the next generation of young farm advisers with the knowledge and connections they need to get started in the grains sector.”

Applications close May 10. For more information, go to or email

The 2019 Australian Summer Grains Conference is the key industry event for five grains – maize, soybean, sorghum, sunflower and mungbean – and will attract growers, researchers, marketers and customers from across Australia.

The theme of this year’s event, ‘enduring farm profitability’, is a direct reflection of the grains industry’s on-going quest to improve productivity, product quality and returns to growers.

International and Australian speakers will address delegates on the latest innovations in grain production, crop protection and marketing, with topics covering farming practices, agronomic research and development, information technology, farm business management and advances in commodity marketing.

Platinum sponsor, the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC), is at the forefront of underpinning profitability gains to Australian summer crop growers through investments in research, development and extension (RD&E) projects – many of which will be showcased during the conference.

The 2019 Summer Grains Conference is being held at the RACV Royal Pines Resort on the Gold Coast from July 8-10. For more information or to register for the event, go to

Contact Details


Toni Somes, GRDC
0436 622 645

GRDC Project code: ASG1811-001AWX