Grain professionals reach out to students

Grain growers and agribusiness specialists went back to school recently to encourage secondary students to consider careers in agriculture

Key points

  • Grains industry professionals promote agricultural careers to secondary school students
  • More than 320 Year 9 and 10 students participated in hands-on workshops at Junee High School 
  • GRDC-supported scientists were on hand to explain modern research

More than 320 school students from across New South Wales gathered recently at Junee High School, in the Riverina region, to learn about the diverse range of careers available in agriculture.

The inaugural AgVision Agricultural Expo was developed by Junee High School staff with assistance from 60 local agribusiness professionals and farmers to give students in Year 9 and 10 a taste of working in the food industry.

School principal Matthew Brown told students to forget about the mining boom because the future of Australia was in the dining room.

“The food we produce is critical to our nation’s health and wellbeing,” he said. “Today is about providing students and teachers with practical information about the innovative and exciting careers available in agriculture.”

Image of two seated students and two standing students with research equipment and plants

Charles Sturt University PhD student Joe Moore
(left) recently told Year 9 and 10 students about his
GRDC-supported research on fungal endophytes at
Junee High School in NSW. Murrumburrah High
School students Steven Cross (second from left) and
Jayden Nicholls (right) and Menai High School’s
Bridget Gielissen were among students who
gathered at the school to learn more about agricultural
careers.

PHOTO: Nicole Baxter

Mr Brown said the NSW Government had recently announced an independent review of agricultural education and training. The review, to be led by Professor Jim Pratley of Charles Sturt University, aims to find out how schools can better prepare students for the broad range of agricultural jobs on offer.

Students from as far away as Menai High School in Sydney travelled to Junee where they mixed with other students from Junee, Harden-Murrumburrah, Wagga Wagga, Narrandera, Cootamundra, Coolamon, Young and Albury in hands-on workshops.

Each student was given an opportunity to participate in four workshops out of the 32 on offer.

The workshops covered a range of careers including grains research, agronomy, farm consulting, seed growing, farming, irrigation consulting, agricultural journalism, grain marketing, spot spraying and entomology.

GRDC-funded PhD student Joe Moore explained his work in grains research as part of a workshop on agricultural journalism. Students were given an opportunity to undertake background research about Mr Moore, write questions and interview him as a first step to writing an article for publication.

With the mining boom thought to have peaked, Australian Year of the Farmer representative Lizzie Reid told students that agricultural industries will soon again become the powerhouse of Australia’s economic prosperity.

“Jobs in agriculture will put you in a secure place for the future, so now is the time to start your career in Australia’s biggest growth industry,” she said.

More information:

Matthew Brown
02 6924 1666
matthew.brown@det.nsw.edu.au

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GRDC Project Code GRS00186, PNS00014