Students meet challenge

Photo of GRDC Eurkea winners with GRDC chairman Terry Enright

GRDC"s new schools award promotes better understanding of the industry

[Photo (left) by Brad Collis: The GRDC Eureka winners with GRDC chairman Terry Enright: from left Nicola Bell, Tess Dillon, Cassandra MacDonald and Thomas Christie. Sam Holland was unable to attend.]

To foster closer ties between regional towns and cities and their surrounding grains industries, the GRDC this year sponsored a new schools award as part of the prestigious Eureka Prizes for scientific and industrial achievement.

The $10,000 GRDC Eureka Schools Prize for Agricultural Journalism encouraged students to seek out challenges and opportunities in the grains industry to raise awareness of technological or social aspects of this farming sector.

GRDC"s executive manager for communication and customer services, Vic Dobos, says that encouraging senior high school students to investigate the grains industry is an important step towards the wider community"s better understanding of the modern industry.

The entries from across Australia revealed a high standard of writing and research capabilities, and the subjects chosen by students covered a range of community and technological issues.

The entries were judged according to the standards of objectivity, accuracy, writing and research. The winners, in order of placings, were:

Nicola Bell tackled the often fraught issue of farm succession, as seen and experienced by her generation. Cassandra MacDonald and Tess Dillon looked at the story behind a farm innovation, the Peterpoint T - a new tillage point that controls the amount of soil placed over the seed. Sam Holland reported on research into overcoming the problems of non-wetting soils, and Thomas Christie examined the outcomes of soil sampling by farmers in the Birchip Cropping Group.

All four finalists" articles will be published in Ground Cover, starting with first-prize winner Nicola Bell"s, Two sides of the fence.