27 November 2020

Scholarship opens to STEM students to help rural industries grow

| Hannah Sparks
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Engineer harvests crops from sustainable indoor farm.

An engineer harvests crops from a sustainable indoor farm. Photo: This is Engineering.

An agriculture scholarship has opened to STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) undergraduates in a bid to attract a broader range of qualified people to rural industries.

Australian agriculture is set to become a $100 billion industry by 2030 and will need people from a wide range of fields and expertise in order to grow.

The AgriFutures Australia Horizon Scholarship offers a $10,000 bursary to students entering the final two years of their undergraduate degree in agriculture or STEM, with major studies and/or subject selections that align to agriculture.

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“Our cohorts are no longer made up solely of ag students from traditional farming backgrounds,” said AgriFutures Australia managing director John Harvey. “We now have scholars studying engineering, economics, plant and animal science.

“We have scholars who have never set foot on a farm in the same room as fifth-generation farmers, and this diversity in backgrounds and thinking is beginning to elevate the conversations beyond anything we’ve seen before.”

AgriFutures is formerly the Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation and its scholarship has wide industry support, including from Australian Wool Innovation (AWI), Cotton Research and Development Corporation (CRDC), Dairy Australia and Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA).

The scholarship aims to develop students’ confidence, leadership and networking in Australian agriculture. And as part of the scholarship, students attend a four-day annual professional development workshop and complete two weeks of industry work placements.

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“Creating a space for students to collaborate across traditional and emerging areas of rural industries will create a platform of networking, idea creation and forward thinking that is invaluable to the rural industries of the future,” said Mr Harvey.
Applications to the AgriFutures Australia Horizon Scholarship are currently open and close on 15 January, 2021.

Shortlisted applicants must be available for a telephone interview in February 2021, and scholarship winners will be announced in April 2021.

For more information and to apply, visit AgriFutures Australia.

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