Tag Archives: Student

Agricultural Sciences student numbers jump

Story orginally posted in News from the University of Adelaide, Wednesday 6 February, 2013

Agricultural Science students

Agricultural Science students

Interest in studying Agricultural Sciences at the University of Adelaide has significantly increased this year with both first preference applications and offers up more than 50% on last year.

“There are very good signs for a large increase in the numbers of students starting Agricultural Science this year based on offers and early acceptances,” says Professor Eileen Scott, Acting Head of the School of Agriculture, Food and Wine.

“This is good news for the local agriculture sector, which is crying out for skilled graduates in this area, and great news for our rural communities.”

Professor Scott said there appeared to be a combination of factors surrounding the heightened interest. “There is much better awareness of the large range of career opportunities that a degree in Agricultural Sciences can lead to,” she says.

“A lot of our graduates work with agricultural consultants, who are actively seeking out our students. Our graduates also work in banks, rural press, chemical companies, government departments and agencies, and local councils – they are in extremely high demand.

“There also seems to be a growing awareness of the need to look at new ways of feeding the world in the coming years. Many young people are interested in being able to make a difference in global issues.”

Professor Scott said moving past the drought years to a much more positive farming outlook may also be an important factor.

“The University of Adelaide’s School of Agriculture, Food and Wine has worked hard to get these positive messages across,” she says.

“Last year we had a strong presence at the Royal Adelaide Show, field days and schools where there was a lot of interest in our program.”

Other factors included revitalised campus activity and offering more work experience opportunities to school students.

“Our first crop of students from our new Bachelor of Agricultural Sciences program graduated last year and they are great ambassadors for the degree.”

There are still places available on the Bachelor of Agricultural Sciences. Please enquire with the University Contact Centre on 8313 7335.

 

Every Australian child should be taught Agriculture at school

Image courtesy of Lisa Claessen

Australia’s agricultural workforce is aging. The median age of farmers is 53, compared to 39 for other workers. Our agricultural workforce is also shrinking, declining 22% in the last 12 years.

Agriculture is facing more than a skills shortage; we need a ‘Generation F’ – the next generation of educated, ambitious young people to ensure Australia’s role as a food-producing nation into the future. But where will they come from?

A recent survey showed that Australian school students knew little about agriculture; 75% thought cotton socks were an animal product and 45% could not identify that everyday lunchbox items such as bananas, bread and cheese originated from farms. Students who know little about agriculture are even less likely to consider it as a career path.

Farming is usually portrayed in the media as a tough gig. Farmers work longer hours and are at the mercy of the weather and economic factors that are largely beyond their control. Why would our best and brightest want to go into agriculture when so many industry stories focus on ‘doom and gloom’?

Making agriculture compulsory in schools would not only improve food knowledge, but also highlight the role of business skills and specialised technical knowledge in modern agriculture, revealing the opportunities for young people in this vital and dynamic industry. But with so much already crammed into the school curriculum, do we need to be prepared to lose something to attract more people into agriculture?

So, should we be exposing all school students to agriculture and encouraging our young people into the sector with the promise of a brilliant career?

Or is it really up to the agricultural sector itself to make the industry more attractive to young people and remove some of the barriers that prevent them from entering it more easily?

This debate, moderated by Dr Paul Willis, RiAus, will explore all these issues, as six experts in two teams argue for your vote.

Team for the Affirmative:
Associate Professor Amanda Able, School of Agriculture, Food and Wine, University of Adelaide
Mr Ian Joseph, Chair, Agribusiness Council of Australia
Mr Nick van den Berg, Second year student, Bachelor of Agricultural Science, University of Adelaide

Team for the Negative:
Professor Derek Leinweber, Head of School, Chemistry and Physics, University of Adelaide
Ms Lynne Strong, National Program Director, Art4Agriculture and Farmer
Dr John Willison, School of Education, University of Adelaide

When: Thursday 18 October 2012, 6.00 pm – 8.30 pm
Where: Lirra Lirra Cafe, Waite Road, Waite Campus

Finger food provided. A cash bar will be open throughout the event.

Admission is free, but prior registration is essential as seats are strictly limited.
To register to attend the event go to http://waitedebate-school.eventbrite.com/

To join the debate on Twitter, follow @waiteresearch and use the hashtag #agchatoz

The Waite Research Institute is a proud supporter of the Australian Year of the Farmer

WRI assists students to attend Student World Forum

With travel expense assistance from the WRI, University of Adelaide students Melissa Coventry, Nikki Hebenstreit and Amalia Sosrodiredjo attended the 4th AC21 (Academic Consortium for the 21st Century) Student World Forum in Thailand in May. The focus of this year’s conference was sustainable rural development.

They write “approximately 60 students from countries including Thailand, Laos, China, Japan, Germany, Australia, USA, Moldova, South Africa and Indonesia met at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok to learn and share knowledge on Sustainable Rural Development from the perspectives of the various countries…There was a general consensus overall however, that one of the most important lessons taken from this Forum was the value of international networking…”

Melissa is a B S (Ag Sci) student, Nikki and Amalia are studying towards the degree of Master of Sustainability.

Read the full report and view photos here.