The all-male Charles Sturt University team has clean swept the 2017 Australian Universities Crops Competition held in Temora, New South Wales this week. Charles Sturt University student Nick Grant took out first place in the individual category while the team trophy went to the all-male team from Charles Sturt University.
This year’s competition held at the Farmlink Research Station was greeted with oustanding weather at the start of the week before cooling off with chilly winds.
The crops competition is an annual initiative of national grain farmers’ representative body, GrainGrowers. The competition puts tertiary agriculture and agribusiness students through their paces in a mixture of theory and hands-on tests covering agronomics and farm business management.
As well as the winning Charles Sturt University (NSW) team, four teams from across Australia also competed, from Sydney University (NSW), La Trobe University (VIC), Melbourne University (VIC) and Curtin University (WA).
GrainGrowers CEO Dr Michael Southan said the competition was always a valuable learning opportunity for the university students.
“Crops competition participants are our farm advisers and agronomists of the future,” Dr Southan said.
“In their future roles they will need to apply their skills across numerous properties and regions – wherever their careers may take them.”
Dr Southan said the competition was about students being able to demonstrate their agronomic expertise but also gave them the opportunity to network with industry representatives.
“This year there was an increased focus on connecting students with grains industry representatives including research, government and agribusiness professionals in the interests of developing career pathways and opportunities,” Dr Southan said.
“A networking lunch and local tour helped to introduce students to potential employers and to broaden their knowledge about broadacre crops.”
2017 AUCC individual winner Nick Grant is a local Temora man who was thrilled to win and said participation in the competition was a highly valuable experience.
“I entered the competition to learn as much as I could and I walked away today knowing that I’ve learnt a lot. Winning is a huge bonus.”
Nick is in his third year of study at Charles Sturt University. After completing his studies Nick aims to pursue a career in agronomy or to return to the local Temora family farm which produces broadacre crops.
Nick together with individual runners-up, Danyon Williams and Tom Jeffery [photo below], also from Charles Sturt University, now have the opportunity to take part in the universities crops competition in the United States.
“I’m super excited about competing in the US, as I’ve never been overseas before,” Nick said.
Dr Southan said the competition, now in its ninth year, continues to go from strength to strength. It is the only such competition in the Australian grains industry.
“It is fantastic that Australia’s major agricultural universities continue to fund and support students to compete. We are also grateful to the students who fund their own travel expenses.”
Dr Southan said the event would not be possible without FarmLink Research Ltd which provides access to their research station at Temora.
“We also thank our other sponsors, the Grains Research and Development Corporation, Agricultural Societies Council of NSW, Graincorp, Elders, AusWest Seeds, Landmark, Riverina Local Land Services and Delta Agribusiness.”
Past participants of the Australian Universities Crops Competition have gone on to successful careers in the Australian grains industry as agribusiness professionals, researchers, farmers, farm advisors, agronomists and grain traders.
The Australian Universities Crops Competition is part of GrainGrowers’ commitment to fostering skills development and leadership capability amongst Australian grain growers.
2017 Competing Universities
University of Sydney
La Trobe University
Charles Sturt University
Top 3 Individual Winners
1. Nick Grant – Charles Sturt University
2. Danyon Williams – Charles Sturt University
3. Tom Jeffery – Charles Sturt University
Top 3 University Teams
1. Charles Sturt University
2. University of Sydney
3. La Trobe University
See pics from the AUCC here
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